In this post, we're focusing on a fundamental and disappearing element in the design process: making. For us, this is the critical step that connects our craft with industry.
We start our process the same way many designers begin: with observation. We learn about what people love and the problems they encounter. Then we begin drawing up some solutions. With this approach, we quickly run into the limits of two dimensions. Drawings are great to rapidly explore ideas, but it's nearly impossible to verify if the design works. This is where the sewing comes in. We can quickly go from idea -> design -> pattern -> bag. This way we can put our creations to the test with different users and and see if our ideas sink or swim.
While outdoor packs don’t have to be complicated and technical, we would like our bags to be outstandingly comfortable and functional. There are a lot of nuances to getting a bag right and ideas that look good on paper don’t always work as planned in the field. Sewing up rough samples to test for a few hours or few days can totally changes our outlook on a design solution.
When creating a new collection of gear, we will inherently make mistakes. It’s our goal to make all these mistakes quickly and cheaply, learning the valuable design lessons without losing too much time in development. So in the long run, all the sewing will make a better pack in a shorter time-frame, and by making these mistakes now, we’ll save valuable and expensive time down the road when we start sampling with a factory. We will know what features test well, what fabrics hold up to our abuse and even know the length of each piece of webbing.
We now have our first round of samples out being tested and can’t wait to learn about the weak points in these designs so we can make them better.
We’re moving towards our goal of a Kickstarter campaign, and it’s important that we have a compelling product that really works. We want this to be the first of many bags so we feel it’s infinitely important that we start with the right set of values.
We're taking the right steps towards our goal and still have plenty of work ahead of us. We think the journey is as important as the destination anyway, so we're savoring the process until this first bag is in the hands of our customers.