Pismo Beach Expedition

We had an amazing time last month exploring the Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach California with a great group of people!

We started the trip by setting up our beachside campsite and getting ready to cook sunset dinner by the fire. After our camp was all set up, we went out to explore the largest dunes in California and capture some amazing photos! We made it back to camp just in time to enjoy some great food for dinner and sit by the campfire under the stars!

On the second day of our expedition we woke up early and made our way down the beach to rent ATV’s and hit the dunes! We spent three hours shredding through the sand and having a blast riding the ATV’s with eachother!

We had so much fun hosting this Expedition and are already looking forward to the next one!

Keep an eye out for information about our next trip coming very soon!

Check out some photos and video from the trip below!

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California Factory Site Visit! 

Recently, the Haven and Florin team visited a factory in California. 

Our product designers have been busy creating the 2018 product line and we are in the process of partnering with another USA factory.  We make a conscious effort to support American manufacturing and jobs. We value trusted manufacturers with proven reputations to partner with to ensure every backpack is made to last.

The purpose of the visit was to tour the facility and determine if quality, efficiencies and safe working conditions were in alignment with our company values. 

Here are some behind the scenes photos from our visit!

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National Backpack Day - Backpack Maintenance

In honor of National Backpack Day we are sharing some tips to help you properly maintain your bag. 

It is important that you keep your bag in the best shape possible. Haven & Florin bags are built to last and even come with a lifetime warranty, but they do occasionally get a little dirty. 

Here are some tips to help you keep them clean. 

You can wash your bag in the washer machine. Wash in cold water and use regular was settings. 

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Another option for you if you don't have access to washer machine is to wash your bag by hand in the shower. This is a little bit more work. But it is a solid alternative. 

Santa Cruz Coast Expedition

We had an amazing time exploring the Santa Cruz Coast this past weekend, with an even more amazing group of people!

We started the trip catching sunrise at Russian Ridge, then made our way down to Butano State Park. From there we made our way along the coast and stopped at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Davenport Pier, Shark Fin Cove and Panther Beach. 

We had a blast hosting this Expedition and are already looking forward to the next one! Special thanks to our sponsor SanDisk for helping make this trip possible, and for the awesome swag they provided to our guests!

Keep an eye out for information about our next trip coming very soon!

Check out some photos from the trip below.

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FLYING TO FACTORY AND BACK IN ONE DAY.

 We're finally in the final prototyping phase for our Rollpack before going into production. In order to make sure the final prototype is exactly to our specs, we decided to fly down to Los Angeles to spend the day at the factory.

Our day started at 5AM with a 6:30AM flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles. We got to our factory at 9:00AM and spent the next five hours in the prototyping room. After a quick lunch break, we headed back to the factory and finalized the Rollpack at 4:30PM! Our flight back to Sacramento was at 7:30PM and so we went to happy hour to celebrate. Long day but very happy that the Rollpack is ready for production now. We're hoping to get a small batch in by Thanksgiving. Stay tuned and thanks for roaming with us.

Best,
James

 

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SOLD OUT OF CHARCOAL AND OLIVE RUCKPACKS BUT AVAILABLE AT TIMELESS THRILLS!

We can't thank you enough for all your support in the last 6 months since our launch. Our manufacturing capacity has been at max as the demand increased. Aside from working on new products, we've been traveling back and forth to set up a second manufacturing partner to help increase the production capacity a bit.

We are scheduled for a restock of charcoal and olive Ruckpacks in two weeks.

Until then, we want to use this opportunity to announce our new stockist! This is the only place currently with a full stock of colors!
 

I had the pleasure of meeting Tyler Wichmann, Founder of Timeless Thrills, earlier this year when he opened the Timeless Thrills Flagship Store. What I love about Timeless Thrills is their creative "make things happen" attitude and their daily hustle mentality. It's always fun and inspiring to just go to the store and chat with Tyler and his wife (I spend hours there chatting with them and I learn something new every time!).

The reason I wanted Timeless Thrills to be the only store carrying our products is because we share the same beliefs and ideals for our brands. We believe in nothing but high-quality American made goods that are thoughtfully designed. No frills, just thrills. Simple as that.

Check them out here:
 

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All photos courtesy of Timeless Thrills

NEW DESIGNS AND NEW MANUFACTURING PARTNER

A month ago we sent out surveys to everyone on our mailing list as we begin the next phase of growing Haven & Florin. The objective of the survey was to help us better understand what our customers want and need. We want to create something based around real people with everyday needs. In a week, we got hundreds of survey responses. We can't thank you all enough for the help!

After analyzing the data we gathered, we got to work immediately. The goal for our new products is to explore rounded edges and silhouettes, allowing us to create products with natural flowing lines while maintaining the sleek Haven & Florin minimalist aesthetic. Of course, the back-opening clam shell design will be a standard feature in all our products moving forward.

