Thursday, December 22, 2011

Been a while...

Hey everyone, it's been quite some time. I hope all of you are well, and enjoying the holiday season. It's been quite a year, and I figured I would fill everyone in.
For starters, the jig is up. I am 1 person, rather than a staff of a few people. Since the beginning of this company back in 08, everything that has been produced/designed has been by me. From all of the individual orders, to my wholesale accounts. I have been making these bags with every ounce of my own personal energy, from a shop set up in my living room, when I was back in LA, and now in a basement since I have relocated to Baltimore.

Since  day 1 I have referred to the work I have done on the day to day, in a plural sense. I did this for a few reasons. The first being that I have had a lot of help from some amazing people over the years. Mainly cutting fabric, but toward the end of my run in LA, I was seeing enough orders to hire on a seamstress, to come  over a few times a week to help me keep up with production. The second reason being I always hoped for my company to eventually grow into a "we" or an "us". My original goal, was to build up enough business to be able to employ some people to start, and eventually transition my company into a Co-op, with equal ownership, amongst the team of people I dreamed would some day help me. As much as I loved the idea of being my own boss, I hated the idea of having to be someone else's. I was never in this to make a bunch of money, just enough to live off doing what I loved. The Third and final reason was to instill confidence in my customers, that they were dealing with someone serious about what they did. I had a goal to produce products that matched the quality and durability of some of the bigger companies out there, while still being 100% hand made, in-house. I feared that sales would not be as good as they could be if everyone knew that the bags they were buying were coming from one person working out of a living room/basement. 

Since the start of this company, I worked an average of 90+ hrs a week on making these products. I loved every minute of it, but needless to say it was exhausting. Between keeping up with 19 wholesale dealers around the globe, countless individual orders through the site, and sponsoring 5-10 events per month. The move cross-country, while trying to set back up, and re-aquatint myself with a town i hadn't interacted with in over 3yrs also took quite the toll. Between ending an almor 5yr personal relationship, re-locating cross country, and trying to dig myself out of a financial hole that the move had left me in, I found myself a bit overwhelmed, and I tried desperately to hold on.

Everything came to a bit of a head in February of this year. I was scammed out of  $2400 (half in bags, half in money) over an international shipping loophole via PayPal, and some greedy and heartless people. At the same time, my e-mail was hacked and I lost any/all access to it, and my contact with clients. This pretty much crippled me, financially and emotionally, and I decided to throw in the towel for a while. People put in orders for items they never received, and ultimately had to file claims with paypal to get their money back. This was money, and orders I never even knew existed to begin with, and if you got caught in the middle of this situation, I honestly can't apologize enough. I am still without my paypal account  due to a negative balance that I am frantically trying to work off, while keeping a roof over my head.

Since taking my hiatus, I have been working odd-jobs to pay the bills from cooking to construction. It has been far less stressful working for someone else for 40hrs a week, and not having the world resting on my shoulders. Still it has left me with the empty feeling, after walking away from one of the first and only things I have found in my life that I truly loved to do.

With that said, I have recently started making bags again in my spare time. Essentially I have been running through my left over fabric making batches of bags/pouches, and coming up with some great and out of the ordinary color combos. For me to produce these in my own time, rather than trying to keep my hair, while keeping up with a stack of pending orders, I have found that the experience of making these bags is far less stressful, and something I enjoy and makes me happy once again.

I will be posting photos of what I have available in the coming days. Currently I am almost completely out of fabric, and I can't say definitively that I will have anything more/new up on the blog before summer. For now I am keeping my bag-making as more of a part-time endevour, and starting over essentially from scratch.

If you are interested in anything you see, please contact me via to work out an order. Needless to say my turn around times will be far quicker, since the bags are already done, and ready to ship. Feel free to get in touch with all/any comments or questions.

Thanks so much to all the customers, that supported me over the years, and to those that dealt with me and my company over the final 3 months of it's existence  before shutting down, I honestly can't apologize enough.



Mr. X said...

Fuck paypal right in the ear. Those guys are bastards. I just found your site and I want to say, your stuff is great. Keep is up!


Hope Cyclery said...

I love your stuff and hope you get back on your feet. I love that you think to give your messenger bags pockets for organization. I have a first gen Chrome that needs to retire soon...

I would love to go about getting a bag from you something custom, and the plus I am in pennsylvania so no worries about international assholes. I had a similar problem shipping bike parts years ago..