As different parts of the world open up, close down, and open back up again, one thing is for sure — we ALL have the travel bug after the past year and a half of quarantine. Whether your next getaway is right around the corner or still on the vision board, travel influencer Imani Bashir (@sheisimanib) has created a duffle bag made with intention and purpose. The Expat Bag is a multifunctional duffle made with parents (namely mothers) in mind. It’s waterproof, partially insulated (yes — it’s a cooler!), and even breaks down into smaller bags. Bashir said the idea for the bag came to her in 2019 while living in China.
“My son was born in Poland and began traveling at 6 weeks old and with all the travels we had done by the time he was 3, I thought it was time there were products that lessened the stress for people traveling with small children–which in turn everyone can use. My purpose for creating this product is less about travel for the sake of taking nice pictures of social media (and that’s not shade to anyone), but I want travel to venture into an era where we are more receptive to learning. I want The Takeoff Collection to represent cultural immersion and acceptance.”
This very impressive bag has already been featured on lists in New York Magazine and can currently be found in select H&M stores. However, in a competitive retail market, Bashir still has an uphill battle ahead of her. She says getting the right exposure has been her biggest obstacle to date. Thanks to a non-profit called Buy From A Black Woman (@buyfromablackwoman), the partnership with mega-retailer H&M came about as part of their year-long The Black Woman Inspire Tour.
What’s this CEO, mom, and maverick looking forward to most next? Getting her product in the hands of eager travelers. Bashir says, “I’m most excited about the world opening back up so people can truly utilize the products. My greatest goal is to have my brand picked up by a major store chain and partner with travel and tourism companies to provide my products to travelers, worldwide.” As for me, I don’t have any plans to go abroad yet… I’m just excited for a duffle bag that can I can stuff with sandwiches and take to the park for now.
The Expat Bag currently comes in two colors and retails for $149.99 through the company’s website. They also sell a lovely Passport Travel Set for $35 if you’re looking for a great gift for the traveler in your life.