The Bag Lady has graciously consented to tell us all about her invention, The CartSmart Bag.
It’s an environmentally friendly, reusable, washable shopping bag that she created.
What sets it apart from all the other similar products currently available?
That’s where her creation truly shines. It’s her unique design. She has put handles on it that fit snugly over a shopping cart handle to protect your hands.
And why would you want to do that? “Shopping cart handles harbour an unbelievable number of germs, including salmonella, e-coli, and staphylococcus,” she said. You can read more here.
She got the idea after a town in Manitoba banned plastic shopping bags. “It literally popped into my head one morning while I was having coffee.” Once she decided to act on it she had the design and prototype sewn in about a week. She makes each and every bag herself. “From cutting the fabric to the finishing touches I can have one made in a couple hours.”
She uses a variety of the sturdiest fabric she can find plus webbing for the shoulder straps. The handles that snug over the shopping cart are set at a comfortable distance for your arms and have Velcro closures.
It can be used to hold any number of things, she continued. You can put your extra shopping bags in it, purse, keys, cell phone. “It helps protect your hands while you are out shopping, then helps you bring the groceries home.” “You are helping the environment by reducing the number of plastic shopping bags in our landfills.”
The bags have a shoulder strap and three interior pockets, plus a key chain inside. Some are designed with pockets on the outside as well, and she noted she’s had requests for a shorter handle rather than a shoulder strap.
Do you accept custom orders?
“Yes, to a degree. I have made several to meet specific colour or fabric requests.” What colours are available?
“Actually, quite a variety,” she said, “And it keeps changing.” “Right now I have several different denim patterns. I also have black, yellow, blue, burgundy, red and white gingham, and the newest is a black rose-patterned tapestry.” “Most people don’t want exactly the same one as the next person has, so I’m always on the lookout for new fabrics.”
It’s especially convenient for the quick shopping trip. When you only need a few things, it’s often the only bag you’ll need. And you can fit plenty in it, too. “I’ve filled mine to capacity with two, 2-litre containers of milk, lots of canned goods, etc. I could hardly lift it.”
CartSmart Bags are durable, stylish, pleasing to the eye, and very easy to care for. “I recommend machine washing in cool or cold water, then hanging them out to dry.” The Bag Lady’s creations have been available since late winter of this year and are already a big hit. “So far I haven’t had any complaints, and several people have told me how much they love them. I guess the biggest compliment is from people who have been given one as a gift, then call to order a bunch to give to their friends.”
She’s shipped CartSmarts to British Columbia, Ontario, and even California. Bags are $25 CDN plus shipping payable by money order.
For more information or to order email the Bag Lady at: email@example.com
Full Disclosure – The Bag Lady, so named because she makes the CartSmart Bags, is my cousin Terry. I have one of her bags and I absolutely love it. I was very pleased when she consented to be interviewed for my blog.