Have you ever had a moment when one of your favorite brands blew your mind? I did, last week.
(limited edition artist collaborations)
To start this story, we need to travel back to 2009. Right before an international business trip with a company of mine, I decided that I finally needed to get a Timbuk2 bag for my travels. (My other bag was an Osprey that was showing it’s age and not very collapsible) I’ve lusted (is that the right word?) after a bag from Timbuk2 for a while.
I ended up going to my local REI and purchasing a closeout model that looked fairly distinct to me. Little did I know what would be in store for that bag in the future.
- Went under martial law with me in Honduras (that business trip above)
- Was with me as we went across the border during a free travel period to El Salvador
- Took it with me to a work trip to Prague
- Toured around WWII battlefields in France with it (including my flight out of Luxembourg
- Came with us on our #c2c12 trip across the country
It’s been through a lot in the past couple years since I bought it and it still looks basically brand new. (Jules actually got me the Snoop camera bag for my birthday last year as well). It’s currently my “daily driver” of a bag.
I’ve followed the Timbuk2 twitter account for years now. Earlier this year I started chatting with them. One thing let to another and next thing I know, I was asking them if they had office tours. What surprised me is they said yes to a tour! After working with my buddy Ryan on scheduling (as he was in town, a fellow fan, and wanted to see the place as well) we decided on a date and headed up to San Francisco to see them.
They have probably one of the coolest offices I’ve seen yet in the Mission (it’s a part of SF). Extremely bike friendly (huge wall of bike racks) and a large two level open space where the employees work. Behind that is the factory floor, where all the custom bags are made (they were doing a lot for Wikipedia when we visited). The factory setup reminded me a lot of my heydays in the Consumer Packaged Goods world and it was very cool to see the templates and ways they constructed the bag.
Another perk of visiting when we did was getting to tag along with a group from a Stanford business class. The students were asking very good questions and I was frankly impressed with the depth of the answers. It’s not often you hear such candor about business practices, markets, social media strategies/tactics and competitors. (I’m not going to repeat what I heard out of respect for Timbuk2) Needless to say, they have the pulse on their market.
We saw so many cool things there, but I will really let the pictures do the talking. If you look closely, there are some unreleased items in certain photos. It was a super cool experience and reaffirmed to me how truly awesome their brand is (which they then infuse to their products).
(Huge thanks to Noel and Timbuk2 for making this happen!)
(found on the way to their office in the Mission, SF)
- New Timbuk2 messenger bags feature internal chargers (gizmag.com)
- Timbuk2 Introduces New Device Charging Bags (gadget.com)
- Timbuk2 Power Commute and Power Q bags will juice your tech from here to… (engadget.com)