 
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We scheduled a factory visit with our new manufacturing partner the following week to review the techpacks of the new products as well as a nice tour of the facility to meet the skilled people crafting our future products. Our second manufacturing partner is a top military sewing contractor with advanced automated processes that allow us to design products and reinforce areas that are normally extremely difficult to do by hand. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get more than a couple photos of the facility because of security reasons, especially since most of their soft goods are military contracts... Sorry!

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TELL US YOUR STORIES AND FEEDBACK

First off, thank you very much for all the support. We finally caught up on shipping out all the orders this past weekend so expect your Catskill Ruckpack soon if you haven't received one yet.  For the few orders that haven't shipped because of the sternum strap, I scheduled in a production time tomorrow to make batches of sternum straps. Those orders will be shipped no later than Friday!

We are getting close to selling out of our entire first batch of bags in all three colors. Every purchase helps enable us to reinvest into a second batch as well as research and development (we really want to expand our bag product line).

For all the new owners of our Catskill Ruckpack, we would love to hear your stories with it! We'd also love to hear any feedback you have! Email me here

Looking forward to your emails!

Best,

James Chu
Co-founder

FIRST POP UP SHOP

I met Dave, creator of Best Supply Co, recently through Instagram. We decided to meet up for a couple beers and that's when he told me he's putting together a curated makers market at Identity Coffee. He invited Haven & Florin to be a part of it but the catch was that it's only a week away. I've never done a pop up shop before and I thought this would be a great opportunity to debut the Catskill Ruckpack to the locals. I didn't have anything other than the packs and so I ended up designing and rush ordering a few hats and shirts (one of them is a collaboration with my friend Ryan) because I didn't think anyone would spend $250. Well, I was completely wrong.

I was a bit nervous at first (naturally) but I loved being able to talk to complete strangers who have absolutely no obligation to say anything nice about our products (sorry, friends!). The event provided me with real world feedback that was absolutely invaluable and luckily, the feedback was all positive. Everyone I spoke to was impressed at the quality and functional design of the pack. Many were surprised by how light it is despite the heavy duty materials we used to overbuild these packs.

The event lasted 8 hours and I had the chance to meet a lot of locals who follow Haven & Florin on Instagram (thanks for coming out!). I want to thank Dave for organizing that event because we gained so much knowledge, feedback, inspiration, and new support through it. If you're a brand or maker out there, I highly encourage you to join a makers market/pop up market because you can get so much out of it!

As always, thanks for roaming with us.

Best,

James Chu

Shout out to @potatoislike for the photo and helping out at the event!

ONLINE SHOP LAUNCH DATE

Three years ago I came up with the idea for Haven & Florin while sitting in a cubicle. Two years ago I decided to chase after this dream and so I moved to New York City with my two siblings to learn the skills to make it happen because I had zero experience in product design. A year ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign that was unsuccessful. Tonight, I am writing this email to tell you that despite all the challenges, it’s finally happening.
Haven & Florin is launching.

I learned an immense amount of knowledge and skills over the years to make Haven & Florin a reality. Almost all of it was learned through hard moments and mistakes. If I can share one bit of valuable advice that I gained, it would be this:

If you truly love something then keep on fighting for it and don't stop.

Over the past three years, I was fortunate enough to have hundreds of people like you who helped inspire me to keep on chasing this dream of mine. This moment isn't just for me, it's for all of us.

Thank you all for roaming with me. This is just the beginning.

Cheers,
James Chu

LAUNCH DATE

04/10/16
3:00PM PST

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH FRIENDSHIP CLUB

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH FRIENDSHIP CLUB

This past month I was lucky enough to meet an awesome group of talented creatives called FRIENDSHIP CLUB (FSC) through my close friend and local DJ, SOOSH*E. I have nothing but the best things to say about FSC! From start to finish, their passion, creativity, and optimism is evident and contagious. Normally, I would dread planning a large project like this but not this time, I honestly looked forward to being around their company and energy. It's rare to find people like this, especially a group of them, so when you do, make sure you cherish it.

WHY WE DON'T USE WHAT THEY CALL "AIR MESH"

WHY WE DON'T USE WHAT THEY CALL "AIR MESH"

For as long as I can remember, air mesh was marketed on every backpack at the stores as a miracle fabric that's embedded with game-changing technology to help our backs breathe to avoid those embarrassing sweat marks on clothing. Through all the marketing, it became the standard feature that all bags MUST have otherwise it's deemed "sub-par" or "cheap" by consumers. I was that consumer. I always made sure every bag I bought had air mesh. When I was designing my bags, I made sure every prototype I made had air mesh. Every new bag company talked about utilizing air mesh. Air mesh was everywhere. That's when it hit me—there hasn't been a single warm day when air mesh actually worked for me.

BTS GOODNESS

BTS GOODNESS

I'm a huge fan of behind the scenes posts on brand blogs because I like being able to follow their story and see it grow -- most importantly, I like to know that there's real people behind the brand. Recently, I've been asked by a bunch of people to do this as well because they find it fascinating whenever I talk to them about the countless little things I'm doing to get this company up and going. For example, my friends want me to write a post on what it's like working a full-time day job and then spending another 8 hours on Haven & Florin everyday.