What is your product(s)?
The mission at MSL Bags is to encourage more people to adopt eco-conscious habits by creating products that blend style AND sustainability, and our signature bag, The Floppy, is a reflection of these brand values.
Designed to work better at the grocery store, The Floppy leads with function, featuring a removable hard bottom that helps support heavier items like groceries, while maintaining its multi-functionality as a tote, with an intentional style that is attractive enough to go almost anywhere.
With sustainability as a cornerstone of MSLBags, we chose to use 100% recycled nylon for the Floppy. This enables us to utilize post- consumer waste and displace the need for virgin plastic.
We also decided to keep manufacturing in the United States, which not only helps to ensure a safe, ethical workplace, but minimizes emissions that come from shipping long distances.
All of our packaging is either recycled, or recyclable.
Where were you with your idea or business before joining Factory45?
Before I found Factory45, I had an idea and a basic sample. But with no business or fashion experience, I had absolutely no idea how to get my sustainable product made, or sell it afterwards.
I needed ALL the help.
Factory45 not only addressed every piece of the puzzle, but gave me the confidence to take the first step, and the next one after that.
How did joining Factory45 help you?
Factory45 unlocked my dream.
The program layed out the process of creating a Sustainable Brand in a way that, not only I could understand, but could execute.
What I love about Factory45 is that you don’t have to have any business knowledge, or prior experience in the fashion industry. Shannon takes you through every step of the process, in a strategic order, so that you can start building a strong foundation for your business from Day 1.
I learned everything from crafting my brand mission and establishing my online presence, to learning about sustainable fabrics and sourcing materials; from finding a manufacturer and creating samples to determining how you are going to fund, market and sell your finished product.
After I completed the program, I felt ready to create and market my product.
In your opinion, what is the most valuable thing about Factory45?
There were so many valuable elements of this program that it’s hard to talk about just one!
Having a community was really helpful because it took away some of the fear for me. There were always others in the exact same boat as I was. If I didn’t ask the question, one of my classmates would.
I liked being able to see different people executing the program on different time schedules, and with different skill levels. And being guided by a mentor who had already gone through the program successfully, was really helpful.
The education I received was truly invaluable, and I don’t think I could have gotten to this point as quickly as I did, without this program.
But I would have to say, the most helpful thing was the fact that Shannon has us create our Social Media presence right away.
By developing an audience at the very beginning, they were able to come along with me on the journey. They saw the ups and downs, starts, stops and full on reverses! But they had become invested in this ongoing story.
And by the time I was ready to launch my Kickstarter Campaign, my small, but committed audience, stepped up and helped me reach my fundraising goal.
Having an audience of people who were invested in me as a person, as well as my product, was invaluable, and I think the biggest factor in having a successful Kickstarter campaign.
What were some big or small milestones that you hit after going through Factory45?
Since completing Factory45:
I produced a photo and video shoot for my product, with a professional model, photographer and videographer.
I ran a successful Kickstarter Campaign, raising over $14,000 to fund the first run of my reusable grocery bag and tote, The Floppy.
I just launched my E-Commerce website and am taking Pre-Orders.
Please describe your business after Factory45.
We are just starting out!
My first production of The Floppy is in progress, and I am looking forward to delivering them to customers, and having them available online in January of 2023.
And I’m already pricing the next item to add to my website!