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It's in the Bag

The right shopping bag can carry more than just your business's merchandise.

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This story appears in the September 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Consumers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious and more likely to shopping bags, but bags that look stylish have the edge. Smart entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this trend--and garnering free in the process.

Tonya Hart thought her art glass store's bags looked fine--until she saw someone walking around with one. "I realized it needed a bigger logo and just needed to be jazzier," says Hart, 40, co-founder of Two Fish Art Glass in Forest Park, . So Hart and co-founder Cecilia Hardacker, 48, gave their store's shopping bags a makeover, increasing the size of their logo while sticking with the down-to-earth, environmentally conscious look that reflects their philosophy.

"It makes people feel good when they purchase products they really like and get a fun bag along with it," says Patricia Norins, retail consultant and publisher of Gift Shop magazine. "But the bag itself has to have a strong design for it to be 'bagworthy.'" Norins offers these tips for creating a bag to remember:

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