Lots of Progress to Report
Here is a where we are to date, what is done and what is yet to be done before we can start shipping bags.
This past week, we began making the production approval samples of each size satchel and the various add on pieces. These samples are made using all the correct materials, machines and dies exactly as they will be made in production. This is the last chance to check all the cutting dies to make sure everything matches the patterns as well as a chance for me and the prototype specialist, to teach others how all the pieces come together. Every step is documented with notes and photos. It takes several hours per bag. We found that the majority of the dies are correct and working, except for the thermos tubes, which needed a little tweaking. We should have the new revised thermos tube dies next week.
Unassembled pieces of a small Classic Satchel waiting to become a bag.
HARDWARE: All of our hardware including the custom pieces have been delivered or are in the hands of FedEx with an expected delivery in about two weeks.
LEATHER: Almost everything is ready for a full production except the leather. Since we only use vegetable-tanned leather, which takes months to make and is the slowest part of what we do here at Kendal & Hyde Co. I am happy to report that I signed off on the approval tan last Friday—later than planned, but it is done. The tannery can now drop the herd-and-half worth of hides it will take to make all your bags into the tanning pits.
We have been developing the "concept" for our leather with the tannery since the beginning of the campaign last spring. The hardest part was getting our natural, whiskey and brown leather colors to be true browns and not have too much yellow, orange and red tones in them respectively as is typical of most stock leather colors tanneries make. Vegetable tanned leather tends to have a natural orange base to it that must be accounted for in the dyes in order to get a true brown. It is pretty hard to get it right, which might be why true browns are so rarely seen in vegetable-tanned leather. There were a few misses that warranted further refinement to get everything just right with the color, texture, sheen and back side finish. In the end, it took four test tans by the tannery to get everything perfect instead of the two that I had anticipated. (Each attempt takes about a month to tan.) Despite the delay to the schedule, I think it was worth it because the colors and overall look of the leather is awesome—I almost hugged the colorist when I saw the "whiskey" color. The previous were all too orange or too light and I was not expecting him to get it right on this last pull based on the previous version.
The leather delay will add about a month-and-a-half to our timeline pushing our delivery back from September/October to the end of November or early December depending how quickly the full tan goes. We anticipate having the full leather delivery received in about six weeks.Once the leather is delivered, then we will have all the pieces needed to start production. The production will take three to four weeks to make all the bags but we will commence shipping as bags are completed. As we get closer to leather delivery we can be more accurate in our delivery projections, which I will send out in about a month via the next update.
Preview of Our Next Release
As the leather is tanning we will continue to work on some new designs and the re-release of our line of briefs. Below is a sneak peak at our next release later in the month. It's a re-creation of an old duffel bag from the 40s that a lady refused to sell to me, so we just made one ourselves but added some features to accommodate modern use, which is kind of our thing - an old school look, built around modern needs.
It not only fits in the overhead bin on a regional jet, but has a zippered side pocket (not shown) for a computer that allows for quick and easy removal of a computer for the TSA screening without opening the main bag and rifling through your clothes. I used it for the first time traveling back home from the factory this past weekend and I am really happy with its performance and proportions. However, it does not have a name! If you have any ideas, please pass them along.
and a "felt" build to work out the pattern (right).
Thanks for all your support!
Kendal, Hyde, Matt