This week I am will be featuring products produced by people in my home town of Seattle. Once I began to research products made by Americans, it was really gratifying to discover how many firms in Seattle were making great stuff. I will feature a different Seattle firm each day this week. I would love you to give me comments about products being made in your home town. As you can see, I list lots of companies making great shoes, socks, tools, furniture and other products in America on the right side of my blog. Let me know about a product you love that is made in your home town and I will add it to the list.
My featured firm today is Tom Bihn Bags. I first learned about Tom’s firm when I was looking for a protective sleeve for my laptop. I went to Best Buy but didn’t like what I saw. Then I found Tom’s website and was surprised to find that his factory was located in South Seattle. I called Tom’s 800 number and was directed to Tom himself. Tom suggested the Horizontal Brain Cell; I am glad he did because it is virtually bulletproof. After a brief chat, I asked Tom if I could come down and visit his factory. Tom showed me around and described the process of manufacturing a bag from A to Z. Tom’s brother shot a great video of the whole process. It is available at YouTube, just search “Tom Bihn factory in Seattle”. Tom is the bald fella at the beginning of the video. In addition, there are many “Tom Bihn” videos at YouTube showing the features of most of the bags that Tom’s firm manufactures.
Tom’s firm produces a wide range of bags from messenger bags to laptop bags to carry on luggage; Tom has designed most of these bags himself. Two of my favorite Tom Bihn bags are the Ristretto and the Buzz. The vibe at Tom’s facility is very interesting. People are definitely working hard, but there is an abiding sense of calm to the place. I plan to shoot my own video at Tom’s factory within the next month. When it is ready, I will of course post it here. In addition, Tom’s firm will also be featured in my upcoming book, Simply American, Putting our Extended American Family Back to Work.
There are a lot of messenger bags and computer bags to choose from. However, most of them are produced overseas. Tom Bihn bags are produced here in Seattle with American components by Americans. I encourage you buy a Tom Bihn bag the next time you are in the market for a fine bag.