BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

This 25-year-old created a space-saving backpack, raised over S$22K on Kickstarter in 2 hours

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Mandy Chan was only 19 years old when she founded Bow, which has since been rebranded to The Bold Company. Despite her young age, she managed to fully fund the company’s first product, the Quiver Bag, on Kickstarter within just three days.

When Vulcan Post first spoke to Mandy in 2019, Bow had sold more than 10,000 bags, had their products shipped to customers in more than 26 countries, and raised more than S$130,000 through crowdfunding platforms.

She also revealed that the company was grossing nearly half a million dollars in sales at that point in time.

Six years on since its founding in 2015, The Bold Company has achieved a slew of other milestones.

The new Pytho backpack Kickstarter

Mandy and her team were frustrated that backpacks in the market were “full of bell and whistles, with little or insufficient focus on everyday functionality.”

She felt that existing bags were unable to cater to the lifestyle of modern urbanites who have multiple activities everyday — from working, to social activities, to heading to the gym.

Since the team could not find a bag where every feature and design element served a function for everyday usage, they decided to create one themselves.

The team thus started toying around with the theme “less is more”. They wanted to ensure that the bag could adapt to their changing needs and required loads. It had to be smaller when they had a light day, and bigger when the occasion called for it.

The idea of a compression system came to mind, where the shape of the bag could easily change depending on the user’s needs.

Some problems with traditional compression systems found in luggages of big backpacks were that they were usually hard-shelled and too heavy for everyday usage, or had only two two variations — compressed or expanded.

The Bold Company Pytho Bag
Image Credit: The Bold Company

The team sought to solve that by experimenting with magnets. However, they found that it was too weak to hold the compression together. They tried buckles next, but the user experience was not friendly for everyday usage.

The ‘eureka’ moment came when they chanced upon a passenger at the train station adjusting the length of his bag, and they decided to duplicate the pulling action in horizontal motion.

That was the birth of Pytho‘s patent-pending compression system.

The Bold Company Pytho Bag
Image Credit: The Bold Company

Designed to meet the needs of go-getting active urbanites, Pytho isis an ultra user-friendly, volume-changing backpack with patent-pending compression straps that optimises packing space in your everyday carry.

You can easily go from the gym, to the office, and to your weekend staycation all in one minimal backpack.

Making Pytho a reality amid Covid-19

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the team had to create the bag without going down to their manufacturer’s facility in China.

Mandy told Vulcan Post that she had to video call and WeChat them on almost a daily basis to explain their vision for Pytho.

“We came up with renderings and countless sketches to explain the whole process, as well as mock-ups in Singapore to show them how it could be done, when they kept saying it was impossible,” said Mandy.

However, that wasn’t the end of their troubles. After weeks of planning, discussing and filming the kickstarter video and photos with the Pytho, the team had a sudden breakthrough.

The Bold Company Pytho Bag
Image Credit: The Bold Company

Instead of making the expanded Pytho just 25 per cent larger than the compressed version, they came up with a design that could double the capacity of Pytho while using the same materials.

In a big company, it would have been a no-brainer to push the launch back and redo everything. However, Bold is a young company with limited resources.

The team had to choose between redoing everything from scratch with the newly-designed bag, or settling for the old Pytho.

Furthermore, within just a couple of days’ notice, Singapore entered another one-month lockdown. This meant that the photo and video shoot for the new Pytho design would not go according to the projected timeline.

They had to decide quickly, and made the choice to swallow the bitter pill and start over. With the help of the team at Pandastic Media and Kyt Studio, they reshot the Kickstarter video and took new product shots in record time.

Fully funded in just two hours

The Bold Company Pytho Bag
Image Credit: The Bold Company

Pytho’s Kickstarter page was launched on June 29 at 10.30pm, and hit its goal of S$15,000 within just two hours.

For the first hour, the Pytho backpack and Dopp kit went for S$294. After the early bird pricing, backers would have to pay S$314.

The Dopp kit is a handy, detachable bag that lets you store anything in it, from toiletries to essentials.

Besides its patent-pending compression system, Pytho also features a combination of the best aspects of Bold’s other backpacks, plus the ergonomics of a hiking pack.

Aside from backpacks, The Bold Company has also foraged into the apparel industry with the launch of Anchor last year in its Kickstarter campaign.

It also partnered with fitness giant Fitness First, where all Fitness First uniforms are co-branded with Bold Merchandise. The team has also gathered some investment interest and is now in talks of funding.

“We are working towards becoming a platform that empowers people to live a bolder life through three pillars: technology, gear and education,” said Mandy.

If you would like to check out Pytho, it is available on VP Label at an exclusive price:

Featured Image Credit: The Bold Company

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