bsimple totes and bags are made from washable paper (yep, paper. washable paper!). These logic-defying examples of creative ingenuity are not only lightweight and incredibly durable, but we can report from first-hand experience (and grapevine authority) that they turn heads with their handsome good looks wherever they go.
We design and manufacture our totes and bags in the US, using a patent-pending construction that makes sure they hold on to as much of their natural durability as possible, while keeping the handmade process efficiently humming along. Our small, passionate team is as committed to the creative pursuit of well-crafted construction and innovative, thoughtful design as it is to the mindful pursuit of a simpler, nobler way of living and doing business.
BETSY HOYING, founder
Betsy’s no stranger to the delight an ingeniously crafted tote can bring to a person’s day. Way back in 1975, her handmade bag won honorable mention at the Shelby County, Ohio 4-H Club competition. She attributes her win to a combination of her laser-focused goal to model the tote at the county fair (see proud photo above) and her mom’s save-the-day resourcefulness (i.e., a closet full of fabric swatches, rickrack and buttons) that helped Betsy pull off the project when she cut a hole in the bag while rushing to finish it the night before judging.
This award-winning start in product design and production led to a career in retail and merchandising that has taken Betsy from one end of the country to the other and across the globe. Betsy’s work has left a celebrated impression on a host of great brands, large and small, and the insights she gleaned into the industry’s behind-the-scenes machinations made a lasting impression on her. In addition to feeding her creative spirit, bsimple creations launches Betsy’s mission to refashion the disturbing trend of fast-fashion into a simpler and more globally conscious way of making and selling the things we love.
LAVINIA CUMMINGS, founding partner
With retail and merchandising cred that started with degrees from not one, but one fashion institute per coast, and an impressive set of stints that span from La Jolla to Soho, West Virginia to Fort Wayne, it’s fair to say that Lavinia’s keen eye for design and fashion knows no bounds.
So it seems about right that when she and Betsy met at work their wealth of shared professional experience and their shared thrill for uncharted territory quickly sparked the twinkle of soul sister in each other’s eyes. The yin to the other’s yang, the Thelma to the other’s Louise, and the sounding board to each other’s what if, Lavinia’s winning combination of strong know-how and a deft, creative touch brings that oh-so essential, partner-in-crime, go-for-it spirit to every step in the bsimple journey.
LORI HAUER, founding partner
Born and raised where palm trees rule and those rules of life that seem hard-and-fast in other parts of the country soften a bit under perpetually sunny skies, Lori happily owns that So-Cal, glass-half-full approach to life we could all use a little more of to get us through the day. She came by her serious business chops early, cutting her teeth on every facet of the family’s wholesale telecommunications company, from the ins and outs of the warehouse and equipment, to testing, shipping, logistics and bookkeeping. She straddles her co-pilot duties on the fun, crazy bsimple plane with her day-to-day duties as partner and owner of the family business—and, oh yeah, her additional little side job as wife, and mom to five (holey moley, five!) kids.