Why I started Baxley
- message from the founder -
Many people have asked why the heck I started on this crazy path.
It's amazing and exciting, but it's also one filled with exhausting challenges that most would consider too daunting to juggle with two kids and a husband.
Well, if you want to watch, here's the talk I gave at London's General Assembly >
If prefer listening, here's a podcast I was interviewed on from Creative Women International >
Otherwise, read on.
3 years ago, life was full of unicorns and rainbows. I was a happily employed designer who worked improving the digital experiences for companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Virgin.
2 years ago, unicorns had been replaced by velociraptors. I had young children and wanted to work locally, and couldn't find any new work with less than 4 hours of commuting a day. For the best part of a year (or worst, if we're speaking frankly) I was unemployed. Furthermore, Trump was heavily pulling back environmental regulations and Brexit was becoming a reality. Even if I weren't an American expat, the political changes were profoundly altering the world my children would grow up in.
One day, I had an interview with an outdoor retailer halfway around the world. I went on their website to prep for the meeting, and fell in love with one of the bags they were selling.
Or, nearly in love. I spent 2 hours looking at every picture that existed on the internet of it, and finally determined it wasn't quite right. Poor access. Too outdoorsy. Just not designed well enough.
I put aside the pretence of prepping for my interview.
I had found my lightbulb moment.
In my typical day-to-day, I used to bounce between coffeeshops, client meetings, work in offices, the gym, after-work drinks, time with my kids and, if lucky, an outing with the hubby.
No matter which bag I chose to take out with me, it inevitably felt too bulky, too techy, too smart, or too small.
Or at least, that was the case before my lightbulb moment.
In that instant, I realised I could use my own skills in design to create a bag that juggles the realities of everyday life, while looking smart — all while being made in a manner that promoted environmental responsibility and awareness.
I entered this new career with a clear vision, and very little knowledge. No experience with retail, manufacturing, textiles or business management under my belt.
But I know about solving problems.
Particularly about solving problems based on functionality and appearance.
Now, 2 years + 3 rounds of user testing + 16 prototypes + countless surveys + hundreds of feedback forms, the Rolltop has been made.
I'm out of breath, exhilarated, and so excited to finally share this first design with you.