We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Ourada and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mary, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I keep going for one reason and that is Faith. Not faith in a religious sense but faith in believing in something. The idea for my travel bag design did not come to me from thinking long and hard about designing a better travel bag. My idea came to me from somewhere else, it just popped into my head from nowhere. I have had ideas like this throughout my life and I think we all do. Something that comes to you that makes you stop and say “that’s a cool idea”. In the past I would get excited about it for a day or two maybe tell a couple of people and then let it go back to wherever it came from, but not this time. I call these “divine ideas”. Because of where and how I received the idea for my bag design gives me the faith to keep going and make it a reality. I think of it as being given a gift and this time I am not returning it. I always say it is not my design it was given to me from wherever you want to call it, I am just the conduit to bring it to life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets Strata Bags apart from the others is our three tiered bag design. Three levels one on top of the other each with their own zippered compartment keeping your things organized and easy to find. Separate your shoes from your clothes, your clothes from your toiletries. However and whatever you need to organize for an overnight, weekend or as an added companion bag for a longer trip. No more digging to the bottom of a bag trying to find something only to mess up and wrinkle up your clothes. The three level design gives the design of the bag some style by putting in a coordinating print which also sets it apart from the others. We will also be making them in solid colors in the future for people who prefer that as well. I am just now launching my bag design with a limited number of bags to see how they are received. This was one piece of advice I was given, start out with a small quantity so you are not stuck with a bunch of inventory if it is not a hit. The journey has been 2 and a half years in the making. I intended to launch last Spring but then Covid happened and it got pushed back awhile. I am aiming to target the holiday season and everyone’s future travel goals from when this Pandemic is over. In the meantime it is also a great bag for an overnight/weekender bag when staying over at your honey’s home or a road trip. This bag has so many possibilities.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give credit to many people that I have met through networking in various business groups throughout San Diego. I cannot say enough about the power of networking. I have met so many great people that have helped me along the way with encouragement, tips, and connections. I have been missing these groups so much since Covid upended our lives. I would like to thank Barbara Ham for her invitation to her business meetup got the ball rolling. Through her I was introduced to Lynda Sunshine West and her women’s business group – Women Action Takers. Also, the ladies I met through Lynda such as Ruth Young and Desiree Arias a couple of fellow inventors from that group.
Mary Ourada myself, I am a professional photographer.