How One Entrepreneur Packs Powerful Causes into her Backpacks

October 05, 2017

Ace backback

Sometimes one’s purpose can manifest in subtle ways, emerging unexpectedly from a passion that’s been smoldering for years, untapped. For Danielle Magee, that’s how the idea for ACE Backpacks began.

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Danielle’s first “aha” moment occurred while living in Uganda.

She watched a troop of Ugandan students proudly making their way to school, neatly dressed in matching uniforms. But it’s what was missing that made the sight stand out to her: backpacks.

Instead, each student balanced a stack of books on their heads, and Danielle couldn’t help but think about how a “staple” school item in Western culture might make such a big difference in the lives of these Ugandan children.

A seed was planted for an idea: free backpacks for these kids, for every backpack sold back home. But soon Danielle learned about a problem bigger than a lack of backpacks. Many of those same children would likely never finish school, due to injustices like child labor and early marriage; all stemming from poverty.

This, in combination with an existing passion for girls education rights, suddenly made the reason behind ACE so much deeper than a need for backpacks. It’s really all about advocacy, and creating symbols to amplify the important work. The physical product turned into a meaningful symbol.

Fast forward to today, and Danielle has grown the idea into a full-fledged entrepreneurial adventure. Now, after much hard work, ACE Backpacks is finally ready to make its debut.

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Danielle describes her brand as having a focus on empowering women to “live like an ACE”. But what exactly does that mean?

“An ACE is someone who spearheads their dreams with fear, but achieves them with courage,” she says. “Someone who has struggles but, despite the fears, decides to keep going.”

Besides its inherent meaning, ACE is also an acronym for Advocate, Create, and Empower. These form the three pillars on which ACE’s mission is built, and guide everything from the way the bags are produced to the beneficiaries of the company’s humanitarian work.

“We’re advocating for girls education, a more environmentally friendly planet, and human rights,” Danielle explains. “We’re creating jobs in the USA. And we’re empowering women to be their true authentic selves.”

So where does a backpack come into play? A recent post on ACE’s Instagram account sums it up the best:

“A backpack to me symbolizes a future. It symbolizes success. It means, ‘I'm going somewhere.’ Wherever it is that you dream of going, The Daniel empowers you to get there.”

The Daniel” is ACE’s first backpack, and it was created as a symbol of what it means to be an ace. It’s especially designed with working (or traveling) women in mind, and also symbolizes equality in the workplace for women.

But ACE doesn’t stop with social issues: the well-being of the planet was high on Danielle’s radar while considering the materials and methods for production of the backpacks.

“I wanted to make sure my backpack also did minimal harm by sourcing as ethically and sustainably as I could,” she says.

The outer fabric used on The Daniel is a vegan water-resistant waxed canvas, while the inner lining is a blend of recycled water bottles and organic cotton. And every part of the backpack is sourced from the USA. The zippers are made domestically in Los Angeles, and the entire bag is assembled by ACE’s production partner in New Jersey.

Ace backpack

In just a few weeks, Danielle is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of The Daniel and get it out into the world.

Check out her website and get signed up to be notified when the campaign begins.

A sustainably-made (and gorgeous) backpack, with a mission rooted in equality and education. We’re certainly in love. What do you think?



3 Responses

Joy & Lorfy Delgado
Joy & Lorfy Delgado

October 14, 2017

Your parents must be very very proud of you. At early age engaging this is big fulfillment both

Kristine
Kristine

October 14, 2017

Unbelievably proud of you, Ms. Magee. I can’t wait for this debut. See you (accessibly) at Barney’s!
x

Elvie Ancheta
Elvie Ancheta

October 13, 2017

So good to see a young entrepreneur embarking on a meaningful purposeful mission! Way to go Daniel! I know your wonderful mother!

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