Manual bagTo create accessories that are compatible with the owner and their belongings
As men often find themselves short of pocket space, the popularity of the man bag is growing.
The idea behind the Project is to develop a handbag designed to carry small items that are usually kept in pockets or wallets. The handbag will include an innovative opening mechanism for more convenient carrying of small personal items. The Project provides an opportunity to apply engineering principles to enhance the bag’s functionality, through an automatic system to open and close using just the touch of the palm.
LUKAS AVĖNAS (Lithuania)
Lukas is an industrial designer working with various brands in Europe, currently involved in developing concepts for interiors, watches and other accessories.
NEDAS VILKAS (Lithuania)
Nedas is an entrepreneur currently working on an active printing press for the clothing market. After setting up his first company, SPAUDOZA, he is now exploring new opportunities to grow his business with the next venture.
ARTISANA LLC (Estonia)
The Stella Soomlais studio makes leather bags & accessories. In addition to its good quality, long-lasting design, the company has implemented circular economy principles and became the region’s pioneer in sustainable bags.
AfIn the days of my childhood, I remember my father having a handbag, where he used to carry all hisIn the days of my childhood, I remember my father having a handbag, where he used to carry all hisessentials. I even remember the feel of it, as I tend to sneak in it and secretly grab a coin or two. I must mention, that I learn my lessons not to steal at the time. Anyway, back in the late 90’s such type ofbags were popular in Eastern and Middle Europe among men. So pretty naturally, it seemed to me thatevery grown, solid and respected man should have one in his hands. As I reached age of 20, my on-goinventory increased, I figured that such concept of carrying things in one place could be practical. Butsomehow, man was not carrying handbags anymore, so I wondered why. As I kept looking for bags thatwould fit me as a person, I did not find any interesting options. So business idea stroked me.
I became passionate to create handbags that would suit and reflect style of the modern men. The problem wasthat I was not a designer, nor a bag crafter. But youthful positivity altogether mixed with somesentimental emotions took over, so I decided to do it.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:
Handbag industry was always design focused primarily to females. And it is one of the reasons why men are not attracted to it anymore. Market is over flood with various models made by various brands. All of them look different, but actually are the same. Moreover this is one of the fields that is not innovating in a ways of manufacturing. As for this day bags are made by the same principles as century ago. Some industry reports claim that handbag market has lost its excitement, as manufacturing is limiting to create something new and yet unseen. So all this seem to be a critical point for a handbag evolution. We want to show the world that with engineering and redefined craftsmanship, handbags could breach to new level of convenience and versatility. Our focus in creating innovative controllability mechanism with priority to ergonomics is resulted in design itself. Thus brings our bag on the table, which could be carried by men and women.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS:
It was pretty brave and unmeasured move to take on into this venture, as I had little understanding of the bag making process. In the beginning I was all alone, so I worked the best I could imagine. After half a year I had my first result and it was terrible! I realized that I am not a designer by nature. I understood that my product would not sell, as it was more annoying then satisfying and on top of that, it was really bad quality. So I actually quit. But somehow the idea was still with me. And it turned out, that the effort put in this this stage, was crucial in terms of project development, as I came up with unique bag form and noticed the opportunity to create not just a traditional bag, but the one which could potentially be controlled in an uniquely effortless way. Then it all shifted to engineering. As my partner Lukas Avenas joined me, he brought more depth and justification into our design solutions. Together we agreed on product and design development principle, which was finding the sweet spot in combining stealthiness with ergonomics. The technology behind our product could be sort of described as combination of watchmaking and bag crafting. As it is one of the kind, we had to experiment and connect the dots ourselves.
Worth project was like super glue in finding and sticking team all together. As high level skills such as engineering and product designing was needed, opportunity to attend WORTH project brought an excitement for all of us. As a result it was much easier to form partnerships. Merging different competences helped to escalate working process and envisioned result started to show up quickly. In less than a year we brought much bigger results, than I manage to deliver in two years alone. Partnership is a must, especially on a high complexity projects like this. Sharing responsibilities and ideas as a diversified team, usually armors projects from many mistakes and errors. Furthermore it brings much more fruitful results. Hours of online sessions and practical iterations lead us slowly to our goal. It seems that we have faced number of dead end challenges. Thankfully, we have managed to deal with them, as partners brought their working experience and insights, which was helpful in selecting the right solutions.
Next month we will start to showcase our product to the target groups and hopefully we will gather some measurable impressions, which will validate the need for our product. After validation, we will scout for investment, as it is necessarily needed for more extensive marketing, business and manufacturing operations. Also creative people related to marketing field are welcome to join us. We are determined to get through these stages in the first half of the year, so on spring/summer 2021 people would be able to order RMATURA.
Be patient. Don’t be afraid to share your vision to the outside people. Do not procrastinate collaborations, if you do not have the right competence. Share project autonomy with partners you chose. Be ready to adjust your vision, if it is obviously for the better. If you live with the idea whole time, but feel uncertain, just start and do it, you learn your way through.