Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just in Time for Warm Weather Adventures: Messenger Bags from Meeabee

If your boys are like mine, we can't leave the house without pockets-full of special toys and treasures, which invariably get lost between the car seats or left behind somewhere. That's why I just fell in love with these messenger bags from Meeabee. Not only are they practical and perfectly sized for little kids 3-5, they are an unboring alternative to backpacks!

Designer Jacqui has boys of her own (ages 3 & 8), so she carries an awesome collection of bags in boy-friendly prints like flags of the world and Beetle-bug cars ($30 each).

When I found out that Jacqui lived in Japan (she ships worldwide), I had to ask her what boys' fashion is like there. Read my interview below, plus find out how you can win one of her fabulous messenger bags!

Unboring Boys: What inspired you to start making children's messenger bags?

Jacqui: I wanted to do something creative and to start a small business. I looked at a few ideas and with the support of my blog readers I started sewing. I looked at the resources I have available to me here in Japan. Fabric was one. Then I looked at Etsy and thought there was a gap in the market for cute bags for kids. The messenger bag was one of my early designs since I wanted to make sure I always had plenty for cool boys. It's evolved into my best-selling item for both boys and girls. I LOVE making them!

Unboring Boys: How do you go about choosing certain fabrics, colors and prints?

Jacqui: I read a lot of online blogs and magazines to keep up with trends in fashion. When I see fabric I love, I buy it. Subconsciously it often fits in with the themes I have been seeing in fashion. Usually I just buy what I have a knee-jerk reaction to - luckily people seem to like my taste! Sometimes I hit the nail on the head. This was the case with an orange and green robot fabric which became my most popular and most-requested design. I knew that orange was predicted to be big that year from reading the Pantone Color Trend Report.

Unboring Boys: What are the current clothes styles and trends for boys in Japan? What brands or looks seem to be hot right now?

Jacqui: Fashion in Japan takes a lot of getting used to. We live in a small city about an hour out of town so it's hardly the epicentre of fashion. I personally find the styles to be very busy with a lot of writing and embellishment on them. The "mini-me" look is popular - dressing your kids in the same style as the parents. In Japan that's called "pair-look". Being winter we are seeing a lot of skinny jeans and black denim; boots are popular as are newspaper boy hats. The rock star look seems to be quite popular.

Unboring Boys: Here in America, the emphasis is on girls’ fashion. Parents don't spend nearly as much on boys' clothes as they do on girls' clothes. Is it the same in Japan?

Jacqui: I think that's probably the case here in Japan as well! However, the Japanese seem to like designer clothing so it's possible they've spent a lot more than you'd think.

Unboring Boys: What are you doing when you are not designing and sewing?

Jacqui: I do most of my designing and sewing late at night. One of my boys is still home with me every day (he's three) so I spend most of my days playing with him, doing housework, the usual mum stuff. My business can be all consuming and I decided I needed some balance. I joined the gym last year and now swim or do aquarobics three or four times a week. It does wonders for my mind and gives me such a lot of energy. It also counteracts the effects of all the baking I do for my home-based English conversation class.

Thanks Jacqui for taking the time to answer my questions! Just for Unboring Boys: We are giving away one boys messenger bag (winner's choice!) from Meeabee to one lucky reader! Just browse Meeabee's Etsy shop and e-mail with MEEABEE in the subject line and tell us which style you would choose should you win. Get extra entries for becoming a fan of Meeabee on Facebook at, leaving a comment below, subscribing to Unboring Boys, or following us on Twitter. We'll pick one lucky Unboring Boys reader at random April 21st. Open to anyone! Good luck!


Jenny said...

Following you on Twitter! So glad to have found your blog, having 2 boys of my own.

Mee a Bee said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to appear on your website Denice. I am honoured.

Pheobie said...

I have 2 boys and LOVE that I found your blog. Thank you for finding such awesome stuff for our little ones.

Kelly said...

ooh I have Jacqui to thank for pointing me to your blog! I only have the one boy but find it hard to find cool stuff for presents.

Anonymous said...

Just found Meeabee and you through Kiwi mummy blogs. The messenger bags are great and Im just deciding which one!!!! I have a lovely almost 4yr old boy who has a basic M bag from a airline. He thinks he ROCKS with it so I Meeabee bag would be wayyyy cooler!!!

Heidi said...

Boys Rule. Mee a Bee rules and now Unboring Boys have joined the line up!!

well done you talented things!