In June of 2015, my daughter, mother to two precious little girls, asked me if I could make a backpack small enough to fit her older daughter Olivia, but large enough for Olivia to carry her own stuff. This precious (and very tiny) 2 ½ yr. old then asked, “Nana, could you make me a ‘yion’ backpack?”
I set out to first design a simple children’s backpack (the lion would have to wait until I knew what I was doing.) As I learned about the proper fit and dimensions for toddler and children’s backpacks, I came up with some fun animal-head designs. I named each of the designs after people or pets from my past and the Animal Packers line of children’s backpacks began to take shape.
Figuring out how to design and construct children’s backpacks was only the beginning of the problems I had to solve. I set up a simple website, knowing that eventually I’d have to figure out how to get the backpacks made.
As I learned about manufacturing solutions, my main goal was to build an ethical, transparent supply chain – from designing and sourcing fabric, hardware and trims, to finding factories for sub- and final assembly.