Sick and tired of the same boring designs on backpacks and bags?
Grab a Anicca Bag and customize it to fit your style!
To find out more behind how Anicca Bags got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Anicca Bags founder, Jeremy Holmstead and his team Mark Ortiz, and Forrest Rodman.
More about the episode...
Josh sits down the Anicca Bags team: Jeremy Holmstead, Mark Ortiz, and Forrest Rodman. Anicca bags was sparked when Jeremy Holmstead broke his femur. While going through his recovery, he picked up sewing and was quickly sucked into the world of apparel and gear production. From there he was joined up by long time friend Mark Ortiz and later Forrest Rodman, creating the like-minded, fun-loving group of friends who make handcrafted customizable bags. Although Anicca is a young company, this industry underdog has been innovating to finetune their products into the unique and reliable bags they produce today!
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- Head to Anicca Bags website and pick up a bag of your own!
- Follow Anicca Bags on Facebook, Instagram,
- Check out Anicca Bag’s blog
- More about Anicca Bag’s
- More of the artistic mastermind behind Anicca Bags, Marinna Holmstead
- An ad and visual of an Anicca Bag being made
- Hidden Collective artist series featuring Marinna Holmstead
Who are you guys and what do you do?
“We’re a group of likeminded friends making packs and knicknacks…”
“We’re ski bums here in the winter then after we’re done skiing for the day we sit down in the office, sit down in front of a couple sewing machines and make stuff…”
How did you guys get into sewing?
“Jeremy had the misfortune of breaking his femur, and as one of his rehabilitative activities he picked up sewing. We got to go ski all day and he got to sew.”
How long was the road to recovery?
“It was incredible it was a compound fracture but, the docs healed me up great and three months after that I was hitting the slopes”
Mark and Forest, how did you guys get involved with Anicca and what is the dynamic between the three of you?
Mark: “I was living with Jeremy at the time and due to his semi immobile state I actually did a fair amount of fabric cutting just because I could move around on the floor with a pair of scissors better than him. I really didn’t become involved until a year or two later…”
Forrest: “I’m the newest member of the team. This is only my second season learning how to sew, so I’d say I’m an apprentice more than anything…”
What are your backgrounds?
Jeremy: Me and Mark, we grew up together. We’ve been living together many years since then on and off, through college. We met Forrest here and Driggs and we moved out here a couple years ago.
Forrest: I’m from Idaho, I spent 5 years in the Navy and then went to nursing school after I got out...I decided to find myself and ended up here in the Tetons
Mark: Jeremy and I kind of split up after highschool, I moved to Salt Lake to pursue a ski bum lifestyle consequently going to college because that seemed like a good excuse.
What was the prototyping process like from when you first started to where you are now?
Mark: I think some of the really hard stuff was figuring out what materials are going to have the durability and the qualities that we really want...A lot of it was just trial and error. We’d see something and say let’s try to emulate that…”
What is the full line of bags you offer?
Jeremy: Right now we’re really exploring a little more of outdoor gear. We have a new backpack called the Ortize Pro Model, it’s a little more geared towards backcountry skiing…We’re going through quite a bit of changes. Anicca, the word itself means always changing. That’s why I thought it was so fitting, I’m learning everyday…”
Head to Anicca’s website to see all the bags they produce
What is something unique about Anicca Bags that no one really knows about?
Jeremy: “I would say the customization that one could have. We really like to have the customer design their own bag…”
Mark: “It’s really fun for me to make a bag knowing it’s something that whoever is ordering it, particularly asked for. Being able to think about that person while I’m making their product is pretty cool…”
Do customers have to reach out to you to customize their own bags?
Jeremy: “On the website right now currently you can choose the main color than a secondary color. Then there’s a notes section so if there's any additional customization requested they can write it in…”
How do you deal with workflow and getting backlogged with orders?
Jeremy: “It’s been really nice having Mark and Forrest helping out. We can stay on top of it right now. Two to three weeks is what I like to give myself for a time frame but they don’t normally take that long to knock out…”
Mark: “It’s a pretty democratic distribution of work…”
What mentors have you guys had along this process?
Mark: “I mostly learned to sew from Jeremey…”
Jeremy: “And I learned everything from YouTube. I think once you start manufacturing a backpack, you’ll understand the process that it takes, like when you’re putting on a pocket...you slowly learn to understand how a backpack is constructed…”
Forrest: “I’m still asking a lot of questions. I’m pretty much looking to Jeremy and Mark for all the tips and advice to get the know-how to get the job done…”
What is your commitment to sustainable manufacturing?
Jeremy: “We get a lot of our stuff from a wholesaler up there in Washington but, we try to recycle as much stuff as we possibly can. Recently my step-mom and dad ripped up their wonderful leather couch for me to use all the leather from, which will last me a little bit. I try to be sustainable as possible with my makings…”
Mark: “I recently outfitted my soccer mom mini van with solar panels so now I have a portable sewing unit for my adventures in the summer…”
What is the culture that exists within Anicca Bags?
As soon as Josh asks this question Mark, Forrest, and Jeremy, instantly give you a peek at their comfortable relationship as they go back and forth to tackle the questions
Jeremy: “It’s pretty casual here, and that’s the dream that I had of this. I wanted to make a sustainable environment for friends and likeminded people…”
What would you guys says is the hardest part about building your business?
Jeremy: “I’d say for me personally, is the social media aspect of things. I’ve never really been good at reaching out to the world via the internet. My main interest is really just making things…”
What would you guys say is your greatest fears in relation to the business?
Jeremy: An unsatisfied customer...to have someone come back and not like it, it kind of puts a damper on our day…
What is some of the biggest mistakes you make?
Mark: I made a bag for my buddy down in Salt Lake and, I put on one of the flaps backwards. About six hours laters I thought I was done and I realized it was totally wrong… I stayed up really late that night and learned some new curses…
Forrest: There’s a lot of attention to detail when it comes to sewing. It’s not necessarily one big mistake but small steps that you end up forgetting that throws you way off…
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a business in the outdoor sport industry?
Jeremy: “Do a lot of research on what you want to do, the type of people you want to target, and all the logistics behind it. When I first started this I thought I could just get by with a single sewing machine...I always underestimated how much it would cost to start up…”
What would you say is the best part about running Anicca?
Jeremy: It’s just a really relaxed environment. We all really enjoy eachothers company here and working with each other.
Mark: You’re your own boss… I can set my own hours and work when I want to...It's a very casual work environment and that’s what I think I like most.
Forrest: “Workin’ with the homies and getting to create something I think is really unique…”
What in store for the future of Anicca Bags?
- Jeremy: “Pretty much establish a presence up here in the North West. It would be great to have this office here be in full swing and, also with the bus traveling...Just to expand at an organic grow, I feel is in the deck of cards for us…”