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  1. #1
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    Adventures in visiting the store!

    Hello all:

    I thought I should write in and share about my recent visit to the Seattle store. I am a relative newcomer, and own just the medium cafe bag which I love. I read all the forum posts, mostly cos I find everyone here seem to have fun interesting lives, and are more bag obsessed than I am--which I thought was not possible! hehehehe.
    anyway, I was in Seattle for a conference, and a visit to the Tom Bihn store was high on my must-dos. I called and they said they would be open Mondays. My friend and I walked down all the way on First Avenue from the Convention Center--downtown; a good hour long walk. It was a great day for a walk in Seattle, and I got to see the city in ways that you don't when you drive around.
    When we arrived at the store, it was closed. There was a note that said the store would not be open cos of the weather. I was so disappointed that I was willing to cry; and trust me, I am not even young!!! I went to Outdoor Research, and they were truly helpful and gave me a number for June who works at TB.
    And wonder of wonders, June said she was up at the factory, and she brought us up on the elevator; and for the next hour, she left us to our devices in the store....I was completely taken aback. The place was completely clean, clear, uncluttered; and the folks acted like I was just visiting their home. No one hovered around; or watched; or sold me anything. They just let me explore. I walked around the factory---and watched the bags being made.

    June put on two O-rings for me in my Cafe Bag, and finally allowed me to pick an assortment of organizer pouches to take with me, and said I could add it to the cost when I got the Western Flyer. I was so taken aback, I am still reeling. Whoever heard of this kind of trust and openness in business today?

    I tried on every bag to my heart's content; am getting the Western Flyer. Have to say that I love the Smart Alec a lot more than the Brain Bag..it really is a smart-alecky kind of bag..feel like I must draw a smiley face on it!!! Just loved the Imago.

    The TB wallet is sheer genius and I have never been happier with a wallet for travel than this one....just totally love it. The pictures and description don't do justice. Just get it.

    Quite apart from the bags, I just want to say how much I appreciate this very different, off beat company of people. Thank you June for letting us in; and everyone else.
    I missed seeing TB and Darcy...maybe next time!

  2. #2
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    thanks for sharing, shiva!

    i don't know when i'll make it up to seattle, so it is fun to hear about everyone's visits!

  3. #3
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    Wow! You are so lucky! These Tom Binh people never fail to go above and beyond. I wish I had plans in the near-future to visit Seattle. I'd probably want the taxi to go to the TB store before the hotel =)

    One question: Did you get O-rings placed into your Cafe Bag in new places, or did you get your old ones replaced? Just wondering.

  4. #4
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    on O rings

    My cafe bag did not have an O ring in the front zippered pocket which the new ones do; so I got one put in. Makes it handy to hang the TB wallet--and this way I did not have to take the wallet out. I could just pull it out (I had it hung on the key tether)--and could pay and do whatever without losing the wallet. This was particularly helpful for me at the conference with all the crowds and the shuffling.
    The wallet is great cos the shaped dividers make a huge difference in the way in which it is easy to keep things separate and in retrieving them!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva View Post
    My cafe bag did not have an O ring in the front zippered pocket which the new ones do; so I got one put in. Makes it handy to hang the TB wallet--and this way I did not have to take the wallet out. I could just pull it out (I had it hung on the key tether)--and could pay and do whatever without losing the wallet. This was particularly helpful for me at the conference with all the crowds and the shuffling.
    The wallet is great cos the shaped dividers make a huge difference in the way in which it is easy to keep things separate and in retrieving them!
    Nice!! Oh, I want a TB wallet quite badly now. That's exactly how I want to use it too -- I attend crowded academic conferences. I had my heart set on Plum, but unfortunately they're sold out now. Sigh. But Darcy says they'll have more colors soon, so that's exciting.

    Thanks for the info!

