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Building a Better Backpack from Scratch

Posted by Cariset on

We’ve all been there. You wake up before the sun, pack up some leftovers, makeup, and a change of clothes, head to the gym (on a good day), then on to work, and finally head out to meet friends for dinner or catch your daughter’s ballet recital. On the days you actually accomplish all this, you should feel like superwoman. But instead, you’re juggling three bags in one day, which makes you feel self-conscious. Disheveled. Overwhelmed. Unprofessional. Uncool.

You’re not alone in this either. This scenario might sound trite, but 9 in 10 women say they opt out of “important life activities” – from speaking up at work to spending time with friends and family – when they don’t feel good about the way they look. So we sacrifice. We skip the workout class, or the date, or the family dinner. Because you can’t do it all AND look good doing it.

Until now.

At Cariset, we believe the key to feeling like you’re on top of the world starts with your bag. For our first product, we’re on a mission to build a better backpack. Our backpack helps you look effortlessly put-together, while still fitting everything you need for your day. It features pebbled leather and padded straps, plus separate compartments to keep your sneakers from touching your laptop.

For the past year, we’ve been hustling to launch Cariset, and we’ve learned so much along the way.

1. How to build a backpack

It all began when Allison sketched an idea for a better backpack. Since then, we’ve established partnerships with factories in Los Angeles, Vietnam, and China to create samples. With each sample (seven in total!), we’ve cycled through testing, feedback, and alterations. We’ve selected high-quality fabrics and nailed down our supply chain. After months of fine-tuning, we’re ready to sign a contract for our first production run. We cannot wait to bring our product to life!

2. How to lean on experts

Through introductions facilitated by our personal and Kellogg networks, we’ve developed coaching relationships with retail and e-commerce experts. We wouldn’t be where we are today if not for these experts’ generous advice. I used to falsely believe entrepreneurs had all of the answers themselves – boy, was I wrong! Learning from those who have been through it before has saved us time, money, and heartache.

3. How to build a brand

When navigating the initial stages of a startup, there are SO MANY daily decisions to be made. These decisions can feel overwhelming, but clearly defining our brand has established our purpose and guided our decision making. At the end of the day, we’re three women building an authentic brand that will resonate with women for generations to come. We’re working extremely hard and having the time of our lives doing it.  

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