It looks like the P. I.’s stumbled on one of Seattle’s little secrets – R.E. Load bags. I’m still shocked at the number of people in Seattle riding around with bags made elsewhere when we have great bag makers right here in town. Out in Philly, where R.E. Load originated and still has the original branch, it sounds like the bags are endemic. R.E. Load makes the most unique, most stylish bags I’ve ever seen. Not good enough? Tell ‘em what colors you want and they’ll run you a custom anything. Bags range from huge, professional courier bags to more manageable sizes for those not hauling boxes of medical records around.
Amazingly, you can only see these bags in person at a few locations world wide, so I encourage you to drop by the E. Pike St (I haven’t checked out the Philly Store yet, please let us know if you have!). There’s plenty beyond bags inside – lots of clothing, art and culture that you can’t find on their site. R. E. Load’s just turned 10 years old. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing their bags for many more.
I’ve got my own bit of R.E. Load Baggage – the quality is great, and the customer service was very good. I definitely like the creative designs I see on their bags. However, the thing that impresses me the most about R.E.Load is how they’re growing market for other artists. It’s great to see so much hand made stuff in the store front. It looks like quite a bit of it comes from ‘friends of friends’ (or maybe just friends), but I’m not sure how else you’d grow a network of custom goods. Sadly only a fraction of it is on the site.
The other interesting thing about R.E.Load is how they’re scaling their business – slowly. It looks like they’re keeping things sustainable by staying away from high production/low quality deals. Sustainable’s smart if you love what you do, and it looks to me like a lot of love and labor goes into the bags. Good on ya, R.E. Load, keep it up!