Every mom knows this moment: Searching for
something in the diaper bag becomes a needle-in-the-haystack
mission and you have no choice but to dump all of the contents onto
For Highland Park mom Rachael Smith, that moment happened
in an airport. She was on her way to Tucson, Ariz., alone with her
toddler and 6-month-old baby, when they both wanted the same thing
at the same time. As she was sorting through that dumped-out bag,
though, she started to wonder if she could create something better.
"I thought, 'Why the heck don't bags have drawers?'" she
When she got back home, she started designing in her
backyard, with duct tape and boxes as her only materials. She had a
partial prototype by 2007. In 2008 she took that bag-broken zippers
and all-to the ABC Kids Expo. She got an overwhelmingly positive
reaction and with a new manufacturer and some redesigning, she
launched Mrs. Smith's bags in 2009.
"Moms today, we really just want to keep it all together,"
Smith says. And her bags do exactly that. Each one has a pull-out,
insulated drawer for snacks and toys, insulated pouches for sippy
cups and bottles, and washable changing pads. They also offer a new
just-for-dads line. "It makes dad feel like he has it all together
when he's on duty," Smith says.
Smith is still working out of her Highland Park playroom,
balancing work life and family.
Her bags are available at mrssmithsbags.com, and at retailers across the
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