Bags and supporting accessories that are aesthetically clean, highly functional, and handmade in Portland, OR, USA.
Read about Blank Brand in some recent Press & Features from:
Mercury On Design: http://bit.ly/QxRVxm
The Yipster: http://bit.ly/OWptbo
----> New COLOR Available: Please See Below & See UPDATE #3 For More Info <----
----> To Add Extra Items To Your Order, Please See The Pricing List in UPDATE #4 <-----
--Update: SHIPPING INFO in FAQ At The Bottom of the Page--
--Update: NEW VIDEO! Scroll down for a video showing more about the Sleeves and Wallet--
My name is Matt - Thank You for taking a look at my project:
Blank Brand Bag & Accessories
I have been a designer for about 15 years, and about 7 years ago, I had the idea to make a bag as a gift for my wife. I was able to get ahold of some recycled vinyl, and borrowed a friend's sewing machine. While I was making that first bag, a number of friends were interested and asked me to make one for them. I quickly fell in love with the process, and have been making bags for friends & family ever since.
It took me a while, but I realized I am not a production sewer, and for a few years now, I have been looking at different ways to take these bags into production. About 6 months ago (after a number of years of work, research, and iterations), a few things started to come together, particularly in relation to materials, timing, and feasibility. Since then I have been working full time on the current version of the bags and accessories.
The current design started as a personal project, and came from the need for a bag that could change and adapt to the various demands in my life. As a husband, father, designer and teacher, I wanted a bag that could do just about anything, and go just about anywhere. On a daily basis, I needed a bag that I could take to a meeting with a client, use to carry home groceries on my bike, or pack up everything my family needs for a trip to the park.
For a little over 6 months I have been refining the current designs of the bags and supporting accessories, and a few months ago, starting working with SPOOLTOWN, a small sewing factory located in Portland.
The solution is a beautifully simple bag that can quickly take on different functional identities, is easy to clean, and hard to get dirty.
The current bag has a clean aesthetic, with a series of pockets inside and along the top edge, and also a system of interchangeable sleeves that can handle a wide variety of tablets and laptops up to 15 inches.
The materials used are:
White Vinyl (used in the Bag)
This is an upcycled excess material from a certain production process. The upcycled materials are used whenever possible (we have exclusively used this excess material for all prototyping and sampling), and the new material is used as needed (the new and upcycled are identical, as it is excess material, and is still on its original roll). This material is water resistant, can be wiped clean, and is pretty hard to get dirty.
In contrast to most leathers, vegetable tanned leather does not use a chemical intense process for tanning, therefore producing a healthier and more lovely leather. It is then hand treated with Otter Wax, a great natural leather finish made locally here in Portland, Oregon.
One of the higher grades of webbing, this woven nylon strap has a nice weight in your hand, is soft to the touch, and comfortably fits your body.
A high quality, dense felt that allows for simplicity in design, wears well over time, and gives padding to the variety of technology devices that it holds.
Using The BAG & SLEEVE
Below are images showing a few different uses for the bag, including what can fit inside, and how much room you still have left over.
The Sleeves vary in size, with versions for:
- 15in Laptops (Macbook Pro & others)
- 13in Laptops (Macbook & others)
- Tablet / Large (Ipad, Samsung Galaxy 10.1 & others)
- Tablet / Small (Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire & others)
The Simple Wallet is approximately 4in x 2.5in x 3/16in (empty)
- It works well to hold cards on one side (I have about 12 in mine), and receipts or cash on the other.
Current PRODUCTION STATUS
Over the last number of months, the Bags & Accessories have been through a number of iterations (around 30 or so), both independently here at Blank, and then while working with SPOOLTOWN. Everything has now been through one of the final stages of Prototyping and Production Sampling. This has given us a final design Prototype, along with a very specific understanding of pricing.
Everything is now ready to go into the first production run. Bringing the project to KickStarter allows you the opportunity to pre-order the bags and accessories at special pre-production pricing, and your support will go toward material and production costs for the first run.
WHO HELPED Me Get Here
There have been a number of people that have contributed thoughts, ideas and feedback to this pursuit over the last number of years. Over the past year, there have been a few people who have been instrumental in their support, and really helped this whole thing come together:
Kate Geiger - She has given me more support, input, and encouragement than I could ever expect.
Susanna Hohmann - Has been critical in both design development, and also navigation of this process.
Sara & Jessica @ SPOOLTOWN - Have given crucial input along the way & been a pleasure to work with.
Reiko Igarashi - Has always had incredible critique and encouragement.
Judson Moore - Words of excitement & encouragement have often helped to keep everything moving.
Daniel Meyers - Input coupled with excitement really have made this whole thing seem possible.
Chris Brown - Incredible thoughts, ideas, and encouragement have made this daunting project seem doable.
Photo & Video: Matt Geiger
Music for Video: Piano Theme by Jonathan Rich
-- Copyright 2012 Blank Brand --
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
One of the largest challenges for this project moving forward is that of material sourcing. Part of the drive of this project is to source materials locally (to feed into local production) - this coupled with smaller production runs, can make projects like this less of a priority for material suppliers.
What has helped this project get past these issues so far - and will also help in the future - is a combination of a few things: my years of experience in design and project management, the vast and specific knowledge from those I have consulted during the process, and most importantly, a production team that has many years of experience sourcing and preparing for production runs large and small.
The white material on the Bag is actually quite easy to keep clean. It is a water-resistant material that doesn't really pick up much dirt, and wipes clean fairly easily.
In all testing (including testing long-durability outside, and typical day-to-day use), the material holds up very well, and people have often been surprised at how clean and new the bag looks after many months of daily use.
Shipping in the Continental U.S. is INCLUDED WITH ALL REWARD LEVELS except the $800 & $1500 Rewards (if you are interested in one of these rewards, please contact me and I will determine shipping rates based on your location).
- For any Reward Level from $20-60 (with a Wallet or Sleeve, but no Bag), PLEASE ADD 15USD for shipping.
- For any Reward Level from $195-400 (any Reward with (1) Bag), PLEASE ADD 40USD for shipping.
- For the $800-1500 Reward Levels, please contact me and I will determine your shipping rate based on your location.
There is now a new reward which features only the Bag!