Tote Bag With Timely Message Goes Viral

By Adrian Gomez Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) With an increased call to cut public funding for Planned Parenthood, one New Mexico woman wanted to help in some way. Her inspiration came in the form of a tote bag which is picking up popularity across the nation.

Albuquerque Journal, N.M.

Call it a happy accident.

Truth is, Kyle Durrie is grateful -- and a little tired.

The Silver City resident owns Power and Light Press, and on Dec. 29, she had an idea to create a tote bag.

The bag had a message about how Planned Parenthood helps women across the country with its services.

"It seemed very timely," she said. "With a new administration coming in, this is one of the organizations on the chopping block."

There has been an increased call to cut public funding for Planned Parenthood, which offers an array of services to women, including abortions.

The bag costs $15 and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Within three days -- on New Year's Eve -- the company was able to make a donation of $20,000 to the nonprofit.

"It wasn't a stroke of genius," Durrie said of the concept. "I was doodling in my sketchbook. When we launched, I didn't think anyone more than my regular customers would order it."

It caught the attention of some high-powered Hollywood players.

Olivia Wilde, who filmed "Cowboys & Aliens" in New Mexico in 2010, posted a photo of the tote bag on her Instagram six days ago.

With 2.2 million followers, she is one of the many influencers who have taken note of the tote. Hollywood makeup artist Jamie Greenberg also took notice. As did musician KT Tunstall.

All three women posted to Instagram and a quick search of #standwithplanned parenthood, turned up nearly 100 posts.

At this point, there have been preorders for more than 12,000 bags.

To keep up with the high demand, Durrie has teamed with another print shop, which can handle the higher volume.

Durrie said the reason for creating the bag is simple -- she's a female business owner who employs four women.

"There's a lot at stake," she said. "We wanted to do some good. We never expected it to be this big."

Durrie also handles many of the social media accounts for her company.

She maintains an active routine online, but has never experienced anything like this.

"The sales have been astounding," she said. "And people are really excited to support this cause. And it's such an approachable price point. It's resonating with people and I couldn't be happier. It's a strong message."

The message, though, had to be corrected a bit. In the original version, the tote bag said a woman can get a mammogram at Planned Parenthood.

Actually, the organization gives referrals for mammograms, but only provides breast exams.

"It was pointed out to us and I quickly fixed it," she said. "All of the bags ordered will have the correct information."

Durrie began her business -- whose main focus is greeting cards -- in Portland, Ore., in 2009. She moved to Silver City in 2012.

"It's been a nice place to grow the business," she said.

The company recently sent out another donation of $50,000 to Planned Parenthood.

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