Mum turns Meen in the name of green business

keylene petitThis week we interviewed the queen of green shopping bags Kaylene Petit.

Tell us a little about the person behind the business?

I am a 28 year-old mum of a 15 month old girl and a wife. I love eco-friendly things. I have a rockin’ sense of style and I work my business the same way.

And now a little about the business itself?

Meen Bags is an alternative to plastic or “green” bags. We offer a huge range of standard shoppers for groceries etc. We also stock various sizes & styles of shoppers, nappy bags, beach bags, backpacks and new to our range is MCN’s (modern Cloth Nappies), wetbags and nappy clutches. All of our products are handmade and Australian made too. Machine Washable is a big selling point with us, so every bag we make is cotton, lined with calico and WASHABLE :-)

How did you come up with your business name?

Meen Bags means “Material Green Bag” It’s a play on those words, thought of by my husband, better known as the ideas man.

What made you want to begin a work at home business and how did you get started?

My mum Irene made a few bags just for herself, took them shopping and the questions started, then the orders, and it rolled on from there. Irene has a job already, so I took on the selling of her bags, she still makes the standard shoppers in her spare time, and I make all the other bigger bags, MCN’s etc.

What inspires you to keep your business going?

The fact that we can offer a planet saving alternative to our local community is awesome. And there’s nothing quite like seeing someone walk past me using one of our Meen Bags. It makes it worthwhile to know they really are being used and our customers are happy with the performance, hence recommending their friends.

Do you have a current best-selling product or service? If yes, tell us about it.

Our best seller is our Practical Shopper. It is so versatile, and can be used for anything you want. The drawstring type handle is awesome, giving the bag a closure type feature without having to use extra snaps/buttons. The more you pull it, the more it closes up.

How do you advertise your business and what methods have proven more successful?

Car signage is a great way to advertise a local business
Car signage is a great way to advertise a local business!

We use Facebook the most, liking and sharing works well for us. We can let all our customers know when our markets are on, and if we will be there. Upcoming sales, etc. I also use Vistaprint as a source of marketing, they offer an excellent range of cards which we hand our to potential customers on a daily basis. I also own a HOT PINK Suzuki Swift, we have signage decals on the front and doors, so this works well.

How do you juggle your family and your work at home business? Any tips for other home based women entrepreneurs?

Organise, organise, organise!

And finally, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a home based business?

Go for it, work hard, and perservere. Start out small, and build. Get out among the people and spread the word. You might not make alot of money at a local market to start with, but it is a very cheap way to advertise.

Connect with Kaylene:

Name: Kaylene Pettit

Business: Meen Bags

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Meenbags

Location: Gympie, QLD, Australia