Fashion meets functionality at North Promontory, which offers a line of casual, utility, and messenger bags designed to meet a passion for traditional but a need for modern.
Simple and traditional, the bags will have little touches that will make our everyday lives easier such as chains that connect to our keys to avoid digging and pockets specifically for our phones. It’s old meets new in the most fashionable way.
Problem Being Solved
Jim says he is trying to bridge the gap between traditional and tech. There’s been a surge to combine traditional aspects of life into the more modern world, such as raising chickens in urban areas, or combining old Bluegrass sounds with new styles of music. Jim wants to do the same thing with bags. His bags hold a traditional look while embracing the necessities we need everyday.
Where the Idea Came From:
While Jim has a fashion background, and worked in the industry in New York and around the country, he was never really enthralled with simply the visual aspect of fashion. He went back to school for industrial design where function is more key, and decided he wanted to combine the two. In industrial design a product “has to look good, but be functional as well.” Now, his bags do both.
“There is a real call for domestically produced goods,” says Jim. The perks of producing overseas are diminishing and it’s exciting to him to see the market here improve.
Since Jim has self-funded his business, he says his biggest challenge so far has been fine-tuning his ability to work on something that takes a while to get rolling. Trying to build the business while needing to work on the side is just a balance he says he has to work through. “I’m sure it’s a problem a lot of people have.”
“When you first go to school for design,” Jim says, “you plan to just draw things.” But, in building his business, he’s been surprised by the myriad of jobs he has to take on within the fashion industry. “Inventory, tracking, marketing, there are just so many aspects you have to address.”
Jim has lofty goals he always keeps in mind, dreams that include expanding his line to clothing and becoming an official outfitter to the Olympic Games, “But who knows how long that will take.” In the next year or so though, he is concentrating on getting 3-4 pieces into the public eye.
Jim urges other entrepreneurs to, “Take the time to explore every aspect of what you’re doing. Be aware of all the aspects and really dedicate yourself.”
Lansing’s newest incubator, The Runway, one of 7 best places in Lansing to start a business, is up and running and will soon be open for retail sales. The state’s first fashion incubator, it houses individuals and companies creating unique, innovative, and of course, stylish lines of clothing.
You can learn more about the Runway here: