Why I Ditched My Tote for This Bag (and I’ll Never Go Back)

Check out Bartaile’s Kickstarter campaign where you can currently get your hands on your own bag for 20% off until May 18th.

There’s a certain kind of woman who walks the streets of Chicago, New York, LA, Austin, DC, and every other city and town around the world. She’s constantly busy kicking ass, taking names, and making her dreams come true.

She’s you… and me too. The only thing that slows me down (well, other than my addiction to queso and margaritas) is my tote bag – the same massive black hole I’ve been carrying since college. That’s why when I heard about the new Bartaile bag, I was ecstatic. Not only can it be worn three different ways (tote, backpack, or messenger), but its organized compartments are perfect for staying on top of every aspect of your day – from work to the gym, from happy hour to dinner, and from a lakefront walk back to work again. It’s the ultimate do-it-all carry-all, and the exact investment piece of which this post-grad has been dreaming. But of course, even the best investments require careful consideration, so I needed to talk to someone who already had it. Enter Katie Kett.

As a lifestyle and wedding photographer based in Chicago, Katie’s life is never boring. I recently caught up with her to follow her around for a workday, and we were able to chat about all things photography, life, and travel – and of course, that beautiful bag!

Katie’s day begins early. Around 6am, she wakes up with her husband and sweet dog Riley and gets straight to work. After a few hours of answering emails and beginning edits, though, it’s time to really hit the ground running around town, Bartaile bag in tow.



Reason #1 : The Ultimate Organizational Tool

Packing her bag the night before saves precious time in the morning, but the real lifesaver is the Bartaile bag’s thoughtfully created compartments.The outside pocket allows her to easily access important items like wallet, keys and cell phone, so she never ends up having to unload the entire contents of her bag in search of her debit card (a real thing that happens to me on a daily basis). The main compartment is big enough to fit everything she needs (even gym shoes) PLUS it has separate interior pockets for chargers, lip gloss, and hair ties. (Side note: I’ve bought approximately 27,000 hair ties in my life, yet I can’t ever seem to find JUST ONE, so I can’t appreciate this feature enough).



Reason #2: No Laptop Case Necessary

But the real star of the show here is the padded laptop compartment. It keeps her computer safe in the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s city streets and high traffic commutes, whether on foot, her bike, or the train, and it’s clear that this busy lady does all of the above.



Reason #3 : Wear It However You Want

“I love that you can wear this bag in a variety of ways,” she told me. “The backpack is probably my favorite and the most practical for me, but the ability to hold it in front of you on the El to keep things a bit more secure or cross body for easy access when traveling is awesome.”

After we ran from client meetings, a shoot and over to Soho House for some co-working, I couldn’t help but marvel at Katie’s attitude. She loves what she does, but she loves the people for whom she does it even more.

“My photography focuses on relationships and the connection between people, so it is important that couples feel comfortable with me. After working with them, I feel like we are good friends.”


Reason #4: So. Much. Storage.

Speaking of her vast clientele, Katie asked if I wanted to join her for a quick workout class before a networking event with some new clients and friends that night. I said I’d need to stop home to change, but Katie just laughed. She assured me that once I had my own Bartaile bag, I’d never find myself with that need again. Gym sneakers and a water bottle are tucked away in her main compartment, ready to go for the 6pm class. There goes my excuse to ever skip the gym after work again, I think to myself.



Reason #5 : It Transitions Seamlessly

After our workout and quick showers, we were greeted at the networking event with appetizers and cocktails. I usually hope these events have a coat check where I can hide my bulky work bag out of plain sight, but the Bartaile C12 bag transitioned seamlessly, and looks perfect with Katie’s all black ensemble.

When you’re in your early 20’s, pretty much any purchase over $40 is a major life decision. But what I learned after spending this day with Katie is that you’re paying for so much more than a bag. The C12’s high quality fabric is durable, stylish, and functional (not to mention it looks amazing with the lux gold hardware), but the real value comes with the peace of mind it offers.

Investing in something knowing that my belongings are secure and can go with me everywhere from a workout class to an after work happy hour, is definitely worth skipping my Starbucks latte for a month or two.

This post is sponsored by Bartaile but the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.