Sick of choosing between style and function? These young ladies are turning the luggage industry upside down
Two Young Female Entrepreneurs Bring Fashion and Function Together in Travel Gear
Online start-up, Elephant Stripes, is revolutionising women's travel style, selling an amazing range of custom designed
travel products in inspiring designs. Launched in March 2016 by two young women from New Zealand, they intend to take
the male dominated travel & outdoor industry by storm. They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their stylish Travel Packs.
As travel-lovers, Kiwi co-founders Francesca Logan and Jordan Abrahams, got fed up with always having to choose between
travel gear that looked good or that was durable and functional.
“We noticed that most travel gear was made by men for men; with women and style as an afterthought. So we decided to do
something about it” said Logan.
After launching their website
at the beginning of March with their product range including modern Suitcases, Duffel Bags in many exciting designs,
ingenious Folding Bags, patterned Packing Cells, beautiful Cosmetic Cases and more, the new company have just launched
their travel packs onto crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter
The packs come in 2 sizes and incorporate all leading-edge travel pack features, including front loading, a fully
adjustable harness system, zip away harness, a dedicated laptop pocket, a built in rain cover, zip on daypack and an
attachable side strap. The bags use high quality materials and YKK zips and buckles.
The 45-litre packs are specifically designed for Carry-On requirements of most airlines. Travelling with carry-on only
is a new trend in the industry as airlines continue to increase the costs of checked baggage.
The 65-litre packs incorporate all the features of its smaller sister. Being much larger it includes a lightweight frame
to provide structural support, while a detachable 15-litre daypack zips onto the front, perfect for day-trips.
Age was no barrier for Jordan and Francesca, who first started brainstorming the idea for the company while at Victoria
University of Wellington at the age of 21. Now aged 23 the co-founders admit that while at the beginning they often
avoided admitting their age for fear they wouldn't be taken seriously, they are now comfortable being young business
women, with their ever-growing experience in the manufacturing and product design industries to back them up.
“We believe your travel gear should be as exciting as your travels are!” said Abrahams.
Jordan and Francesca thought that of all travel products packs were the most in need of a “style revamp”. “We were
horrified by the mud-brown and boogie green shades on offer. When it came to female travel packs usually the only change
from the men’s packs was to ‘shrink it and pink it’ said Logan. Elephant Stripes’ packs come in a choice of 6 unique
designs covering many different styles from flowers, to Aztec to a black bag with a gold feature zip.
They have partnered with the Bali Children’s Project, a reputable, not-for-profit charity registered in the US and
Indonesia to offer a ‘bag for bag’ model. For every bag sold during the Kickstarter campaign Elephant Stripes will
donate a school bag to an Indonesian child in need.
This initiative isn’t the only charitable aspect of this young company. Both Founders stress the importance of being at
the forefront of the movement towards better business practices. The duo carefully selected their manufacturer in
Indonesia that best aligned with their values, they set up a charitable foundation, The Ashla-Maia Foundation, which
owns a portion of the business and they are in the process of moving to fully recycled packaging. They aim to broaden
this aspect of the business and say in the future they want to use recycled fabrics, help out other female entrepreneurs
and get involved in Elephant Rescue projects.
On Kickstarter “backers” pre-order the packs, which are then manufactured and delivered to them by October at the
latest. The pair chose this platform as it was a great way “to reach a large audience of people across the globe that
could see our product, back our company and be first in line to receive the packs”. It was also a financial decision to
get the required funding needed for the first round of manufacturing. In return for their patience, backers are rewarded
with up to 40% off the recommended retail price of the bags – the faster they get in, the better the discount.