Bags and supporting accessories that are aesthetically clean, highly functional, and handmade in Portland, OR, USA. Read more
This project was successfully funded on October 24, 2012.
About this project
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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!
Pledge $5 or more
YOU ARE AWESOME - We will be forever thankful and grateful to you as part of the team that got us going. You will get listed on our website as a supporter (with a link to your website), and we will also WRITE YOUR NAME IN THE SAND AT THE OREGON COAST (with photos online once it happens).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or more
POSTCARD & YOU ARE AMAZING - You are part of the group that is making this all happen, and we can’t thank you enough. But to try, we’ll send you a lovely BLANK Thank You PostCard, plus everything from the AWESOME Reward (supporter listing w/ link & name-in-sand).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or more
WALLET & YOU ARE MARVELOUS - You are definitely making this thing happen, and we’re getting a little choked up. In return, you will get one (1) of our Simple Wallets, and everything from the AWESOME Reward (supporter listing w/ link & name-in-sand). ALSO, the first (25) Supporters at this level will have DELIVERY BY MID-DECEMBER 2012.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $45 or more
SLEEVE & YOU ARE WONDERFUL - This is pretty great - you can’t understand how much you’re helping right now. To attempt to express our thanks, you will get one (1) of our Sleeves (your choice of tech device), along with everything from the AMAZING Reward (supporter listing w/ link, name-in-sand, and PostCard). ALSO, the first (25) Supporters at this level will have DELIVERY BY MID-DECEMBER 2012.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $60 or more
SLEEVE, WALLET & YOU ARE TREMENDOUS - Well, this just keeps getting better and your efforts are really pretty phenomenal. To show you how much your support means to us, we’ll send you one (1) of our Sleeves (your choice of tech device), one (1) of our Simple Wallets, and also everything from the AMAZING Reward (supporter listing w/ link, name-in-sand, and PostCard).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $190 or more
The BAG & YOU ARE PHENOMENAL - We're pretty close to speechless at this point, and will have to take some time to get our words together. In the mean time, we'll send you one (1) of our Bags, and also include everything from the AMAZING Reward (supporter listing w/ link, name-in-sand, and PostCard).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $195 or more
25 backers All gone!
--EARLY BIRD PRICING & DELIVERY-- BAG, SLEEVE & YOU ARE MAGNIFICENT - Really, we’re going to have a hard time telling you how much you’re helping. To try to begin, you will get one (1) of our Bags w/ one (1) of our Sleeves, and also everything from the AMAZING Reward (supporter listing w/ link, name-in-sand, and PostCard).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $230 or more
BAG, SLEEVE & YOU ARE EXTRAORDINARY - Really, the amount of help you're giving right now goes beyond words, so to start to show you how we feel, we’ll send you one (1) of our Bags w/ one (1) of our Sleeves, and we’ll also include everything from the AMAZING Reward (supporter listing w/ link, name-in-sand, and PostCard).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $250 or more
BAG, SLEEVE, WALLET & YOU ARE AWE-INSPIRING - Well, this is just fantastic - the amount you’re helping really can’t be put into words, but to show you just how supportive you’re being, you will get one (1) of our Bags w/ one (1) of our Sleeves, and one (1) of our Simple Wallets, and we’ll also include everything from the AMAZING Reward (supporter listing w/ link, name-in-sand, and PostCard).
ALSO, the first (25) Supporters at this level will have DELIVERY BY MID-DECEMBER 2012.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $400 or more
2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)
BAG, SLEEVE, WALLET, Portland CARE PACKAGE & EXCLUSIVE BOOK - Even Better! Along with all the wonderful things from the AWE-INSPIRING Reward (Bag, Sleeve, Wallet), you’ll get a care package telling you a little more about this place that your bag comes from (Portland), (with a local coffee sampler, a local author book from Powells, and a bunch of wonderful little goodies). ALSO, you will get a copy of the VERY LIMITED RUN BOOK giving an inside look at the HISTORY & PRODUCTION of your bag.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $800 or more
0 backers Limited (7 left of 7)
5 BAGS, SLEEVES, WALLETS & YOU ARE WONDROUS (Retail Intro Pack) - Well, we’re pretty excited you want to try out our bags in your store (or maybe you just really like them and want to give out some gifts). Either way, your support is really just spectacular. We will send you five (5) of our Main Bags, each with a Sleeve and Simple Wallet (to be sold/gifted as a package or separately), and we’ll also include everything from the AMAZING Reward.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
10 BAGS, SLEEVES, WALLETS & YOU ARE MAJESTIC (Retail Starter Pack) - This is a pretty solid way to start with our bags in your store (or maybe you have 9 really lucky friends and family members). Either way, the support and help you’re giving us is just tremendous. We will send you ten (10) of our Main Bags, each with a Sleeve and Simple Wallet (to be sold/gifted as a package or separately), and we’ll also include everything from the AMAZING Reward.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,000 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
PORTLAND COMES TO YOU - 2 BAGS, SLEEVES, WALLETS & YOU ARE MAGICAL - We will personally deliver your bag to you in your town, just about anywhere in the continental US (we’re also willing to go just about ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD - just let us know and we’ll figure out the price difference). We will bring, A) a bag each for you and a friend, B) exclusive video and imagery of the bags in production (along with your own custom book), C) few Portland essentials (including fresh Voodoo Donuts), D) dinner, drinks, and discussion at a fine dining establishment in your town.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $6,000 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
SEE WHERE YOUR BAG COMES FROM - 2 BAGS, SLEEVES, WALLETS & YOU ARE BREATHTAKING - We will fly you (and a Special Friend / Significant Other) to Portland for the weekend (flight from anywhere in Cont. US included), and you will get to experience the city, and get immersed in the process that created your bag. Your trip will include: (A) a bag each for you and a friend, (B) a tour of Spooltown, the production facility where the bags are made, (C) 2 copies of the custom book of production imagery, (D) dinner & drinks with Blank and members of the Spooltown production team, including discussion on our approach to local retail production, and its future potentials, (E) presentation on our future Super Secret production run, and discussion on its potentials, (F) tour of some of our local sources & essential Portland establishments (Voodoo, Etc.), (G) accommodations (2 nights) at the Ace Hotel (room w/ private bath unless you prefer otherwise). NOTE: If you are coming from OUTSIDE THE CONT. US, we would love to have you come - just let me know and I will figure out the price difference.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)