Messy Bags – An origin story

The Messy Bags come from very humble beginnings.

I had been making and selling versions of the Messy Bag in another corner of the inter webs for years. When I launched a Kickstarter campaign in August of 2015, I quickly realised I was going to need something other than just the clothes to offer as a reward. Given the whole point of the Kickstarter was to raise the capital needed to start manufacturing the clothing line, it had to be something I offer without spending extra cash.

So I started where I was, used what I had, and did what I could.

I had a roll of organic cotton canvas that had been sitting around for forever with the vague idea of one day making bags, and tiny little pots of screen printing ink that was too thick to flood a screen. It felt wasteful to just wash the ink away, even if it WAS eco friendly, non toxic and water based, so it sat on a shelf waiting for a purpose.

I pulled out the canvas, gathered all the tiny pots of ink, nicked a paintbrush off my husband and I started cutting and painting. There were 8 options to choose from for your bag.

After making WAY more of these than I could even dream of during the Kickstarter, I was pretty done with painting the same thing. The Messy Bags were shelved for a little while as I focused on manufacturing and production.

Mid 2016, I dragged out the last piece of canvas and the ink that was left. None of the colours went together and I wasn’t even sure there was enough to cover the whole canvas. I didn’t have enough of any of them to mix together to make new colours. I used an old spatula to scrap as much of the ink out of the pot as I could and a screen printing squeegee to spread it as far as possible. Once the canvas was covered and I was out of ink, I cut the panel into pieces to make the bags.

Each bag was one of a kind and never to be repeated and I was hooked on the process. Those bags sold out within the hour.


And so began the Messy Bags as you see them today. A tiny piece of a whole. A one of kind piece, cut from a canvas. Each bag in a collection feels like it’s brothers and sisters, but every one is unique.


Inkling, and The Smallest Tribe, have always been about childhood. I wanted clothes that were comfy for your tiny kiddo, that let them play and explore their surroundings with ease. The Messy Bags are a natural extension of that desire to make childhood easy to experience. Their waterproof lining means they’re a practical solution to just about any kid mess you can encounter in your day. Mums, especially in those early years, are often last in the list of priorities. Sure, you might be dealing with a toddler who just wore their baby cino or ‘accidentally’ fell into the water at the beach, but at least you can do it with something that one of a kind and gorgeous to look at. A Messy Bag isn’t going to solve all of your problems…. but it’ll definitely help.


The biggest ever release of Messy Bags is coming soon. Stay tuned for all the details!