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  1. #1
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Washington Trails interview with Tom

    A new interview with Tom (lots of interesting details in this one!)

    From Passion to Profession
    The nontraditional career path of professional gear icon Tom Bihn | by Cassandra Overby

    Excerpt:

    “I’m kind of a contrarian,” he [Tom Bihn] said. “I’m not a person inclined to do the obvious thing or what everyone else is doing. So I decided to figure out how to make it myself.” Initially, it was a family effort. Tom’s grandma had an old Singer sewing machine that his brother fixed up for him, his mom taught him how to sew, and his dad schooled him in the basics of engineering. It didn’t take long before Tom was proudly sporting his first creation, a pouch for his “Golden Guides” to birds and mammals. He’d also discovered his calling in life: making outdoor gear.

    Tom threw himself into his new hobby with the same gusto he’d given to — and would continue to give — his outdoor pursuits. The timing was ideal. Outdoor equipment was just starting to come into its own as a legitimate industry, and a variety of small startups selling backpacks, down jackets and sleeping bags had popped up all over Santa Cruz. Tom started riding his bike into town to visit them. He didn’t just admire the gear — he studied it, looking closely at how everything was made and trying to deconstruct it all in his mind. By the time he was 11, Tom was a regular at a small, two-person gear shop in Santa Cruz that was owned by a young Vietnam veteran named David Meeks.

    “David was just a super generous guy with his time,” said Tom. “He saw that I was interested and he showed me a lot of stuff about making equipment. He ended up being my mentor.”

    Full Article
    Current Carry: The Hero's Journey, Skookum Dog Citizen Canine, Founder's Briefcase, Synapse 19 (day hikes), Guide's Pack (longer day hikes), Yeoman Duffel (winter/emergency stuff for the car), Aeronaut 30 (travel), Night Flight Travel Duffel (camera bag), Moveable Feast + Shop Bags (food)

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    A new interview with Tom (lots of interesting details in this one!)

    From Passion to Profession
    The nontraditional career path of professional gear icon Tom Bihn | by Cassandra Overby

    Excerpt:

    “I’m kind of a contrarian,” he [Tom Bihn] said. “I’m not a person inclined to do the obvious thing or what everyone else is doing. So I decided to figure out how to make it myself.” Initially, it was a family effort. Tom’s grandma had an old Singer sewing machine that his brother fixed up for him, his mom taught him how to sew, and his dad schooled him in the basics of engineering. It didn’t take long before Tom was proudly sporting his first creation, a pouch for his “Golden Guides” to birds and mammals. He’d also discovered his calling in life: making outdoor gear.

    Tom threw himself into his new hobby with the same gusto he’d given to — and would continue to give — his outdoor pursuits. The timing was ideal. Outdoor equipment was just starting to come into its own as a legitimate industry, and a variety of small startups selling backpacks, down jackets and sleeping bags had popped up all over Santa Cruz. Tom started riding his bike into town to visit them. He didn’t just admire the gear — he studied it, looking closely at how everything was made and trying to deconstruct it all in his mind. By the time he was 11, Tom was a regular at a small, two-person gear shop in Santa Cruz that was owned by a young Vietnam veteran named David Meeks.

    “David was just a super generous guy with his time,” said Tom. “He saw that I was interested and he showed me a lot of stuff about making equipment. He ended up being my mentor.”

    Full Article
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    see Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken

  3. #3
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    Such a wonderful article!

    Tom always look so good in picture!

    Thank you for the poetry link Darcy, much needed to stay away from the news. Big Grin

    Hooray for nature! Night SkyMountainsDeciduousConiferousCatGoatDogRainbowStrawberrySpringAutumnSnowman


    Countron spill the beans about the 19th previews. Backpack

  4. #4
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    Aha!

    Eventually, Tom could no longer fulfill all the orders himself, so he found a contract manufacturer in Minnesota to help him manufacture his bags.
    I'd always wondered about this tag inside my old Brain Bag:

    Washington Trails interview with Tom-tag-jpg

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