Review and Giveaway! Mad by Design Ecototes makes the Perfect Messenger Bag

by on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Mad by Design is the company that makes Mad Bags & Ecototes. Now,  Mad Bags have emphasis on what is decorative, featuring bags, purses and wallets with gab-worthy designs and unique elements like shells, taffeta silk, animal-friendly leather, and even bamboo. Ecototes is a different because it has an emphasis on the function of a bag. These canvas totes, travel bags,  key fobs, shopping bags, cell phone holders, and luggage karts have a handful of different colorful designs which range from fleur de lis to polka dot). What’s remarkable about Mad Bags and Ecototes is how reasonably priced they are. Considering some of these designs, you’d expect to pay more if you wanted to own one. I fear I may have gone overboard in sharing with you my favorite picks, but it’s so hard to only choose a few – there are so many that I could easily see myself holding and loving.

Favorite Picks:

unique handbags

Plum Swinger Handmade Shell Handbag $36

perfect wallets

Beeker Blue Clutch Wallet $24.00 (Remember how I LOVE kisslock wallets? They’re the best kind of wallet to own.)

best messenger bags for college

Spring Fair Eco Laptop Bag ON SALE $32.00

pink clutch

Blush Red Compact  SALE $28.00

cute clutches

Cold Purple Linen Clutch $28.00

retro style purse

Checkered Frame $42.00

silk rose wallets

Fuchsia Rose Silk Wallet $16.00 (This is a very popular sort of style right now at stores everywhere from H&M to Black House | White Market)

shell bag

Shale Soft Tote Handmade Shell Handbag $43.00

My Personal Experience with  an Ecototes Bag by Mad by Design

I have the Black on White Eco Messenger Bag, which I am in absolute love with. You know how you go around, longing to have a perfect big bag that can hold all of your essentials when you’re going around as a student, or mom, or just girl who likes to carry half her life in a bag? Well, I’m like that. But it’s difficult to find this ideal bag. It has to be sturdy, large enough, the strap has to be comfortable… and did I mention that it should be cute? Well, this Ecototes bag checks all of those boxes.

The strap is perfect and just the right width, and I love that it lays against me instead of how most bag straps are – which makes the bag float away from you and feel wobbly. The pockets are slightly concealed but easily accessible, and the little zipper pulls are smooth and fun to play with.  The bag is durable, and exactly what I needed for spring/summer/fall to carry things around. For those who love their tech gear, you could easily fit a laptop in this if you wanted to. If I wear this for years and I need to get a new bag, I will likely be getting this exact same bag for myself – just in a new pattern to enjoy. I’m the kind of person who likes to find something that I need, and something that WORKS – and then I stay loyal to that. This is a great multi-use bag, ideal for just about anything. I can take this on a trip to my friends place in Pittsburgh, to the library when I pick up the books I order in advance, walking at the park with Shopdog, or just shopping with friends on the weekends (okay, I’ll be honest – I shop more than just on the weekends).

This particular modern and whimsical pattern of “Black on White” is my current favorite pattern that Ecototes offers because it’s fun and youthful without looking immature. Why settle on a boring solid when you can have a pattern that will match just about everything, and not bore you?

There’s a front pocket with a flap with velcro patches spaced evenly so that it closes securely. Above that is a zippered pocket that has two zippers, which allow you to open it at whatever spot you like. Now, above THAT is another zippered compartment which is slightly concealed by a flap of the bag. This is the largest compartment, and inside there is its own little zippered pouch, as well as open pockets for a cell phone or handy lipgloss. The material of the inside of all of these pockets is black and shiny – like a nylon that can be easily cleaned and wiped should that lipgloss spill open by mistake. Oh – and there is one more zippered pocket on the back of the bag. If you like to be organized, this messenger bag is perfect. I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed. As for the dimensions of the bag (which is an award-winning design, not that I’m surprised by that!) they are 15″x13″x6″.

