It's a little weird to think that summer has come to an end, but nevertheless, we're looking forward to all the great things fall brings, like mooncakes (more on that below), pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, and pretty fall foliage.
In this edition of updates...
- Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from the TOM BIHN crew!
- Employee Bag Giveaway
- Lots of Fabric Updates:
- 200d Halcyon (Bye bye Zest...for now)
- 400d Halcyon (For the Night Walk fans)
- Cerylon & More
- What's Coming!
- Update on Low Quantity Restocks (LQR) Process
- We're hiring!
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival from the TOM BIHN crew!
A few weeks ago, Kim and Cindy discussed what to do for our September crew event. So far, everything we've planned is not-surprisingly food related: veggie pizza party, tofu banh mi lunch, bubble tea, and ice cream truck (all from local Seattle small businesses of course!). With the Mid-Autumn Festival happening in September, it seemed like a no-brainer to do a mooncake event at the factory! For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an important holiday in Chinese culture (with similar variations in other Asian cultures as well) to celebrate the harvest on the night when the moon is the largest and brightest. It's part of a heritage shared by many on the crew. We closed out our Friday afternoon by eating mooncakes: a sweet, glutinous pastry made with yummy fillings like salted duck egg yolk, custard, red bean, sesame, and more.
Irma, Velia, Cody, and Kat choosing their mooncakes
Employee Bag Raffle
At the end of the summer, we hosted an Employee Bag Raffle for the first time since 2019! We ended up giving away 300+ bags to our crew. Our friends at Full Tilt Ice Cream also brought their ice cream truck stocked with all kinds of fun flavors to help celebrate the event! You may be wondering: Why did we have so many bags to raffle off? These bags are the accumulation of all the stuff returned or new that been deemed "second quality" by our QA team. This mean that they had flaws that can't be fixed and thus do not pass our QA standards. For the most part, these flaws are so minor that anyone outside of our crew probably won't even spot them at first glance (a little scuff here or an imperfectly sewn seam there), and outside of these minor flaws, the bags are perfectly useable. Rather than going into waste, we raffle them off back to the crew! There were some pretty fun old classics in the mix, like the Founder's Briefcase and the Empire Builder.
Lots of Fabric Updates!
200d Halcyon News
At the beginning of this summer, Zest made a mighty return, and you guys completely blew us away with your excitement! We will start with the bad news: we have essentially used up all our Zest. A few final batches of bags containing Zest are in the works, but after that, we won't have anymore readily on-hand. In the meantime, in place of Zest, you can expect to see more Solaris (a shipment of Halcyon containing Solaris recently arrived in our factory!). And if this is all disappointing news to you, here's the good news: we are now planning out our Halcyon orders for the next 12-18 months, and you can be sure that Zest will be part of that order, so expect Zest to come back in the near future. (Any other colors that you want to see? Pop it in the comments below!)
More exciting news! There's also a new Halcyon color that we selected at the end of last year (yes, that's how dragged out international supply chains have been in 2021 and 2022) that will hopefully arrive in time for the holidays!
And finally...we've been doing a little bit of housecleaning in our factory and are discovering some fun treasures along the way. One of them is a lovely box of Halcyon Key Straps! These are long retired, and we don't have any plans to make them again, so finding this box was truly a lovely surprise. We're sorting them out now and will update you all once they're ready for ordering.
400d Halcyon News
At the beginning of this year, we shared an early heads-up that the mill that helped produce our 400d Halcyon in Japan is no longer operating. As of now, our supplier has not provided a new update. They did however send us one final shipment of Night Walk that was in their possession. It's not a ton of Night Walk but enough to make a variety of bags. Here's what we have in the works so far: Synapse 25, Techonaut 30, Techonaut 45, Synik 22, Synik 30, and Daylight Backpack.
Cerylon & More
This one is for the Cerylon fans, we have three new colors in the works! We're tentatively expecting them to arrive by the end of this year, maybe in time for some last minute holiday goodies? We can't make any promises in this current supply chain environment, so if we can't get the fabric on-hand in time for the holidays, we will definitely aim for early next year!
And finally, we've been testing out some new fabrics this year, and we've found one that we're really excited about. Expect to see it in at least one new bag in the near term!
We're really happy we got the Aeronaut 30 and Aeronaut 45 back on the shelves—finally! Next up, the Western Flyer will be making a return! Production has been very busy working towards putting this timeless, classic design back into our collection. There are no major design updates, except switching over to our Edgeless Shoulder Straps and YKK Racquet Coil Zippers. If you're interested, make sure to sign up for a restock alert.
The Cambiata will be restocked for the first time since our summer debut/pre-order. Wondering how the bag is ready so quickly after the pre-orders just shipped out? Given how popular the bag was during pre-order, we purposely decided to make more than the pre-order amount.
And aside from that...we have a new bag in the works and several new accessories...more to share soon on this! Oh and aside from Halcyon Key Straps, we also found a couple other things while cleaning. The only hint that we can give right now is that we haven't made these things in a while either....
Update on Low Quantity Restock (LQR) process
For those of you who are new, LQRs are collected from returns, cancellations, inventory miscounts and other reconciliations. Some of you may have noticed, we are now restocking LQRs on a more regular basis, as frequently as weekly, without advanced notice (we do drop a comment in the Forum when it happens).
Why did we make this change? As recently as four months ago, we were still announcing LQRs via the blog and listing out 50-100+ bags with their individual color and fabric combinations. Often times, we only had as few as one of each and at most five in total, so it wasn't surprising that a customer visiting our site promptly at the time of the restock would still miss their opportunity. It wasn't the greatest experience for many customers, and accumulating so many low quantity items over the course of many weeks led to a higher chance for human error on our side. We hope that more frequent, unannounced restocks of low quantity goods will create a more smooth process for everyone. We do plan on still announcing new debuts, key restocks, and pre-orders!
We have been busier than ever and are looking for someone local to join our Customer Service Crew! Primary tasks will include managing the Factory Showroom, greeting and helping out customers, and helping out with other fun projects. Know somebody that might be a good fit for us? Let them know to shoot resumes over to email@example.com.
Questions? Thoughts? Leave us a comment below.