This Festive Season, we've partnered up with Mally Leather Bags, Umatie and Jellycat South Africa to give away one SERIOUSLY ADORABLE hamper, valued at over R7000. This includes the Mally Bambino Baby Backpack, a parenting favourite across South Africa!
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We chatted to Marian Nel, Mally Leather Bag's founder and designer to find out a little more about this beautiful baby backpack!
Mally Leather Bags was established in 2009 with a focus on creating leather, luxurious bags that are both functional and understated. The Mally Mommy and Baby Bag collection is simply beautiful!
1. Marian, what inspired you to create the Mally Baby Bag collection?
I’m asked this question a lot because, in the past, parenting bags were what we were most known for, but we’ve definitely evolved over time. I’m a mom myself and I really struggled to find a bag that had everything I needed. I purchased a really expensive bag from overseas, and I didn't like it – so, I decided to make my own.
I sourced the leather, I drew up the designs and I worked with a Cape Town based company to make mommy magic for myself. Soon enough, my friends and family were asking me to make them one too, and then we spiralled into wonderland from there!
2. What should parents look out for when choosing a baby bag?
It’s important the make sure that you consider how much space you’ll need for your little one. If you’re going out for the day, your Baby Bag really will become your lifeline. But here’s a few basics that I suggest you ensure your bag contains:
- Detachable / Washable Changing Mat – you need to be able to change your little one on-the-go and it needs to be super easy to wipe in the moment
- LOADS of pockets – beyond diapers and bottles, you probably won’t be able to balance a baby on your hip, carry a baby bag and a handbag so you need space for keys, wallets, etc
- PLENTY of compartments – absolutely 100% necessary for dummies and diapers and they need to be easy to access at any time (no unnecessary zips and bits)
- Bottle pockets – while newborns need milk 8 -12 times a day, older kids will start to go 3 – 4 hours without eating, but your bag needs to allow you to store bottles upright and in abundance,
- Wipeable lining – things get messy inside a baby bag, bottles leak and powder and lotions have a habit of opening when you don’t want them to
- Adjustable strap – as your baby grows, you’ll need your hands less and less but your baby bag needs to be manoeuvrable, especially over time
- Car key and dummy clip – very handy when you need to find your car keys or the dummy quickly
- Studs underneath bag to protect your bag when you put it down (anywhere)
3. Realistically, how much should parents expect to spend on a baby bag?
Being a parent certainly isn’t cheap – we can all attest to that (haha). I’d estimate that you’ll never spend anything less than about R800 on a decent bag, and if you’re looking for a genuine leather bag, you’ll probably be looking at an extra R700 - R800.
My sneaky little suggestion? Add a baby bag to your baby shower list, and share with your immediate friends and family. It’s a gift that has the potential to last you a lifetime when you really do your research. It’s a very serious purchase because it’ll literally go everywhere with you and your child for years to come – and the child after your first one too!
4. What's your suggestion for making a baby bag 'timeless'?
I designed the Mally Baby Bag collection to last throughout childhood and to also function as a stylish, practical accessory for parents even after their children are all grown up. I think that this is key in order to feel that you can get the most out of your purchase! Leather is also a wonderful contributing element to consider here, because material baby bags really do look like baby bags, so once you no longer need them – they may be pushed to the back of the cupboard.
Ensure that the baby bag you do choose has hidden bottle pockets and features as well – interior bottle pockets are also great for water bottles and storing chargers, cables, camera pieces, toiletries, hair dryers, etc.
5. There are parents who worry that a leather baby bag isn't practical. What would you say to them?
We’ve designed our bags to protect from spills and leakage in the best way possible. Bottle pockets are tight enough to hold regular sized feeding bottles upright. We’ve also ‘footed’ our bags with metal feet so that they stand up on their own and stay off the ground. We have a collection of leather care, which is available at www.mally.co.za.
We also recommend that you use a soft cloth to clean the exterior of your bag, and do not wipe stains into bag. Keep your bag away from water, should it get wet allow it to air dry, never use a heater. Once dry apply our quality leather conditioner. We also suggest that you keep your leather out of direct sunlight.
CLICK to find out how to ENTER TO WIN!
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