The last newsletter was a beast, so I'm going to keep this one short. Here's what's going on:
1. The Simple Backpack (see video) and the Front Pocket Backpack (see video) are here. I don't think I would it be exaggerating to say that the Simple Backpack demo video is the greatest product demo video ever done in all of history. Me translating for the Masai warrior in his dung hut in Africa for the Front Pocket Backpack video isn't too shabby either. Read more here.
2. The Limited Run Small Classic Briefcase is available for order until October 15, 2012. More here.
3. Check out the New Zealand glow worm video I did of the Passport wallet. Non-RFID version going away. Read more here.
4. Vintage bags with cattle brands, pretty cool. Read more.
5. Coming soon: Rate and review your leather on our website. Read more.
We've got two new backpacks based on a real strong and simple lighter-weight design. The Simple Backpack (see video) is just one main compartment with no inside pockets, and two outside pockets. The Front Pocket Backpack (see video) is similar, but with a big deep pocket across the front of the bag. The side pockets are a little bigger too. I designed some cool new shoulder straps for them. They're adjustable from both ends with removable shoulder pads. At the bottom, the straps are attached to the bag at an angle so they flare out to accommodate things like love handles. If you don't have love handles, good for you. The front part is unlined, so these bags are going to break in a lot faster than fully-lined designs. I did some pretty intense 'round-the-world field testing on these bags through Scotland, Kenya, Rwanda, Australia, and New Zealand. They started out looking pretty good, but looked even better after a few continents worth of scrapes, scratches, bangs, dirt and rain. Check out the 'round-the-world video here featuring the Simple Backpack.
The Limited Run Small Classic Briefcase is still available to order for another few days. The small briefcase will never ever make it's way back onto our shelves, but maybe someday, I might decide to let a few out to play again. Maybe not. Who knows? Anyways, the Small Classic is available in all four Saddleback colors. Pigskin lining comes standard, or you can custom order suede lining for an extra $25.
In a melancholy concession to a world that isn't getting any friendlier, I decided to phase out the non-RFID shielded passport wallet. Check out the video I did of it on my New Zealand glow worm hunt and then see this video of the RIFD blocking in action. The Glow Worm video is way cooler than the RFID blocking video, but I wanted to show you how it works. The design isn't changing at all, but we'll only be offering the RFID-shielded version once the non-RFID stock sells out
Back in the day, a bunch of hides came through with really cool cattle brands on them. So I decided to incorporate them into a few bags instead of cutting around them and tossing them out. The bags ended up looking really great. See, a lot of our leather comes from the northern United States, where some cattle still graze without fences on the open range. Cows like that are branded before they're let loose to wander under those big wide open skies so every cowboy riding herd knows what cow belongs to who. It's a part of each animal's story. Pretty much as long as there have been cows with cowboys to watch them, there have been cattle brands. Although I don't think they called them cowboys back in Roman times, but you get the idea.
In the leather business, brands are considered defects. I don't really see it like that though. I only use thick full-grain leather, which is the whole entire skin of the cow pretty much as it comes off the animal, scars, bug bites, brands and all. A lot of companies split the leather in half and then sand off the top to remove all these natural beauty marks from the life of the cow to "pretty up" the leather. I don't agree with that either. Every piece of leather once belonged to a living beast that walked the earth. True full-grain leather comes with a lifetime of stories already built in. I don't see it as my job to erase them.
We're auctioning these bags in our eBay store. Each one is as unique as the cow it came from.
Our computer guy is putting the finishing touches on a cool new feature to the site. Pretty soon you'll be able to rate your leather and write reviews. And don't forget to include a picture. Even if you've had your bag for years, write a review and let us know how it's aging.
Thanks for reading. It finally cooled down here in Texas so I'm going to brew another pot of coffee and sit by the fire and get some work done. Have a great day.