Liz Long is the founder of Bag the Habit and Learn to Make a Product. Liz helps people turn their product ideas to reality. She has helped many entrepreneurs in turning their concepts to successful manufactured goods. At age 23, Liz came up with the idea of selling reusable shopping bags to big retailers. The term ‘reusable shopping bag’ was relatively a new term at that time.
How did you come up with this idea?
Liz has always been environmentally minded, she was brought up that way. She spent some time in Europe and noticed how people bring their own bags and baskets to the grocery store. This was before the time reusable bags had become common. She started working on this idea properly in the year 2006. By 2008, reusable shopping bags had become a norm. When Liz started the business, she specifically had to explain the concept behind this business to everyone around her. Back then, it was something different. Many people were unaware of reusable shopping bags back then.
How did you convert this idea of reusable shopping bags to an actual product?
It was challenging, Liz says she had to learn about many things. She was very naïve to the whole process. She did everything on her own. She remembers sewing her first prototype using an office stapler. She looked for online bag suppliers. Back then, only Whole Foods Market was using these reusable shopping bags and Liz wanted to know who made these bags for them. However, it was not easy to find the suppliers. Liz spent a lot of time to find the right supplier; it was a long process, many phone calls and countless hours spent on Google searching for the right supplier.
How did you manage the money factor in the beginning?
Liz was not thinking about saving for retirement so she could take the risk and not worry about her savings. She also did some part time jobs like copywriting and worked in a teashop while launching her business. She managed to save a lot of money through these part time jobs. If needed, she would borrow money from her friends as well.
How did you manage to sell your products to big media outlets and companies?
Liz believes her early entry to the market with this niche was a big factor in getting the right amount of recognition. Her brand also focused on design from the start, it was one thing they were good at and made sure they invested quality time in coming up with unique and creative design. Liz says she has worked with many product entrepreneurs and most of them do not invest in the design. Making early entry in the market and having a solid brand identity helped them attract bigger clients.
What do you think is one common mistake people make when starting a new business?
Ignoring quality control is a big mistake. People work with a factory and they assume everything would go smooth. They over trust the factory and their production. However, you have to make sure the right quality is achieved, never take it for granted. You should implement all sorts of quality control practices even as a startup. The quality of your products will go a long way in helping your business grow.
How do you help people design a product?
Many factories often have design teams with them but many people do not know about it. Therefore, when we are looking for a factory to produce our product, we can always look for a factory with a design team, because then we can do kind of everything. This is one way of how Liz helps people design a product by looking out for factories with design teams. The other way is to look for an independent product designer or technical designer. You can search for them easily online and then they help people with the development process.
Where do you see yourself in the coming years?
Liz aspires to create more products that people can purchase affordably. Working with a consultant like Liz herself can be very expensive especially if you are trying to run a startup. Most of the courses are pricey for people who are just starting their business. Liz intends to create lower cost high volume products.
What does living your purpose mean to you?
For Liz it means working with creativity and without constraints. It means she gets to do what she wants to do without any restrictions. She prefers to live life on her own terms.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Not to rush, approach things steadily. You just have to live your life; do not try to skim through everything in life.
How can we connect with you?
Her website’s URL is
You can also follow her on Instagram
Find more about Bag the Habit from the following URL