  6. #6
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    That's such an awesome story. I'm headed down tomorrow to make a final decision on Brain Bag vs Super Ego. Perhaps I'll pick a wallet in your honor
    I've got a 2XXLT H. Brain Cell (fits my H-P HDX18t like a glove), a Sapphire/Black Brain Bag with a matching Snake Charmer, a 2XL Vertical Soft Cell, a Sapphire wallet, a Size 4 H. Brain Cell for my wife's laptop and... a school boy's crush on Darcy

  7. #7
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    You're lucky to be local! Please enjoy seeing the TriStar prototype. I'm so envious =)

  8. #8
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    Hi BigMikeD: I think everyone should get a wallet! For $12--it is the most ingenious design I have seen; and yes, nothing beats it for crowded academic conferences....!

    And it seems we all love to visit this forum every day--and it has inspired new fairly tales (a la Maverick's new Goldilocks story--which I can't wait to read more of!). I think the TB crew deserve a documentary--the bag, the people, the philosophy--any documentary makers on here?

  9. #9
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    I'm really bummed that back in early 2007 when I was working in Seattle for 3 months I didn't know about TB and thus missed an easy way to visit. I'd like to go back to Seattle again but I can't figure out a (semi-easy) way to get the dogs there too!

  10. #10
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    Sounds like great fun.

    Interesting about the O-ring, though. I just bought a medium cafe bag and it doesn't have an O-ring in the zipper pocket. That would indeed be very handy!

  11. #11
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    Friday the 13th!

    So, for future reference, Fridays at the Tom Bihn store are BUSY!!!

    I arrived soon after the website melted down, as evidenced by a very mellow Tom behind the counter on hold with their web hosting provider. I say "very mellow" because had that been my company's website, I would have been hunting for someone's head... especially after more than 20 minutes on hold. Fortunately, there was only one other person in the store at the time so I was able to play around a bit with fitting and packing and repacking and... Tom even let me run out to see if the sapphire strap matched my PT Cruiser's Ocean Blue paint (it's almost the identical color) while keeping an eye on my old backpack and new laptop for me... coolest guy ever!

    After much internal debate, and confirming that my charming personality hadn't resulted in the Tristar being rushed into production to meet my personal timeline (I tried, really), I finally made up my mind. I left with a Brain Bag, a 2XL Vertical Soft Cell, a Snake Charmer, and as promised, I even bought a sapphire wallet (hand delivered by the efficient, effervescent, and entirely enchanting Darcy... *sigh*) in honor of Shiva! After buying everything, I spent another 5 minutes packing everything up into my new bag, including the backpack I wore into the store, and away I went into the sunny Seattle afternoon.

    Now, if I can just get my wife to steal the Sapphire one so I can have an excuse to go back and buy the Steel Brain Bag for myself.
    I've got a 2XXLT H. Brain Cell (fits my H-P HDX18t like a glove), a Sapphire/Black Brain Bag with a matching Snake Charmer, a 2XL Vertical Soft Cell, a Sapphire wallet, a Size 4 H. Brain Cell for my wife's laptop and... a school boy's crush on Darcy

  12. #12
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeD. View Post
    So, for future reference, Fridays at the Tom Bihn store are BUSY!!!
    Thanks for your patience, Mike. It was crazy here today!
    Current Carry: Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  13. #13
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    Crazy is busy, busy is good!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Thanks for your patience, Mike. It was crazy here today!
    I am sure there is a good reason that it isn't, but I think the store should be open 4-5 days a week. Based on this thread and others, my own experience, and listening to the other customers in the store today, I think that sales might get a boost from both people travelling to Seattle and those of us who live here. Seriously, why go to the Space Needle or Pike's when the Tom Bihn store is open?

    I'd do it for minimum wage and unrestricted internet access
    I've got a 2XXLT H. Brain Cell (fits my H-P HDX18t like a glove), a Sapphire/Black Brain Bag with a matching Snake Charmer, a 2XL Vertical Soft Cell, a Sapphire wallet, a Size 4 H. Brain Cell for my wife's laptop and... a school boy's crush on Darcy


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