When mom-daughter duo Kim Hickman and Katie Thompson of Diosa Designs set out to create their latest product, they interviewed more than 500 women between the ages of 20 and 75 to learn what exactly would make their dream backpack. The result is the Maya Backpack ($249 USD): ethical, fashionable and functional, and perfect for back-to-school, back-to-work, travel or everyday use. We chatted with the two to find out more about what makes this backpack a dream, and are giving you a chance to win! —Vita Daily
Hello Kim and Katie! Please tell us a bit about yourselves to start.
We’re a mother-daughter entrepreneur duo hailing from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Four years ago, we saw a gap in the market for a functional, yet fashionable women’s backpack, so we joined forces to create Diosa Designs.
When and why did you add the Maya Backpack to your brand Diosa Designs’ range?
Maya launched in July 2021 and was our first product to market. Maya is the result of over three years of research, the comments and opinions of more than 500 women, and eight prototypes. Maya meets at the intersection of fashion and function. We know firsthand that women are busy and wear many hats in their day-to-day life. The Maya Backpack helps women accomplish everything and more by being their ultimate everyday carryall.
What makes this backpack unique, useful and sustainable?
The Maya is unlike any other backpack on the market. She is sleek and fashionable, made of luxurious vegan leather in shades of cashmere and charcoal and her inside lining is made from recycled water bottles. Maya has numerous pockets in both her compartments, including an inside water bottle pocket, laptop sleeve that holds up to a 15-inch laptop, a separate tablet sleeve and plenty of easy to reach shallow pockets. One of our favourite features is an inside pocket to plug in a portable power bank, like our eco-friendly Nimble, that connects to the outside powerport so you can charge your electronics on the go. Maya has an outside pocket with a retractable key leash so you’re never fumbling around for your keys. What most people don’t know about Maya is she’s actually five bags in one! With your purchase you will receive the Maya Backpack, a protector bag that doubles as a yoga bag, a clutch or cosmetic bag that can be worn as a crossbody with the included strap, a small coin purse and a laundry bag. We’ve made sure Maya has everything you need to help you conquer your day in style.
What does your brand name, Diosa, mean?
It means Goddess in Spanish. We’re both inspired by the Mayan culture and its ancient craft of weaving. Weaving is a maternal art that is passed down from grandmothers, to mothers to daughters. As a mother and daughter business, we knew we wanted to give back to these women and help them create their own business through their craft. Diosa aims to help every woman become the goddess she truly is.
How else do you, as a business, give back to the global community?
Diosa aims to give back 1% to women and 1% to the planet each year, and we are currently working on our B Corp Certification. We are currently working with an empowerment centre in Guatemala and selling their products on our website. We are also working closer to home with the Canadian Cancer Society to donate a percentage of proceeds to Breast Cancer during the month of October. Diosa was created to help women so giving back is an important part of our mission.
So, what will each of you be packing in your Maya Backpack this fall/winter?
Kim: Maya covers everything I need to rock my day! Including space for my laptop, cords, Nimble power bank for work and then S’well water bottle, yoga clothes (in drawstring bag) and yoga mat for my after work yoga class!
Katie: I’m lucky to be able to work from anywhere so I often use Maya as my desk-in-a-bag, complete with my laptop, bluetooth keyboard, wireless mouse and AirPods. I have a six-month-old Beagle who keeps me very busy so the Maya is great for holding her leash, treats and portable water bowl.
Win! A $249 USD Maya Backpack From Diosa Designs!
Congrats Michelle C. of Burnaby, B.C., who will receive a $249 USD Maya Backpack from Diosa Designs! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) on Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.