It all started as a hobby and a small online business. Today, Better Life Bags is a thriving business in the diverse community of Hamtramck that is changing the lives of the women who sew and make those custom-made bags. These women come from many different cultures.
After moving to Hamtramck with her husband on a whim from Georgia, Rebecca Smith was pregnant and made herself a diaper bag for her soon-to-be-born child. After posting a photo of the bag on social media, friends encouraged her to start selling them on Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade items. After selling more and more bags, she reached out to friends and acquaintances for help.
Now, Better Life Bags employs 16 women from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, including Smith's first employee, Nadia Alakil, an immigrant to Michigan from Yemen. This small business allows for women to work from home and earn some extra money for their families.