Want to be green? Don’t worry, these Ecototes are made of Post Industrial reclaimed canvas, and are totally earth-friendly! Most eco-friendly messenger bags for sale are dowdy looking in dull army greens or navy blues, not to mention their design is predictable and they look like something you’d buy in an old bargain bin at a sports store. That’s not what a stylish woman wants. I know this, because I’m a stylish woman! I don’t know why more people don’t want to fuse function and style into something for the gal on the go. This messenger bag is like a pair of super cute women’s yoga pants (as opposed to a pair of cheap unisex yoga pants)  because it’s comfortable and chic at the same time. I know it’s what I was searching for. Too often “comfy and useful” translates to boring. But not here.

This perfect messenger bag is on sale for $28.00 (Originally $48.00) at Twisted Orchid, with free shipping. I would definitely classify this as one of the best messenger bags for college, best bags for moms and as one of the best messenger bags for women.

Black on White Eco Messenger Bag

Black on White Eco Messenger Bag

Polka Dot Eco Messenger Bag

Polka Dot Eco Messenger Bag

Fleur de Lis Eco Messenger Bag

Fleur de Lis Eco Messenger Bag

Shop: Mad by Design at Twisted Orchid. This website offers Mad by Design purses and totes on sale with free shipping.

GREAT GIVEAWAY PRIZE: One winner will win one purse of your choosing of up to $75.00.  This is courtesy of  Mad by Design and Twisted Orchid.

– You must be a subscriber of the She’s Smart daily newsletter.  We often have giveaways, so subscribing will help you stay up to date on all of them.
Your e-mail subject line should be: MAD BY DESIGN
Mail to with your name, address and age for each entry.
– Please note that you’re a subscriber in your initial e-mail.

Mandatory First Entry – Subscribe then Share! Visit Mad by Design on Facebook become a fan and leave them a comment on their wall and let me know via e-mail that you did that. OR visit Twisted Orchid then mail me from your subscribed e-mail account with the exact name of  one of the Mad Bags or Ecototes you like that I haven’t already mentioned. If you win I will let you go back over the site to decide which you’d like mailed to you.

EXTRA ENTRIES – mail me for every extra entry you participate in!

Additional Entry #1 Tweet! Provide your Twitter name so we can see if you’re following Jessica Rae on Twitter , and provide a link to you tweeting about this contest with the exact phrase Mad by Design #Giveaway @shessmart (link to this page using – which will shrink the link for you)”. Not sure how to show a link to a tweet to show me it? Just click on the date and it’ll provide you with the individual tweet you made.

Additional Entry #2 Stumble! Provide your StumbleUpon name – stumble this page or site.

Additional Entry #3 Blog! Provide a link to a blog post you’ve written about this contest of at least 50 words. This can be a blog hosted anywhere – blogspot, livejournal, etc.

Additional Entry #4 Blogroll us! Provide a link to a blog where you’ve put us on your blogroll. This can be a blog hosted anywhere – blogspot, livejournal, etc. It cannot be a nofollow link.

USA residents! 18+ only, no P.O boxes. Winner chosen by unless stated otherwise. The winner(s) will be e-mailed. If you win but are not a subscriber with a validated e-mail you forfeit your prize! If you win but haven’t followed the rules, you are disqualified. This has already happened! We thrive on organization! The winner is picked on April 26th, 2010!

Good luck to all of you smart ladies, and have a sparkling day of genuine smiles. You KNOW that you deserve it. XO – Jessica, Eve, Nancy, Shopcat and Shopdog

She’s smart – she’s you! Shop smart because smart shopping is always in style! Our style under 100 blog is here for you because hiring a personal shopper is way too expensive.

Leaving comments does NOT enter you into this giveaway. It will only give you a pimple, okay?!

Pictures from the company’s website. No copyright infringement intended. Disclosure: I was provided with an item to review but was not paid or compensated in any other way. The opinion stated is of my own, you can trust it.

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