Tuesday, March 06, 2012

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Calico Dragon Bags

Calico Dragon Bags
Where to Find: Calico Dragon Bags

CalicoBag3 CalicoBag4

When Candy Brown started her company, Calico Dragon Bags, she had one goal in mind - to start a company that would benefit animals. 

Candy had always made donations to several causes, as many of us do, but she wanted to make a bigger difference.  She needed a way to make more money and found that by producing "bags with a message," she could not only benefit the animals financially, but also help to get their message out.  Perhaps one person won't buy a fur coat because she read someone's purse... or others might boycott the circus the next time it comes to town after seeing one of the elephant totes.  

CalicoBagI received the Like My Dog Large Tote for review.  The tote is a perfect goes-with-anything khaki color with an adorable white dog paw/bone/heart pattern all over the front and back.  The front features a black mutt with the saying "The More Men I Meet, The More I Like My Dog" (some of you may know that I often use a similar quote, "the more people I meet, the more I love my dogs").  The back features a large heart shape with "Peace, Love, Adopt."  The large size tote measures 14.5" wide x 11.5" high and features 1 zippered and 3 open pockets inside, a magnetic snap closure and detachable handles (there is also a small version available, measuring 11.5" wide x 9.5" high). 

Calico Dragon Bags are constructed of cotton canvas and other man made materials.  They are made in China, which is not something I typically look for or promote, however Candy explains why she choose this route for her line of bags with a message. 

"About a year and a half after I was in Vegas talking all big about how I was going to start this bag line, I had given up and was back to square one.  I had searched for someone - anyone - to make my bags, but had absolutely no luck and no leads.  There seem to be no manufacturers left in my country that can make even a prototype for less than $15,000 USD. Yes - that is what I was quoted by the only company that would even talk to me! They wanted 15 grand just to make a prototype! I literally had maybe half that much to make the whole line so I had given up hope for starting the Ringo & Co. line. (side note: Calico Dragon was initially called Ringo & Co. after my beloved little rescued kitty, but as things finally progressed with the company I found out that Ringo Starr had the name Ringo copyrighted worldwide).
So here I am leaving Vegas, again, and I almost miss my flight. As a result I have to sit front and center of a Southwest Airlines flight. Turns out I sit in between two men traveling to my home city to make a presentation on an apparel line which one of them owns. I ask him if he can make bags/purses... He said no, but knew someone who can. He passed along Stephen Potter’s email and Calico Dragon was finally born. We spoke on the phone, he in China and me in America. Stephen's work had taken him to China about 10 years prior to this and he had found success living there and was now looking to give back. A sculptor by trade, he was living in China and mass producing his works of art when he found himself in a position where he could help others. He decided to help abused married women escape their abusive husbands and support themselves and their only child by producing small lines, like Calico Dragon. I was put in touch with Anne, who was in charge of putting our first order together. It took a little over a year from start to finish - a very long process. But when we finally received our first order, we were just thrilled. All in all they turned out exactly as I had envisioned. Lily Hauer put our second order together and it too took about a year to produce. Our third set of releases was actually manufactured by a totally different company under the supervision of Mike Genung, who verifies all work is fair trade. We had to change manufacturers on the last order because we simply did not make enough bags this time to meet the girls’ minimum order requirements.
I have received a lot of flack over my bags being made in China and other than not being able to find a manufacturer throughout the US and Mexico (yes I searched south of my border too), I feel that with China’s known disregard and widespread abuse of animals, it might do them good to SEE these messages on the bags they are making! Stephen said the girls did not understand the “Whips & Chains” message, but how can you not get the anti-fur designs? The issue of animal rights and welfare is an international matter, and I hope some of these messages hit home with the people in China too. I even recently received my first order that shipped back to China, so that’s promising!"
CalicoBag2The Calico Dragon Bags line features several messages and there's sure to be something that appeals to everyone.  Whether you are against animal abuse, are a Vegan, work to keep elephants out of the circus, are against wearing animal fur, love dogs - or cats - or work to protect the ocean, there's a bag you'll love!  They say wear your heart on your sleeve - I say wear your message on your bag!  I will proudly be toting my dog bag everywhere I go.  It's the perfect size to carry everything I need for the day - wallet, cell phone, keys, Nook, magazines, knitting, lip balm, hand cream, snacks, water bottle, dog treats and any other essentials I need!

GIVEAWAY! Thanks to Candy, we have a $25 gift certificate to Calico Dragon Bags to give away to one lucky winner! To enter:

1) Follow Lapdog Creations publicly (see "Followers" on the right hand side bar)
2) Visit Calico Dragon Bags and
leave a comment here indicating which item interests you
3) Like the
Calico Dragon Bags Facebook page and leave a comment here indicating you did so
4) For additional bonus entries, blog, Facebook and/or Tweet about this giveaway (leave a separate comment here saying you did so)

You must complete steps 1 - 3 above to enter. Winner will be selected by random number generator.
Deadline for entries is Tuesday, March 13th at midnight.

14 comments:

SissySees said...

I presume you want a comment for each entry... so you know I'm following your blog.

SissySees said...

I liked Calico Dragon on Facebook.

(It takes me longer to get past the not a robot gatekeeper than to type my comments. Hrmph.)

SissySees said...

I'm torn. Love the dog tote of course, but the ocean one too... I think Ocean might win just because of the colors!

How much does your large tote weigh, empty?

Robin said...

I love the Ocean bag!!

I already follow your blog!!

I have like Calico Dragon on FB!!

AND...I tweeted!!

Dawn said...

I follow your blog

I liked on fb

Omg how to choose...love the dog, ocean....

Grace said...

i love the Peace Love Rescue Bag

I do follow you and I will go click Calico Dragon on Facebook right now

Kat E. said...

I follow through GFC

Kat E. said...

I like Calico Dragon on FB

Kat E. said...

I like their Whips & Chains ladies tee

Thanks for offering this great giveaway!

My email is
kittikatya(at)aol(dot)com

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I follow your blog.

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I like Calico Dragon on FB.

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I love the Cat bag.

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

Tweeted. https://twitter.com/#!/dramaqueensmum/status/179334846303318017

Roxy The Siberian Husky said...

I did 1,2 and 3, of teh giveaway must dos!