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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Re-Introducing: The Traveler


The Traveler has been redesigned!! (Finally!!)

I've had a variation of this bag since 2008 (then, the "Hip Pocket") when I first opened shop.  It went through a few minor improvements like size increase, the addition of an adjustable belt strap, and then it remained unchanged for some years.  The design was one of my very early ones --it was inspired by a wedding invitation that I took apart and re-worked in canvas, lined it with fabric, and it became known as the Traveler in my shop.  It is a popular seller, especially in the summer months when it's convenient for theme park vacations, or doggy play dates in the park.

But it needed some changes and improvements...

One fun aspect of running a solo business is the ability to play all roles in the business.  The role I value most is my opportunity to interact with every single customer throughout their entire transaction(s). With the Traveler, I've received lots of feedback on adding a zippered closure, how the old button snaps could be difficult to easily get in and out, and how to easily access items, etc.
I don't take feedback for granted.  I have a large spreadsheet with data collected over nearly seven years that contain every request I've received with the email address or username of who made the request.  Like, "Leather Color Requests" for when a potential customer sees a bag of mine on Google images that she likes in a color I no longer offer, she emails me with a request to let her know when I have that color leather (or something similar) in stock.  I do email each of these potential customers back...it may just be a few years from when they made the request.  It's a highly organized and categorized spreadsheet so that when a certain category, for this instance, "Traveler Improvements" reaches critical mass, I implement.

The information was coming in, and my aesthetic was also evolving as I became more and more interested in clothing --specifically mens sports coats. You might know, my husband Shay is a business school grad student, and in business school, you need a suit.  And some casual business clothing.  I love an excuse to go shopping, so of course, I started to become really interested in menswear.  Double welt pockets on dress pants and suits started to intrigue me.  Especially the ones with the flap closure.  Minimal and beautiful in design, looked pretty difficult to construct.  (For the record, they are very tricky as they have very little margin for error.  And when you're making them with leather, you can't use an iron to press where you need perfectly straight edges.  But, I love a challenge, especially a technical one that elevates the design aesthetic.)  I wanted to integrate the double welt pocket with a flap on one of my bags.  The Traveler was the prime candidate.

The Traveler sits right at the lower waist, where this pocket would naturally sit on a sports coat.  It's in the perfect position to place easy-access items like a phone, keys, or cash.  It's covered so it is secure, but it's still very accessible to the user.  That was all I needed to re-design the Traveler and implement all of the improvements.
Want a summary of all the changes?
  • Leather Front - now it coordinates beautifully with the rest of my collection
  • Zippered Closure - I know.  You're welcome. 
  • Double welt pocket with flap on front - for easy access to a phone, keys, cash. (Or dog treats!)
  • Hidden (from front) strap attachment - makes the Clutch configuration even more lovely!

I hope you love the changes!

I have a limited edition Traveler in Sweet Pea, and the classic Travelers in Chestnut or Onyx.  You can also customize your own with your favorite leather color, canvas trim, and even a printed fabric for the flap here!

Happy Travels!
Jenny

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