May 14, 2020
When I first found these mompreneurs a few months ago, I was so interested in what they were up to. Lovers of coffee, gorgeous photography and traveling, these moms (and sisters by marriage) seemed to be on a mission and I had to know more.
Their business and brand, Protea Lane, was built on their passion for Africa and the obstacle of traveling with young children (who need everything all the time).
“The idea for the bag was born after a trip to Africa with the entire family,” said Brittany, “Our packing stress level was off the charts, and we knew that we needed a practical and functional backpack that was perfect for our day trips - as well as our big trips (while of course looking stylish and cute). Protea is a gorgeous flower from South Africa—and we are lovers of flowers so having a sentimental attachment to Africa, it all just fell together!”
The working mom, the new mom, the mom of multiples, this bag really covers all the bases.
“Our number one goal when we created this bag was not to look at other bags and compare, but to create and design a bag that was so unique to who we are and the way we live our lives. It has style, but is also functional and has space for organization. We are most proud of the front zipper section with its flexible back wall, so that you can add more in the front or more in the main compartment!”
“Want to know a secret? We referred to it as the ‘cave’ during the entire design process! We loved that you could have a separate pocket that was just for mom or just for the kids!”
With the guidance of their entrepreneurial husbands, their idea took shape.
“We started with the talk: Is this something we want to do? Do we have the basics to start? For us, the beginning was making a list of what we wanted in a bag, the things we wished bags had and what our day-to-day life looks like. Then we started drawing! We drew pictures the best we could, together and separate, and the bag took shape. We then worked with a local Colorado company to help us get the design into practical form and on the computer to make into files. Then we had to find manufacturing and start getting prototypes! Next of course was the website, branding, launching… ya, know.”
Starting any business is no easy feat and developing a product is definitely a huge undertaking, but their passion and understanding of what was needed helped this beautiful bag come to life.
I asked Brittany and Courtney what piece of advice they might have for a fellow mama who wished to start their own business but was unsure.
“Do it. Try. Do your best. There are times you will question, 'Why did we even go down this path?', but it is a powerful thing and the community is supportive and your kids will be so proud of you!”
These moms are inspired by other women-based businesses and love supporting one another.
“We hope we can continue to grow and do our very best, so that we can share when others start their business. Moms, give yourself grace, some days will be more productive than others. Sometimes you just have to watch Netflix at the end of the day and other times you will stay up until 2:00 AM because you are on a roll. Some days you will rock the intentional life and be the best mom, and other days you will let them watch a movie so you can write emails.”
While I have total entrepreneur envy over here, (you know I’m a serial entrepreneur), I’m truly proud and inspired by these amazing ladies and their innovative design that meets the needs of all moms.
Their mantra is the heart of what most of us mothers face when it comes to balance:
“I am a mom and I choose to have a career. I choose the busy and the calm. I choose the happiness this entrepreneur life brings us and the uncertainty of each day. I choose the organized and the chaos. I choose to be present and productive.
YOU can be both. We choose both.”
I couldn’t have agreed more, ladies. Can’t wait to see what other amazing things you do.
Sadly, their Kickstarter campaign has ended, but it was a huge success, surpassing their goal more than three times the needed funding amount - Way to go ladies!
You can, however, still support these amazing moms on a mission by following their Instagram journey and pre-ordering The Traveler for yourself or a loved one. Expected shipment and arrival of The Traveler is scheduled for September (eek can’t wait!).