About this project
Unicorn Hair and Golden Thread: Why are most bags so expensive?
So here's the deal: it turns out that most bags are NOT made from the mane of a unicorn or golden thread. So why so expensive? The big companies are marking up their bags at least four or five times the cost of making them and on top of that, the bags are made overseas. When the bags don't sell, they'll get dropped onto a flash site where you can get a great "bargain"! Don't be fooled. The bags are expensive because the big companies need to have wholesale margins and pay for expensive things like fashion shows and investor meetings!
Great Bags at Wholesale Prices
With your help, Owen & Fred will create:
- Great looking, stylish, essential bags designed by us
- Made ethically in the United States by a family-owned manufacturer just 30 minutes from our office
- Priced under $100 per bag
3 Great Bags, 3 Great Colors
We designed this bag to double as a gym bag or a weekender. It's the Goldilocks of duffel bags. Not too big and bulky, but sized just right so it can be carried on a plane or for a weekend getaway. It will also easily fit your gym gear.
Every time you open this shaving kit bag, we hope you get a good laugh. (It's like the shaving kit bag is winking at you). For a long time, I used a zip lock bag to carry my grooming essentials. Now, for only $45, you can get a kickass shaving kit bag that will have your back, even if that needs shaving too.
We think its crazy to spend $275+ on a bag whose purpose is to keep you organized for work. With the same style and finishes, we've created our "Brooklyn Brief" at an exceedingly affordable price. The Brief features a padded interior laptop pocket that fits a 15" MacBook Pro.
Choose From Three Colorways
Our bags come in three color ways:
- Army green, black and tan, with orange interior
- Owen & Fred's signature midnight navy and red
- A more conservative yet killer looking grey and black, with electric blue interior
All business on the outside, each bag reveals a brighter, more daring color on the inside. The bright red, blue, and orange allow for you to see inside your bag while adding a pop of color to illuminate your day. Nice, right?
About Owen & Fred
Owen & Fred launched in early 2012 with one goal in mind: to make and sell exceptional men's goods at affordable costs right here in the USA. By working with experienced craftsmen and women throughout the country, we are able to create products that we think fit the needs of the modern man. We've had a lot of success with our custom leather luggage tags, which were named GQ Magazine's Best of 2012.
At the start of 2013, we embarked on a journey to create our own line of products: Men's Goods, Made Great. Razors, soap, accessory trays, notebooks, neck ties, and more. We wanted to provide men with all the essentials they needed to make their day great.
Why aren't we charging a lot more for our bags?
Ha! Yeah, we know. But, why? We sell direct to our customers. We're not a publicly traded company. We're not trying to grow big, fast. We think we're charging a fair price for our bags. With you, we're in it for the long haul, not to make a quick buck. 35% of our company's revenues come from repeat, loyal customers. We're proud of that. When you think of other brands that you love, we want you to think Owen & Fred. Bottom line, if you buy our bags, you'll get a great product, and have money left over for adventures.
Owen & Fred is a very small, scrappy little company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in the old Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory. (Yup, they used to make pencils here.)
Mike Arnot is our founder, and lives in Brooklyn with his two boys. (Perhaps you can guess their names?) He bikes to work, plays soccer and enjoys NYC. He moved to the US from Canada in 2004 but is too polite to call himself a New Yorker yet.
Laurel manages our operations and customer service. She lives in Brooklyn, but loves the great outdoors. A Yogi, she's from Rhode Island, and is also studying Botany and Biodynamic Farming.
Thomas conceives and designs new products. He came up with the name of our little soap, called You Dirty Dog. A native of Chicago, he spots trends for Owen & Fred on the west coast, and is working on a book.
Alyssa packs, packages, and ships every order with love. She manages our great relationship with the USPS and FEDEX, which handles getting great things from us to you. Alyssa (below) is also from Rhode Island, and is studying architecture.
Our Model (and friend), Josh
Josh is not a model, but we think he really did a fantastic job. He plays on Mike's soccer team, and is a longtime resident of Greenpoint. With years of outdoor equipment and bag design experience, we are excited for Josh to soon join our team when this project is successfully funded!
