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A Small Business Journey July 12, 2022
The Evolution of Bagnets
Relatively speaking, the history of my company is short. I invented Bagnet in the winter of 2014 so it’s just over 4 years old. In those four years I have gone from inventing and patenting (which I did myself, the longest and most arduous task EVER) to hand-making and hawking at street faires, to web development and Facebook ads (another planet altogether), to professional manufacturing and fulfillment, to actually hiring a team and running an honest-to-God business. In those 4 years though, Bagnet itself has gone through so many changes and iterations.In 2014 I would bring home faux leather swatches from my day job (office furniture sales and design) and hand cut and sew Bagnets. I graduated to a steel rule die which you hammer a few times with a mallet to get a precisely cut piece of leather. My husband would hammer out the leather pieces in the garage as I would be sewing in my home office. Soon we got smart and bought a steel rule die that cut 3 Bagnet shapes at a time, and my husband did 3x the work in the same amount of time. Soon after that, we invested $1000 in a Tippmann Clicker which would hydraulically press the steel rule die into several layers of leather, creating a dozen Bagnet cutouts at a time. All the while I was making day trips to San Francisco to buy the coolest materials I could find. I used a variety of hardware and stitching colors and offered a rainbow of handmade Bagnets at every street faire I worked. Soon it became too much for me to handle as the website took off and orders increased, so I found a manufacturer in LA who assured me they could make retail quality Bagnets at an affordable price. It turned out that was NOT true, and I scrambled to find another manufacturer who could make quality Bagnets. I ended up finding not only one but TWO amazing companies who now produce all of my products. I love looking at the evolution of Bagnets from handmade to professionally-made real leather, to the Sport collection, the Minis, the Kids, and now the Vinyl Pop collection – it’s like a mini stroll down memory lane!