New Seagull Bags series does more than carry your belongings

People love Seagull Bags and why wouldn’t they? Its bags are locally made, well constructed, and durable. With so many great features, what else could the retailer do to make its merchandise even better? Seagull Bags now offers a line of uniquely designed bags, with a percentage of proceeds going to a charity selected by the bags’ artist.

Each series will consist of four bags and 10 percent of sales will support the selected charity. Additionally, each design will be inspired by the charity it is raising funds to support.

“Each employee designs their own series,” says Maika Karnes, Seagull Bags shop manager. “Some employees will choose to use the standard Seagull bag design and create artwork for the flap, while others will be experimenting with new bag design ideas.”

Proceeds from the first set of bags will support Feeding America, a charity devoted to feeding America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks. The bags were designed by Kelly Costella, a former Seagull Bags employee. The issue of hunger is reflected in the bags’ farm and agricultural-inspired designs.

“Each employee finds a charity that has moved them in some way, and then picks color combos and  artwork that echo the theme somehow,” Karnes says. “The designer meets with our art department to conform ideas and then the embroidery or applique is executed and sent to our building department.”

The philanthropic concept behind the bags came about in a brainstorming session in December 2011. Each employee will design a series of four bags to support a charity that has inspired them. The design will use colors and artwork that echo the theme of the selected charity. Next the ideas and designs are sent to the art department for confirmation. Finally the embroidery and/or applique is completed and sent to the building department for construction of the bag.

“I think the designs are really stellar so far,” Karnes says. “Also, people feel good about giving, and that includes us too.”

Seagull Bags
240 N. 5th St., Suite 160
Columbus, OH, 43215
Established: 2004
Number of Employees: 8

The next series of bags will support the efforts of New Life Orphanage in Uganda. New Life operates an orphanage and primary school for children in Uganda who are orphaned due to parents dying from HIV/AIDS.

Artist Series Charity Bags are available for purchase at

Philanthropic Pursuit is a monthly feature on The Metropreneur, powered by Community Shares of Mid OhioIs your business giving back to the community or partnering with a local nonprofit in a unique way? We want to hear about it. Contact Ryan Kovalaske at [email protected].