Our Story


The mission of Bags To Butterflies, L3C is to empower formerly incarcerated women with transitional employment, resources and a caring network immediately upon their return to the community from incarceration.

Meet our Founder

Bags to Butterflies was founded by Michelle Smart in 2015.  We are a Detroit-based social enterprise that reaches out to women re-entering the community from prison.  Our primary mission is to provide formerly incarcerated women with transitional employment and training opportunities to help reduce and or eliminate their recidivism.

The concept of empowering women returning home from prison began in 2014.  The founder was devastated when the daughter of a close friend was incarcerated.  As a result, Bags to Butterflies became the impetus for offering formerly incarcerated women resources to help them better their lives after returning home from prison.

To support our mission the founder designed and marketed a collection of handbags.  The handbag collections function as a reminder to the women to “let go” of their past, “live life” with a sense of purpose, and “fly” towards their dreams.

Bags to Butterflies’ outreach efforts have included providing formerly incarcerated women with an opportunity to gain work experience through “The Handbag Project” which focuses on empowerment. through the artistic talents from the design concepts to production of Bags to Butterflies handbags. At Bags to Butterflies, we are channeling the unrealized expectations of formerly incarcerated women into expected accomplishments.

Let Go. Live Life. FLY!



Michelle Smart
Bags to Butterflies

Falana Smart
Bags to Butterflies