The World’s Greatest Backpack: Bowerbags

A BowerBag is a messenger bag that transforms into a backpack if you need more space, and then into a saddle bag if you don’t want to carry anything at all. You can just strap it to your bike or motorcycle and carry everything from an I-pod to an elephant!. Bowerbags are a 3 way configurable backpack that feature a new springless snap-on clasp.

Bowerbags are one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. This is your chance to check out what Bowerbags and many other amazing innovations are all about.

Recently, creator Jamie Bowerman took a moment answer some questions about the backpack and courier bag industry, Kickstarter and incorporating his name into the product  …

Bowerbags are very versatile.

1. What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?

Bowerbags solves lots of problems which is why its so much fun. You can configure it and design it to fit your lifestyle with was never an option for the consumer before. The defining moment that led me to this creation was I wanted a bag to fit my lifestyle. I didn’t want to own 7 different bags but own one bag that does it all.

2. After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?

The backpack and courier bag industry is a very mature and over-saturated market, with little to no actual innovation, so there was no question that the product was viable. Immediately I knew my consumer was the person with an active lifestyle, regardless of age. If you are someone that wants to have fun and do more, than Bowerbags is for you.

3. How did you go about naming your product?

I tested something like 50 names. Everyone I spoke with hated 49 of them and said Bowerbags was OK, so I went with Bowerbags. Everything I invent configures in some way and since the bag is really about the consumer designing it to their lifestyle I didn’t feel as bad incorporating my name into it.

4. How long did it take you to create you initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?

It took me about nine months to a year. I learned a ton in that time, if I had to do it all over again I would be able to have a prototype and production line up in a month. I ran into soooooo many problems along the way, mostly in getting my local manufacturer to actually get me in line for a production run, but I learned a lot and I am ten thousand times better for it.

5. Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?

I used an online crowd-source funding platform called Kickstarter  I think its great way to get things out there, I sold 5 of my 100 original made in the USA units overseas thanks to Kickstarter and it helped get me out there in the world, I strongly recommend it because it puts you in the driver seat. Looking back on it, getting funded was the easiest part. Everything that came after was really a challenge.

6. Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else? And if so, who?

I would entertain licensing it, although I have never heard of a backpack that got a licensing deal. For backpack and courier bags you start a business and sell your product, which is what I do. If it does well there are plenty of larger companies or investment firms that buy companies just like mine. It’s a good investment year round, everybody needs a bag or backpack.

7. What all channels are you using to market your product?

At the moment its entirely online, direct sales. It’s the best approach, in my opinion, for start-ups.

8. How many people do you currently have involved in your business?

Myself and some friends who help pitch in, I have retained 100% of my business and consider myself very lucky to have great friends to help me out when I need it.

9. How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?

To me, hitting a home run would be to see people in every major city, everywhere you go, carrying a Bowerbag, having fun, and doing more with it…..DAS IT!

10. Where do people go to find out more about your product?

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