Friday, June 28, 2013

Introducing: The Backpack

I've been dreaming of a Backpack for a very long time.  I first proposed the idea to my husband (then boyfriend) in 2009, to transform my Briefcase design into a Backpack.  At that time, there wasn't a strong demand for a leather Backpack.  Then, I actually tried making a small one in 2010 influenced by my love for vintage leather backpack purses.  (It didn't work out so well.)

Over the years, I've received a LOT of requests for a leather Backpack that would be sleek and awesome like the Briefcase that can be worn on the subway to commute to work, but also professional enough for the work environment. I told those potential customers that I would write their name on a list that would accumulate over the years, and if I had enough demand, I would start the process of designing the perfect bag for commuters to wear to work.

That moment happened.

Well, pair that with Shay getting into Tepper School of Business, I decided it was time to kill two birds:

1.) Make sure my husband looks uber-fashionable while going to business school, and
2.) address that list of potential customers wanting a leather backpack from my shop.

Obviously, the prospect of generating income based on clear demand for a product wasn't enough to push me to design.  Maybe because I'm selfish.  My motivation and drive to design are strongly influenced by my own selfish desires to create something that someone close to me will love and use over and over again for years.  That motivation is fueled greatly by making my husband look stylish.  :)

(He's my #1 fan... even with my mom and mother-in-law I guess. But my husband actually has a lot of constructive design criticism and analytical business input where my mothers are more like "I love this design! It's my favorite! All your bags are my favorite! I'm so proud of my daughter!" which really doesn't help me as a business person, but it makes me feel really good about myself.)

Is selfishness really all that bad when it comes to designing a product?  That's how I started my business, afterall.

I could never find the perfect bag for myself that was designed equally for high functionality, utilitarian value, and aesthetics (without all the unnecessary hardware, compartments and zippers that weighed the bag down before you even start filling it up!).

If I'm going to design it for myself (being as picky as I am), I know my designs will address the needs of a great majority of users as well.

The Backpack has everything you love about the Briefcase with even more perks!  This bag has the reinforced bottom to minimize sagging and metal feet to protect the bag when its set down.  The top flap closure has those familiar secure metal bolt snaps you see on the Messenger.

Extra perks:

Two adjustable straps that allow you to distribute the weight of your bag between two shoulders --really helps for those nursing shoulder or back injuries and great for commuting hands-free.

Zippered exterior pocket located on the back of the bag allow for easy access (and secure stowing) of a metro/bus pass and cell phone.

I'm really proud of this design.  It took several sketches and iterative improvements to my prototypes to finally perfect it to my liking loving.

Shay loves it, too.  He actually uttered the word "love" followed by "this bag".  First time for everything.

I hope you love it, too. :)

Have a happy weekend!

p.s. Best moment of this photoshoot?  My husband cursing me as he modeled this bag because I forced him to sit over the ledge of our deck to take this last photo.  He's afraid of heights.  Haha!  I'm mean.  But the photo looks fantastic, right?


  1. I've been wanting a new work/gym bag hybrid for years (the floppy weekend bag I've been using is not cutting it). Do you think I could fit a pair of minimal gym shoes and workout attire in the bag along with my 13" laptop and planner? Seems plenty big enough on Shay's back!

    1. Nathan! :) It's the same size as the Briefcase (it's 0.5" wider), so if you can fit it in your Briefcase, you can definitely fit it in the Backpack. By minimal gym shoes, do you mean those barefoot running shoes? If so, then yes. If not, then I'm not sure they would fit the shoes AND a laptop since the depth is 3", which is more for thin things like laptops and files. Let me know!

    2. I lied. I tried putting Shay's running shoes + 1" binder in the bag and it fit just fine with extra space in the pockets. So yes, it will fit all of that. :)