From all of us here at TOM BIHN, we wish you a Merry Christmas.
People often ask me at this time of year which bag I most often give as a gift. My answer? The Aeronaut. Pretty much everyone I know travels at some point. They fly to Europe, Hawaii, take road trips to the Southwest, get a sitter and escape for a weekend to the coast, take their first real vacation in five years, visit family on the East Coast, or go on that round-the-world trip they’ve always dreamed of. The Aeronaut is as close I get to being able to come along with them.
As a musician and member of The Ecclestons, my friend Greg Madill tours all over the world. When I was first designing the Aeronaut, Greg and his wife Lorena were set to go on a trip to Italy. I gave Greg one of the first prototypes of the Aeronaut to test.
My friends Robert and Maggie went to Paris for their honeymoon, so his-and-hers Aeronauts made perfect sense as a wedding gift. Robert reports:
“My wife and I were given a pair of Aeronauts as a wedding gift, and we took them on our honeymoon. I try never to check bags, so the size is great. The handles on three sides of the Aeronaut make the bag super manageable, from the trunk of the car to the seat on the airplane. The shoulder straps deploy fast enough for that moment when you realize you need to run to the gate, then disappear just as quickly. We love these bags, and we’ve used them every time we’ve travelled. Six years later they show no signs of wear.”
Shop Bags make great gifts, too: pretty much everyone shops at the grocery store or the farmer’s market. And if anyone I gave an Aeronaut to didn’t get the full set of Packing Cubes and other accessories (3D Clear Organizer Cube, Clear Quarter Packing Cube, RFID Blocking Passport Pouch, Packing Cube Backpack, Packing Cube Shoulder Bag) they might this time around. Some of my favorite non-TOM BIHN stuff to give includes items from CB’s Nuts, wine from Bill Frick and and Oliver Schroer‘s CD “Camino”.
We’ll be open on Saturday, November 26th, in part because it’s Small Business Saturday but mostly because you asked us to be open that day. Katy and Eliam will be at the store ready to help you find the right bag. See you there! 12-5pm.
src="http://www.tombihn.com/blogimages/smallbus.jpg" alt="TOM BIHN Seattle store will open on Small Business Saturday, November 26th" width="450" height="55">
Our Seattle Retail Store/Factory Showroom is open this Saturday (November 12th) from 12 – 5pm. The next Saturday openings will be on December 10th and December 17th. We’re also open every Wednesday from 10am – 4pm and by appointment (4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134
What you’re probably looking at in this photo of the Co-Pilot bag is the iPad 2 (inside of a Cache) or iPhone. Notice too the finished seams of the pocket I’m holding back to reveal the iPhone. We forget to tell you that we finish all of the seams on the inside of all of our bags because we can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t. But we’re reminded, when we see bags from other manufacturers, that not everyone does. Here’s why we finish the seams: #1 – so the cut edges of the fabric won’t fray – frayed fabric can get caught in zippers and eventually can allow the seam to fail; #2 – finished seems will look and feel better to you, the user; #3 – lastly, they let you know we take this sewing thing seriously – we’re not trying to get it done and out the door as quickly as possible.
Tom discovered the work of sculptor Bill Rhodes on a trip to British Columbia in 2003 and commissioned the artist to create papier-mâché salmon for our factory and retail store, then located in Port Angeles, Washington. For our new factory and company headquarters in the Georgetown district of Seattle, and to celebrate our close proximity to the Duwamish River, Tom asked Rhodes to create a kingfisher, tern, and heron. You can see the birds (and the salmon, soon to be installed) on display in our Seattle factory and store, which is open tomorrow, Saturday, October 8th, from 12-5pm.
As usual, our Seattle factory is making more perfect bags faster than we even expected. (Thanks, Janine, for the laugh.) Here’s what’s newly in-stock this week:
Ego, all colors
Large Cafe bag, all colors
Ristretto for 11″ MacBook Air, all colors
Tri-Star, all colors
Co-Pilot, all colors
Our Seattle Retail Store/Factory Showroom is open this Saturday (September 10th) from 12 – 5pm. See you soon! 4750A Ohio Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134
Remember, we’re closed Monday but back at work Tuesday. Have a good weekend! (We’ll do the same.)
We’ve purchased several new Juki DLN-9010 sewing machines recently. The DLN-9010 is a straight-stitch machine: straight-stitch machines are the least specialized machines in the factory and therefore the most utilitarian and most used.
Our new Juki DLN-9010, shipped from Orange County, California.
This particular machine is for Sim who will use it to take sub-assemblies and from them create a finished bag; basically, creating a 3D bag from 2D panels. It’s hard work and Sim is already appreciating having a new machine to help her.
There’s plenty of room for more machines in our new factory.
While the DLN-9010 is not specialized in that it can sew many different parts of many different bags, it is by no means simple: it is a needle-feed machine which means the needle not only goes up and down but it also moves (ever so slightly) back and forth, helping feed the fabric through. This is a big deal when sewing heavy fabrics, making the seams look better and the work a little easier too. The DLN-9010 also has a number of computer assisted features like automatic back-tack and thread trimmers; it’s light years ahead of the home Singer machine Tom’s grandmother gave him years ago. (Tom muses that we should really call them sewing tools rather than sewing machines — read some Ivan Illich and maybe you’ll get what he means.)
Son, our mechanic, does a pre-flight inspection on the new machine.