Have you ever been to Creemore, ON before? Located in central Ontario, it’s dubbed as a ‘little village with a big heart’. My husband and I love to head to this little town for a day-trip. It has a great downtown area with thriving shops and restaurants and of course, the Creemore Brewery.
One such store on this lovely little street is THE 100 MILE STORE. Here you can discover a variety of quality, local, curated specialities from the region, complete with a friendly staff who will happily advise you on tips for your next dish.
In 2021, the owner of this store, Linda, walked into MARNIE & MICHAEL. She has family in the area and wanted to check out our bags. She is the type of person who makes you feel at ease with yourself right away. There is a warmth to her spirit and heart, and you can feel it instantly. We made a connection right away, and she was off to selling our bags in her store.
A few meetings later, we discussed the idea of doing a collaboration together. Linda was looking for a leather bag to fit a water bottle holder for her SOULBOTTLES, her sustainable glass water bottle line. In Europe, they are sold through SOULBOTTLES and in Canada, through THE SOGGY PUFFIN . To ensure that our world stays clean, SOUL BOTTLES are fair, carbon neutral, toxin and plastic free. From top to bottom, they are really clean bottles – a stainless steel handle, a porcelain top, a natural rubber gasket, and a glass bottle.
I loved this idea and was very interested in seeing how the designs could come together. I wanted to head in two different directions with this – one for the nature lover, and one for the concrete jungle lover! I poured over design books, and all my tear sheets, and found some inspiration for the direction I wanted to go in.
However, we were still going through a lot of growing pains, so the early development work took several months. With a move to a larger studio space and the right team in place, by the Spring of 2022 I was ready to dig in. I presented Linda with the initial inspiration for the bags, and with her approval, my team and I began the development process.
A few prototypes and tweaks later, we both loved the direction things were going in. Leather versions came next, and along with Rachel and Stephanie as my in-house team, we sourced what was necessary for materials and hardware, fine-tuned the production process and tested the bags. With feedback in hand, all final tweaks were made, and we finalized our designs.
The Perseverance Adventure Bag is ideal for the out-for-the-day folks who want their water bottles close at hand. We designed this bag with a large exterior pocket with an interior webbed holder for the SOULBOTTLE. Along with a strap to secure the bottle top, you can easily grab and go for your adventure of the day. The bag shape is indicative of the popular hiking bag styles seen now and can easily be worn cross-body or over the shoulder.
The Persistence Flight Bag is a more refined bag ready made for work, travel or around town. This bag is rectangular in shape, with exterior pockets for quick need of the essentials, along with a zipped large main compartment with an interior sleeve for easy organization. Also inside, we designed an interior webbed holder for the SOULBOTTLE.
We also have an exclusive offering only through Marnie & Michael’s website and at THE 100 MILE STORE – a BUNDLE with either the FLIGHT or ADVENTURE bags and one of the SOULBOTTLES for a discounted price of 10% off.
Linda and I are both very much into give-back models for our businesses. With every bottle purchased, they donate to WATERFIRST, or organization committed to providing access to sale, clean water in indigenous communities across Canada, and to VIVA CON AGUA. And with each bag purchase, we donate a percentage of our profits to support our SOCIAL MISSION for mental health.
As we keep saying, you have power as a consumer. Look good. Feel good. Do Good.
Written by Founder, Jennifer St. John