The Creation of the Ear Bag

Posted by Amy Goninan on

As a little girl, I dreamed of vinyl.  I would sort the vinyl, build little vinyl houses, and cradled the vinyl next to me as I slept.

Just kidding!  Although vinyl is the running theme of Amy’s Small World, it was not a childhood dream.  I never even dreamed about owning my own little shop much. Now, I love it so much that it is beginning to feel like a big part of myself, and I hope that people who come across this post see that Amy’s Small World isn’t just about practical, cute bags.  It’s an extension of myself, but I won’t kid myself. I know you are mostly here for the bags, not for my awkward ramblings.

If you ever see me at Disneyland, I will probably have a handful of clear bags in my arms.


The creation of the bags starts with a shop swap (where 2 small shops trade items instead of buying from each other).  Krista from simple princess crafts makes clever fan inspired tumblers among other things, and I knew that I just had to have one for Erik.  She designed a Stitch tumbler for him, which he still uses all the time!

Krista and I are both Disneyland locals, so we met up to exchange gifts!


At the time, I was making hoop art, and I just started to design my own bags, which I called the triple zip bags.  Krista was a mom to one sweet girl and pregnant with another, so she was looking for something a bit more practical than what I was offering.  She asked if I could make a bag to hold baby essentials in her parks bag. She also wanted it clear to make going through security faster and not have anyone touching things her baby would later put in her mouth.


This is the hoop art I used to offer in my shop.


Making the first bag wasn’t easy because vinyl is TOUGH to work with.  I tried to make my original triple zip bag with a vinyl lining, and I FAILED!!! I don’t even have picture evidence because I was so frustrated that I cut it up into little pieces and dumped it into the trash.  I was so upset because I thought that I would let Krista down, and I felt like a complete fraud as a maker. I knew that she was giving me something awesome, and I wanted to do the same for her. I don’t think that I slept much that weekend because I kept designing and redesigning bag after bag.  Finally I came up with my first clear bags! I was so nervous to give them to her, but she really liked them!

Please ignore my haircut and focus on my first attempt at showing off one of the uses of the clear bag


After the swap, I was so excited to post about these bags!  I made more in different sizes, posted them on Etsy and Instagram, and waited to see what people thought.  I knew that these were unique, and I really believed they would help people at the parks.

Well…..days and weeks went by with NOTHING! Very few engaged with my Instagram post, and no one bought.  The listing was just sitting there for months. Meanwhile, I was using them for all sorts of things at home.   I used them at the gym, at Disneyland, at home- everywhere! I just knew there was something special about the bags, and I believed that these bags were something people would want if they tried them.  Knowing my how terrible I am at photography, I was sure that people weren’t in love with these bags because they just couldn’t tell how cool they were. I took my iphone and a clear bag next to a window to try again. Hoping to give people a sense of the size of the bag, I grabbed my Disney ears off of my bookshelf (every Disney fan has at least one set of ears on their bookshelf, right?), stuck it in the bag, and snapped a picture.  

This was the creation of the ear bag.  Almost as soon as I posted the picture on Instagram, someone bought it, and others were asking to buy it!  I was so ecstatic because this listing had been available for months, and no one cared. The next thing I knew, I had to close down my shop frequently to keep up with orders because people now knew what I saw all along - these bags are simple, practical, and a little bit magical.

One little picture changed my life.  I wish I could say that this was a stroke of genius or a brilliant strategy I spent hours researching.  Instead, these bags are a product of faith and perseverance. I hope that this blog, this website, and this shop is a true representation of this humble beginning.

Happy cruising readers,


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