Be practical without compromising on style…
We speak to Caragh O’Driscoll, founder of Bow and Rattle, about her selection of Luxury Baby Changing Bags.
How did you come up with the idea for these beautiful bags?
It all began when the first of my friends were starting to have babies. Many hours were spent mulling over what bassinet to get, which buggy was best and ultimately the conversation turned to changing bags. Everyone was excited picking theirs as it was the one item that was all about them as opposed to about the baby. But it soon became clear they were struggling to find their perfect bag. There were a few stylish ones on the market but they didn’t feel they could justify such a large spend along with everything else they had to buy and then there were the cotton casual type ones which although practical just didn’t suit their style. In retrospect it seems kind of obvious that there was a large gap in the mid-price range for a bag that looked as stylish and expensive as the top end leather ones but at the same time as practical as one would want.
I had always wanted to do something entrepreneurial. It was in my blood coming from a family of entrepreneurs. From day one as a little girl I had been designing ‘collections’ of clothes and accessories for my dolls. I adored the process of design and getting to use my imagination in so many different ways. I always knew I wanted a career that had an element of design in it. My passion for style and design incorporated with my love of business made it the perfect match. I went about creating the dream bags that merged practicality with stylish design. And so Bow & Rattle was born.
What inspired you?
I took inspiration from everywhere I could. I got a lot of my ideas from a trip I took to Milan, the heart of fashion where I went to the Mipel design show and wandered the streets of Milan browsing the shops for inspiration. I knew my designs had to be classic and timeless as these bags needed to last and work with every outfit so I looked at brands that I knew did it well. I spent lots of time researching the stitching, zips, textures and metal hardware of the bags and incorporated elements I loved into my design to give them that luxury feel.
What’s your favourite bag from your collection?
It would have to be the Rosie. I adore the faux leather, it’s so soft and expensive looking. I’m going through a face of Spanx leather leggings and cosy knits and I’m using the black one right now which works so well with this look. I get so many compliments on it and people can’t believe when they find out it’s a changing bag. It feels good as I know I’ve done what I set out to achieve when I hear that!
Each bag has a name can you tell us more about this?
I lost my own mum Heather when I was six years old. It was just myself and my Dad growing up. He has always been an entrepreneur and at the time when it happened, he was in the middle of trying to set up a new business to be able to support us. As all entrepreneurs know it’s a fairly full-on experience so I was blessed that so many of the wonderful females in my family and friends of my mum’s stepped in and all played an incredibly important role in bringing me up. Each one in their own way contributed so much to my life and getting me where I am today; and so as a small way of thanks it only felt right to name each style of bag after one of them. As a little extra touch I like to include a card with each bag telling my customers a little bit about this person and how they played a part in their own way. I believe that we sometimes forget to celebrate how amazing the other women in our lives are and in particular many woman that don’t have children themselves but who have impacted and contributed in some incredible way in a mothering role. I would have been lost without this great tribe around me so these bags are a celebration of them!
What makes your bags different?
First and foremost my range is about style. We want mums to feel great about themselves and really believe that women shouldn’t have to compromise on their identities while embracing their roles as mothers. Becoming a parent can be such a hard time to navigate and I know myself I really struggled with it. I wasn’t sure how to dress anymore or how to love my body in the way I should after it created such a beautiful thing. I wanted to help mums find a little piece of themselves again. To feel they look good, be confident and to live for themselves just as much as for their family. I’m a firm believer that accessories can make any outfit. Having a nice changing bag is so important. However, just as important as style was to me I also wanted to ensure functionality wasn’t lost. Every inch of these bags are made with mums in mind. The straps are adaptable to your needs. Each bag comes with a waterproof lining so they are really easy to keep clean. They have tonnes of pockets and places for everything and each bag comes with all the accessories you could need including a changing mat, a thermal pouch and a zipped pouch to store your smaller items. We also include a set of our beautiful Milestone cards so you can treasure every memory of your little one’s first year!
Do you have any new designs coming out this year?
We do; we are always in design mode! We have been reaching out to our followers on social media to find out what our customers would like to see more of. The new designs are under wraps for now but will be launching later in the second half of this year!