Fall 2013
The Tote-al Package By Haley Shapley

Creating Custom Bags

Retailers who want to take their tote bag selection a step further can carry their very own private-label bags. marketing director Bob Shirilla says custom bags are one of the biggest trends they’re seeing, with customers ranging from couples who are hosting destination weddings and want to give beach totes to their guests to parents looking for party favors for their children’s birthdays to cosmetic surgeons sending patients home with a bag full of the supplies they’ll need. Stores, too, can find value in offering one-of-a-kind totes.

At Spreadshirt, a worldwide platform for personalized apparel and accessories, vice president of global sales and marketing Mark Venezia says that in Europe, quite a few large retailers offer their eco-friendly cotton canvas tote bags and allow shoppers to customize them. “If people can put their own message on it, they’re more apt to carry something like that,” he says. “That’s what’s become more and more popular —whole customization.”

What you put on your bags — or allow customers to add to them — is totally up to you. There are options far beyond blaring your logo in big print on the side. “Without a doubt, we can do it classy,” Shirilla says. “We have done some bags where only the lining has a private label.”

Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is a Seattle-based freelance writer who 
specializes in retail, travel and health topics. Learn more at

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