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Monday, September 26, 2011

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag!

Ever since I had my first baby (Buggy), I have been on the hunt for the perfect diaper bag. My criteria are simple, or so I thought.  (Is it telling that my iPad auto-correct tried to change "simple" into "ample"?) First, I don't want it to look like a diaper bag.  No pink flowers or Disney characters covering the damn thing.  It can't be made out of canvas or nylon (though practical, I'm sure).  I don't like the messenger style with a mile-long strap, or backpacks.  I need an organized bag with lots of pockets and doodads, but I don't need an enormous suitcase, for Pete's sake! What's the worst that could happen on an outing to Target? Ok, you have a point. But, really, most baby emergencies can be fixed with whatever you happen to have on you, or something you can buy while at TARGET.  And let's be honest...if I'm out somewhere with the bambino(s), chances are pretty good I'm at Target. 

Basically, I came to the realization that I need a big purse with lots of pockets.  That shouldn't be too hard to find.  WRONG.  Oh, so wrong.  It turns out that handbag designers think women enjoy hunting around in a dark, cavernous sack for their tube of Burt's Bees, or some such tiny item.  I can assure you, handbag designers, we do not.  Pockets.  We need pockets.  I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that even women without small children could do with a pocket or two.  Just sayin'.  All through Buggy's infancy and toddler-hood, I had a crappy, nylon, messenger-style diaper bag made by a diaper bag company.  It epitomized everything I loathed about diaper bags.  Its one saving grace was that it was not pink with Winnie-the-Pooh on it.  God, I hated that bag.  I finally reached my tipping point, and could not bring myself to use it.  One.  More.  Time.  So I shoved it in the bottom of my coat closet and moved onto this floral number I found.  

It was a purse with (gasp) pockets.  But its brash pattern wore on me, and I just had to set it down.  Then I bought a fun little orange canvas number while I was pregnant with #2.  It was just for the summer, so I didn't care that it was canvas.  Time was ticking on, and I was desperate to find a suitable bag before the baby popped out.  (What, yours didn't "pop" out?) 

Enormous, uncomfortable, and always with my sidekick Buggy, I was not about to parade through the Mall of America in search of the perfect bag.  So I turned to my old friend, the Internet.  That's where I found this whole sub-category of handbags that are really diaper bags! Holy cannoli! I was in diaper bag heaven! 
 
My beautiful Amy Michelle bag arrived while I was at the hospital popping out my kid.  It was the best thing I could have come home to.  It was a beautiful shade of green.  It was just the right size.  It had pockets!  And compartments!  And stroller straps!  And pockets (yes, more pockets!)  And metal feet to keep it clean!  (Why don't all handbags have these?)  I immediately filled my bag and couldn't wait to make a trip out of the house with it.  With the baby, of course.  Bring it, poop-tastrophe! I was prepared for anything.  For the next year, I rocked that gorgeous bag every day.  I received compliments on it all the time.  No one could believe it was a diaper bag – in fact, I would usually have to open it up to show people the pacifier clip and the bottle pockets.  An audible gasp (surprise? disbelief?) typically followed.
Then, one ill-fated day…a sad, sad day, a seam gave way.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was distraught.  Should I live with it?  Would the bag unravel one day, and I would be left standing there holding my changing pad and Bert’s Bees wondering what the hell just happened?  Should I just replace it?  Does that mean I have to start the search all over?  I decided to call the company (Amy Michelle), and see if they would stand behind their product.  Not surprisingly, they did.  I received excellent customer service.  Without any questions, they told me they would replace it, and offered me the choice of the same bag, or a different style.  Once I figured out what I wanted (I decided to change it up and go with their new style, the Cosmo), it was shipped out to me posthaste.  
I received it yesterday, and could hardly wait to load it up.  Love.  It's a great bag!  It has everything my first Amy Michelle bag had.  Plus, I love the pearlized brown color - it's a little fancy, and perfect with just about everything I wear!  Don't you just love a happy ending?

I have a lot of respect for companies that are smart about customer service!  Because they honored their guarantee, were so easy to work with, and they make gorgeous bags, they earned a lifelong customer.  I hope if you're reading this post, and you or someone you know needs a diaper bag, or just a really great purse with lots of pockets and doodads, that you will consider an Amy Michelle bag. 

You know about mine, now tell me about yours!

**Disclosure - I do not receive any compensation from Amy Michelle for endorsing their products.  If you click on the Amazon link below and purchase one, I will get a tiny amount of money.  But I'm not in it for the money.  I just really believe in these bags.**


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