A BIT ABOUT ME
I grew up in Cheltenham riding mountain bikes and BMX through the 90's. I feel like bags have always been a part of my bike life, saddle bags and frame triangles on my early 90's mountain bikes, backpacks full of heavy tools to bash my mid-school bmx back into working order, bike cases small enough to sneak my bike on to a flight disguised as a massage table, messenger bags for making money and hydration packs for big mountain all day adventures. I worked in Bike shops until the mid 00's when I took a leap of faith into working as a bike courier, at first in London and later in Sydney, and San Francisco.
I was between jobs in SF when a friend offered me the opportunity to come and work for his small messenger bag company: Freight Baggage. It was pretty awesome, there were four of us working in a four by five meter shop half way up Vallejo Street on Telegraph Hill. I started out doing basic jobs, sweeping up, cutting fabric, and emptying the bins. With great patience Travis taught me to sew, using the powerful industrial machines was like learning to drive in a F1 race car. Every bike messenger has a design in their head for the ultimate work bag, Travis had basically given me the tools to bring it to reality. I started working on designs and once I had a part time messenger job, testing them out. It was kind of like learning to build good wheels; put something together and then take it out and see if you can break it. I bought my first machine from Travis and have had a sewing workshop ever since, as "187" in SF, and later after I left SF just using a gold on black Union Jack with "made in the USA" badge.
In 2010 I scored a job working for Santa Cruz Bicycles, for a kid from the Cotswolds this was the fruition of a childhood dream so I leapt at the opportunity. I was with SCB until 2018 and the whole time I had my sewing shop on the side. I spent most of my spare time (when I wasn't riding) working on patterns for bags to ride bikes with; if you go to the Santa Cruz factory you will see a fair number of their staff rocking my bags and hip packs. I was lucky to have time without commercial demands to really develop my skills and designs. In 2018 my partner Tiff and I decided to move to the UK where I bought some new machines and set up "London Broil Bagshop LTD" (BroilBag).