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  1. #1
    dsh
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    Bags/Backpacks: Everyone says "support a local bag builder"...

    ...but how do you find a good local builder? I've been carrying the same off-brand, made in China shoulder bag on my morning commute for far too long, and I'm more than willing to spend some money on a quality (and more importantly local) product. I have a feeling, though, that googling "local bag maker" isn't going to help me out much.

    I'm sure this isn't as much a problem in Brooklyn or LA, but is there a reliable way of finding local shops via, say, the internet? I don't see myself hanging out at the local polo matches or what have you to ask the locals (if there even are any; I've seen very very few fixed gear bikes here in DC), so word of mouth isn't all that reliable.

    How would you guys go about it?

  2. #2
    Large Member Geordi Laforge's Avatar
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    ask dcfixed

  3. #3
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    build your own bag.

    i mean, duh.
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  4. #4
    dsh
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    I guess you didn't see the part where I'm rich and want to pay someone else to do my work for me.

    I mean, duh.

    [Edit: Honestly, though, I was just hoping to get a quality local product instead of going to Wal-Mart and buying a Jansport. I don't really have any desire to join a secret club or anything. Patronizing local businesses shouldn't be this complicated.]
    Last edited by dsh; 06-02-09 at 09:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Large Member Geordi Laforge's Avatar
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    what's so complicated about going to your lbs and asking what's around? or going to the next indie craft fair or whatever and looking around? or joining dcfixed and asking?

  6. #6
    dsh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geordi Laforge View Post
    what's so complicated about going to your lbs and asking what's around? or going to the next indie craft fair or whatever and looking around? or joining dcfixed and asking?
    I'll send in a registration at dcfixed, thanks.

    As for those other things, I can't do them from my desk at work and once I get home I'd usually rather be doing other things. You know, family time.

    I'm not even sure I know what an "indie craft fair" is, haha.

    Ah well, I'm sure the guys at the lbs will have some ideas next time I'm in there. Thanks again for the tips.

  7. #7
    ECR Meepers's Avatar
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  8. #8
    dsh
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    Thanks meepers!

  9. #9
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    http://flexistentialist.org/blog/arc...messenger-bag/

    easy peasy! then you can go to the local indie craft fair and be 'bag guy' yourself.
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  10. #10
    dsh
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    Quote Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
    http://flexistentialist.org/blog/arc...messenger-bag/

    easy peasy! then you can go to the local indie craft fair and be 'bag guy' yourself.
    Great! Just what I always wanted!

  11. #11
    ECR Meepers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsh View Post
    Thanks meepers!
    no problem. they were just a few off the top of my head that are "local" to DC. all seam to be solid bags. and well seagull speaks for itself. but the guys at Blaq and the kid who runs/is Norman Porter are all super nice and quick to email you back.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    People say that? There are local bag builders?

  13. #13
    Large Member Geordi Laforge's Avatar
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    before the internet retail explosion and bags made overseas became available, messengers and others would use locally-made bags. and there are countless below-the-radar bag makers still...vaya and chicago wig come to mind...that sell their goods to local shops, online (personal sites or on etsy.com), or at events like renegade craft fair.

  14. #14
    dsh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meepers View Post
    no problem. they were just a few off the top of my head that are "local" to DC. all seam to be solid bags. and well seagull speaks for itself. but the guys at Blaq and the kid who runs/is Norman Porter are all super nice and quick to email you back.
    I really like the look of those Norman Porter bags (and I've gotta say I'm not a huge fan of the seatbelt buckle, so him not using those is a plus). I think I'm gonna shoot him an email today and see how busy he is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratcher33 View Post
    People say that? There are local bag builders?
    I've seen it a few times in the messenger bag threads, not to mention the more common sentiment of "buy local" and the desire to support mom&pop-type operations.

  15. #15
    Not a dick. Guvna's Avatar
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    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  16. #16
    ECR Meepers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsh View Post
    I really like the look of those Norman Porter bags (and I've gotta say I'm not a huge fan of the seatbelt buckle, so him not using those is a plus). I think I'm gonna shoot him an email today and see how busy he is.

    I've seen it a few times in the messenger bag threads, not to mention the more common sentiment of "buy local" and the desire to support mom&pop-type operations.
    Norman Porter has a myspace site also. i got an email back the first time in less than an hour. the other few were a little more spaced out, but still super fast in my book. i emailed seagull over a week ago and still got no word back from them. but their bags look bad ass. i don't need another bag, but i think i am going get to get one just to have it (i am addicted to bags). i have been eying up Norman Porter to for a while. but i love the strap on seagull.
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  17. #17
    thread derailleur erichsia's Avatar
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    Seagull Bags are pretty awesome. OP should also try these guys out of SF:
    http://freightbaggage.org/
    excellent quality. no belt buckle, has a cinching system similar to Re-Load's bags.

  18. #18
    manonthemoon Triple8Sol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geordi Laforge View Post
    what's so complicated about going to your lbs and asking what's around? or going to the next indie craft fair or whatever and looking around? or joining dcfixed and asking?
    ...or even just picking up the phone..

  19. #19
    dsh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple8Sol View Post
    ...or even just picking up the phone..
    I just picked up my phone and nothing happened.

    It's not on. Should I have turned it on?

    Was I supposed to call someone? Who should I have called?


    *Dials 411*

    "Hey where can I get some sweet custom messenger bags yo?"

    "Uhh... sir?"

  20. #20
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    Bedlam used to make bags in DC, but they shut down a couple years ago.

    Girl Bike Dog out of Philly is the closest to "local" for DC, and she has supported some of our events in the past. I don't own one, but the ones I have seen are very nice.
    I have a front brake, but I only use it for slowing or stopping.

  21. #21
    dsh
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    I've actually already got a bag on the way from the guy at Norman Porter. Geographically speaking Kutztown is about the same distance from DC as philly, and from the emails he seemed like a cool guy and was more than willing to tweak a couple of the features to suit my uses.

  22. #22
    ECR Meepers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsh View Post
    I've actually already got a bag on the way from the guy at Norman Porter. Geographically speaking Kutztown is about the same distance from DC as philly, and from the emails he seemed like a cool guy and was more than willing to tweak a couple of the features to suit my uses.
    please toss up some pics when you get it. and possibly a little review. i have really been interested in one of these bags.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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  23. #23
    ¡Senor Member! time bandit's Avatar
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    lol

  24. #24
    dsh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meepers View Post
    please toss up some pics when you get it. and possibly a little review. i have really been interested in one of these bags.
    Sure thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by time bandit View Post
    Haha yeah I tried that. As you can see, the results are not helpful.

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