Wait, so who are Owen and Fred?
This is the first time we've ever revealed their true identities. People have guessed that they are cats, dogs, brothers, or secret celebrities. Nope. They are Mike's two sons, and they are really, really cute.
Let's review the goods!
The Materials and Construction of Your Next Bag
Each bag is cut and sewn in the US (New Jersey, to be precise) from #8 18 oz duck canvas sourced from Fairfield Textiles in New Jersey, 1680 denier ballistic nylon on the bottom/outside, and 420 denier Cordura on the inside. There is simply no comparison from the materials we chose for our designs, especially when you feel the cheap materials used by many imports. The construction our our bags is top notch. The bags are stitched with Nylon Tex 70 thread (and with color, too). The webbing alone can withstand more than 400 lbs of tension; it's heavyweight cotton basket weave webbing. So unless you're trying to cart around a few hundred pounds of potatoes, these bags will not give out.
The zippers are YKK nylon zippers, which means they open as smooth as butter. No sticking here. (We like metal zippers, but in our experience, they can stick, and that's annoying.)
Our Duffel, Shaving Kit Bag and Brief feature little touches of leather throughout, including the zipper pulls, the top grip and connectors for the D-Rings. If you look closely, you'll see that each bag has accent stitching on the leather connectors.
Interior and Exterior Pockets
Our Duffel and Brief each have various pockets for your precious accessories, wallet and keys.
Our Duffel has an interior zippered pocket where you can stash your keys, wallet, and a lock. On the opposite side of the bag, there are open pockets for your smartphone, or for deodorant, for example.
The Brooklyn Brief has an exterior zippered pocket for your keys or metrocard, as well as a concealed slot for easy access to a pen or a notepad. Inside the brief is a padded laptop sleeve, so that your laptop or tablet is protected. The brief features a padded interior laptop pocket that fits a 15" MacBook Pro. We've included a zippered pocket for your keys and wallet, along with open pockets for quick access to your smart phone and pens.
How much can fit inside the Duffel?
Well, a lot. All of this fit comfortably inside.
Testing the Bags
We've been testing our prototypes for several months, leaving them out in the rain, generally getting them dirty and kicking the hell out of them. We've loaded the duffel with 100 pounds of dumbells. (It was a workout). Mike's kids have been a big help in our quality assessment. The bags are very durable, and the fabric is not cheap. You'll know the moment you get the bags and compare them to any other bags you've had.
Our Bags Are Built to Last
We expect these bags to last, and to develop lots of character with use. You know those vintage Barbour jackets or the feel of jeans that have a lot of miles in them? That's what we expect from our bags.
Here's Lookin' At You: The Secret Message on the Inside
Look inside your bag for a short little message screenprinted just for you. Not only do we want to provide you with great American products, but also we want to motivate you to always be your best. We hope these bags will keep you going throughout your day, whether it be in the morning, on your commute, on your break, working hard, or working out.
After the Kickstarter, will Owen & Fred raise the price of these bags over $100?
Nope. That is a guarantee. Support us now: We think we're on to something (affordable price and quality!) and we'd love for you to be a part of it. You are getting a great Kickstarter discount, but we will not break $100.
We love the products we produce, and we would feel bad, frankly, doing what all the big fashion companies do. We love our customers.
Risks and challenges
Last year around the Holidays, we got hit with a ton of press all at once. So, we dug deep, stayed up until the job(s) were done. (Mike lost 15 pounds in 20 days from lack of sleep! A forced diet and he kept it off.) We think we kept our customers happy and loyal. The secret to our success was to have good and honest communication. We're customers, too. People just want to know where their bags are, you know? We get it.
We're used to dealing with the unexpected.
That said, we're only human. We try to anticipate what could go wrong, and adapt for it. The constraints to timely production are: the availability of materials and our manufacturing partner. We believe we have adequately anticipated the delivery of materials to make the bags. We have taken some financial risk to ensure that our December reward backers will get their bags on time.
We have a great relationship with our manufacturing team, a tight ship at our office in Greenpoint. We can assure our backers that Owen & Fred is brand to be trusted, even if it means pulling team all-nighters to get the job done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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