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Locally Made Fashionable Bags for Moms

A Danville “momtrepreneur” packs smarts, style, and sass—with room to spare.


Published:

Jessie Chamberlain

Mary Montane first demonstrated her quality handiwork as a contestant on Survivor in 2008, when she wove a shelter from palm fronds that stayed sturdy and strong through the tropical rains. Then, the Danville mother of two turned her one-sewing-machine Etsy shop into a full-fledge manufacturing operation in just a year’s time. No big deal, right?

“The year 2012 was the busiest time of my life,” says Montane, founder of Foxy Vida baby-bag company. “I had a newborn and was pumping, sewing, nursing, sewing.”

It all started after a designer diaper bag left her unimpressed. She tapped into her art background to create a bag that blended fashion with the function she needed. Then, she listed it for sale on a whim. Custom requests came flying in—especially for the Wet Bag, now a best-seller—along with mom-suggested tweaks to maximize the design’s performance. And just like that, a waiting list and company began.

Four years and another baby later, Montane’s bags can now be purchased at Nordstrom. Foxy Vida’s San Francisco–manufactured line includes high-end totes, satchels, and clutches, which feature custom fabrics, glam hardware, vegan leather, and waterproof interiors.

“A business was never my goal, but I wanted to give moms what they couldn’t find,” says Montane.

By moms, for moms: Now that’s a winning strategy. (No palm fronds required.) foxyvida.com.

 

Jessie Chamberlain

Montane’s Mom Tips

Ideal Afternoon Outing
Feeding the ducks at Danville’s Blackhawk Plaza and lunch at The Little Pear is a favorite excursion. “They have plenty of high chairs, and my kids love the grilled cheese sandwich,” says Montane. Hit Draeger’s Market across the street for duck food.

Get Green
“My first child sparked an organic revolution at home,” says Montane. Her favorite upcycle haunts in Danville include Snickerdoodles for kids’ clothing and The Bloom Space for vintage furniture.

 

In Her Bag

Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Just a dollop keeps her two-year-old’s eczema-prone skin soothed, not to mention Montane’s lips baby soft.
Scünci No-Damage Hair Elastics: “They’re supercomfy, don’t break, and keep the girls’ hair tamed through school, gymnastics, and swimming,” Montane says.
Fresh Monster Kids Hair Detangler: Montane swears this all-natural spray makes brushing out her daughter’s Rapunzel-like hair (and its tough knots) a breeze.
Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen: “This stuff works, yet is extra gentle on sensitive skin—we never leave home without it,” she says.

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