SEATTLE, Wash. – Backpack and travel bag designer and manufacturer Tom Bihn has stopped making and shipping out their extensive line of bags and accessories until further notice in order to make face masks.
In an exclusive interview with KXL’s Brett Reckamp, founder Tom Bihn described how he thought it was simply the right thing to do during this time of crisis. He said after a period of research, trial and error, they have begun to hit their stride in face mask production. The endeavor isn’t one that is lucrative, but they are making enough money making masks to at least cover some overhead and payroll costs. Tom calls being able to keep people working during this difficult time “golden.”
Nobody knows how long this Coronavirus crisis is going to last and the Seattle area has been one of the hardest hit. They were also one of the first to have a major outbreak of COVID-19. Tom says it’s been a joy collaborating with local hospitals and health care workers and also fellow businesses like Seattle’s Outdoor Research and Mukilteo furniture maker Kass as they zeroed in on exactly what the masks would look like.
Of course, Tom Bihn has been creating bags his entire life, and told Brett to this day he comes up with designs for fun. So he says they will be very relieved once this crisis begins to slow down and they can get back to doing what they love most and frankly what they are best at: making extraordinary travel bags, backpacks and accessories to help make our lives better. Tom said “We’ll be glad on the other side of this when we get back to making just, backpacks and bags for fun, you know? So that people can get outdoors and bring their groceries home from the store, and all the other ways that people use our bags.”
Click below to listen to Brett’s entire interview with bag maker Tom Bihn.