Despite the gloomy weather in both Vietnam and Minnesota, it's been an epic spring so far and the team at Ethnotek is getting very excited for the coming months - we have a lot of of good things coming the Tribe's way in 2013. We've also been full of gratitude to see that our media friends continue to spread the good word about Ethnotek in the most radical way: with a focus on our artisans and their stunning, time-honored craft. See below for features from our friends at Gear Junkie, The Examiner and Adventure Mom and join us in spreading the good word!
We met Patrick, from Gear Junkie at Winter Market Outdoor Retailer, and re-met him at their Minneapolis office under circumstances that can most suitably be labeled as 'misadventurous' - typical, right?! Upon arriving to the general vicinity of their office in Uptown, Minneapolis, we got stuck in the snow/ice mix while parking. After a few failed attempts at getting un-stuck, we called the guys at Gear Junkie, who came out and saved the day. Talk about an icebreaker (quite literally), right?! Fast friends. What's more, after our chat, one of their cars wouldn't start and we of course returned the favor (or at least tried - didn't help that none of us knew how to jump a car. whoops.) - isn't karma a thing of beauty (except when it's not for good, I guess)?!
We took one look at this article and smiled right away...because Gear Junkie clearly got it, which was evident in their headline of choice: "Vankar Shamji, an Indian weaver, made my pack look awesome." Patrick's final verdict? Check it out:
"With about 1,500 cu. inches of capacity and a ton of nice features, the pack is perfect for everyday work or school use. For travel it would make a great carry-on.In a crowded marketplace, ETHNOTEK sets itself apart with a unique, feel-good cultural infusion in each pack. I have to admit, I think it’s pretty cool to actually know the name of the person who made what I’m wearing and to know that he was paid a fair wage for his work."
Ethnotek is so much more than a unique bag company...we'd like to think we're storytellers and connection-makers. Our experience with Marie Malinowski, freelance writer for The Examiner reminded us of this. While sitting on the floor, outside of a very crowded Ethnotek booth at Winter Market Outdoor Retailer, we had the opportunity to hear Marie's story and share the story of our artisans. Marie's a hardcore Minnesota outdoorswoman who cycles in the winter and exudes this super-cool ultimate tough-chick aura.
What's more, Marie has a passion for brands who do good. After Outdoor Retailer, we sat down again with Marie at a Caribou in Eagan, Minnesota (coincidentally also the town where Founder Jake's mom resides and manages inventory - from her basement) for two hours to chat more and Marie recently featured Ethnotek in her "10 spring gotta haves" article under the "For all who care about ethical, fair trade practices" section. Here's our favorite excerpt:
"If you’re looking for a truly unique bag, look at an Ethnotek bag. Ethnotek is a bonfire of ethics, integrity and respect in a must-have-this-now-at-the-cheapest-price-who-cares-about-the-country-of-origin-and-how-their-(lack of)-labor-laws-coerce-workforces-to-crank-out-products-for-shockingly-low-cost-as-fast-as-inhumanly-possible."
Adventure Mom TV
We had the pleasure of meeting Kathy Dalton this summer at Outdoor Retailer as well. A well-connected, passionate woman with a kind soul and a deep interest in the art of storytelling, Kathy was immediately a new friend and member of the Tribe. Check out the video she took (below) of Founder Jake while visiting our booth, and check out her Adventure Mom website. Here's a snippet from her feature:
"For me, blogging is about more than running giveaway or scheduling family meet-ups. It’s about what brings us there.
It all comes down to the stories.
It’s the stories that I love and the people behind them.
I first connected with Ethnotek via twitter and met the team in real life at the Outdoor Retailer show in January. They are a company that is all about telling the story. Josh, co-founder of Ethnotek, brought tears to my eyes when he said to me, “When we travel, we want to hold that moment. This is what our bags are about.” It’s about saving that moment in time and holding it in our hands."