Hello Leaders of Love,
First of all, thank you... for trusting and believing in us, taking a chance on us, and being a part of our creation. We know we wouldn't be here without you and we are so grateful. Together, we have built a beautiful community based on love. It is small, yet mighty, and growing every day. We have faith that this is just the beginning of something beautiful and powerful.
OK, let’s rewind to New Years Eve 2011. Liz and I, who were both fresh, new moms at the time, were sitting at our parents' dining table in New York, gazing over the city skyline and dreaming about creating a business together and a life that we love. We tossed ideas around about what we wanted to make: something for kids, something for parents, something with style and something that would make the world a better place. We bonded over our mutual distaste of "girlie" diaper bags on the market. We wanted to create something new that could really be of use to parents... and might even make the world a better place.
And that was our lightbulb moment: a backpack diaper bag.
Six years later, we are still working on the same product, perfecting it, tweaking it, making it our own. We've been through countless iterations, leaps forward and missteps. We've learned a ton along the way about small businesses, investors, accounting, manufacturing, social media, customer service, and ultimately building a brand. Sometimes it feels like we're moving at a snail's pace, other times it's a racecar. Whatever happens in the moment, we still need to pinch ourselves.
And we have achieved so much! Hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, die-hard Leader bag owners all over the world, features in magazines, bags in the hands of celebrities and a family business that fulfills us creatively.
Up until very recently, however, we felt a bit lost. On a micro level, we knew what our focus was: to create a solution to the problem that we found with diaper bags. But on a macro level, we wondered, “What is it all for? What are we really here to do? What does this all mean? What is our purpose?” We have always looked to brands like Patagonia and Everlane with admiration, but sprinkling messages of outreach and donations just didn't feel like enough. We truly believed that there was a more important purpose for our brand.
And then, another lightbulb moment. Our purpose is to Lead with Love.
It's so simple yet so powerful. To us, leading with love means being the best parents that we can possibly be. To fight for what be believe in. To stand up to hate, to fear, to darkness. To be ourselves and live passionately with our whole hearts. To ask God how we can be of service. To be better, do better, and show up for our assignment - to Lead with Love. And to inspire and empower others (and our children) to do the same.
With this new mission and message, we are more focused and driven than ever before. See, it’s never been just about diaper bags, it’s always been about what the bags represent: the love and the hope that we have for the next generation.
The way we see it, there is no job that is more important than being a parent. And as parents, we have a very big responsibility which is to teach our children to choose love. Are we going to love them perfectly? Are we going to teach them to love perfectly? No, that's impossible. Are we going to make mistakes? Are we going to f-up from time to time? Sure, of course. Are we going to fail? Maybe. But at least we will try to stand up for what we believe in: LOVE.
How will this change Leader Bag Co? In the short-term, we'll still be selling and supporting our favorite products in the Julien collection. In the longer-term, we'll be adding a few more products to our catalog - and some will be laser-focused on carrying our new message to as many families as we can. We are really excited.
We have big dreams over here in our little corner of the world. Of course we want to be a successful company and we want to grow and create new products for you. But, mostly what we want is to create a community of individuals that LEAD WITH LOVE. A community that isn’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. A community that is willing to fight for what they know in their hearts to be true. A community that recognizes that their purpose is to love and to teach the next generation to choose love. A community that rises up, takes up space, dares greatly, lives passionately, expresses themselves fully, owns their power, steps into the light, finds their voice, and LEADS WITH LOVE.
Let’s do this together. We don’t have time to play small anymore. Join us in choosing love.
Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being here and for choosing love with us. And for leading with love in all aspects of your lives. The world is a better place because of you and the lessons that you are teaching your children. You inspire us and we are so proud to be a part of this community with you. You lead with love every day as individuals, as parents, as friends, as lovers. It is a crazy world out there and we know you have a choice between love and fear. Thank you for choosing love with us.
Meghan & Liz