Like most women I know, I am always on the lookout for the perfect handbag, something that is stylish but practical – and I think I have finally found it in the Grace Bag. As well as being a great handbag this is also perfectly designed to take along your iPad or iPad Mini. Although I have lived in the USA for almost 20 years off and on, I still can’t call it a purse – to me a purse will always be a smaller thing that you put your money, credit cards and coins in.
I first came across Mia Tui because my Irish friends were raving about them, so I decided to see for myself what was so special about these bags. Mia Tui is based in Milton Keynes, England it was founded in 2010 by Charlotte, a busy working mom of two. Charlotte couldn’t find that perfect bag to fit her busy lifestyle, so she decided to make it herself, and the Mia Tui brand was born. Initially the Mia Tui bags were sold as diaper (nappy) bags but they soon expanded to create stylish practical bags for all kinds of busy women, not just those with young kids. They make a whole range of different bags for women, and the Grace is their everyday handbag.
The Grace comes is a variety of colors and I choose the Aubergine, it’s a rich dark color that is practical for everyday use but sophisticated too. I was excited when the package containing my Grace bag arrived and I wasn’t disappointed when I opened it – it is a gorgeous looking bag, very smart and stylish. The exterior really looks like a good quality leather but it is actually made of a synthetic material that is waterproof and easily wipes clean. The stitching and all the details are impeccably done, and the bag just oozes quality. One of my pet peeves about handbags is black linings- almost every bag I own has them, and I’m forever losing my mobile phone and other accessories in them- they just disappear against the dark lining. No such problem with the Mia Tui bags, they all have bright linings that make it easy to find things- my Grace bag has a light, bright pink lining which is waterproof and wipes clean too.
A great feature of the Grace Bag is how well it keeps everything organized. As well as the main bag it comes with a zip-top clear plastic bag useful for carrying make-up, (in my case make that charging cables, screen cleaners, band-aids, headache pills, tissues and my daughter’s hair clips and ties.) It also comes with a matching clutch bag which is handy for keeping together all your personal items, I keep my wallet and change purse in here.
The Grace Bag can be used as an traditional underarm handbag or you can add the long strap to turn it into a cross-body messenger, which is how I tend to use it (keeps it securely in place when I’m running after my 3 kids!). On the front is a small pocket- handy for things you need in a hurry such as a train or bus ticket, I also keep some small bills in there, and put my car keys in when I’m getting in and out of the car picking the kids up from school.
Inside the bag
There are 2 side pockets – the clutch bag and clear vinyl bag fit in these, but they are also perfectly sized for an iPad Mini. You can keep them flush against the side of the bag or un-snap the corners to make the pockets bigger.
At one end is an insulated water bottle pocket, which also works well for a compact umbrella on overcast days.
At the other end is a cellphone pocket with 2 pen (or stylus) holders.
There is also a long elastic with a clip on the end to attach your keys to – great if you (ahm, like me) have a tendency to mis-place your house keys.
There is a large central section that you can easily fit a full sized iPad into and lots of other things a busy mom needs to carry
Overall, I think this is a really well designed bag and I highly recommend it. This bag, looks good, feels good, is easy to keep clean, really well organized and the extra interior bags are a nice touch. I’ve got a lot of compliments on how nice it looks and everyone is always impressed by all the detail and organization inside. As I have been using the Grace bag I keep finding myself thinking “she really gets it, why haven’t other handbag manufactures thought of that ?”
If you aren’t already familiar with Mia Tui bags I’d recommend checking out their website today – the Grace really is the best handbag I’ve ever owned and I love the fact that I can easily and discreetly take along my iPad or iPad Mini and accessories and still have room for all my other essentials.
Here is a video video of Charlotte, the founder of Mia Tui, demonstrating the Grace Bag.
The Grace bag can be ordered online from the Mia Tui website, it retails for £45 (about $70 at current exchange rates) which I think is very good value for the quality. They can ship worldwide, shipping costs will vary, for the USA the shipping cost is currently $10.
SPECIAL OFFER : until the end of June Mia Tui is offering FREE shipping to USA and Canada on all their bags. Use code FreeShipping on website (or FreeShippingCA for Canadians)
Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).