We've been designing and making bags since 1972 and became an official company in 1982. Some of you have been around for the whole ride, others are new. This is our way of sharing the timeline of our company story with everyone.
Our first group photo in two years!
Outside the Seattle factory having some ice cream.
We designed, made, and donated over 200,000 reusable cloth face masks.
We were also proud to play a small role in cloth mask material studies conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
We implemented various new systems and procedures to support continued, sustainable, and quality growth, including our Pre-Production Batch (PPB) procedure for each new design.
Mike, Nik, and Matt discussing shipping procedures and logistics.
We became a Certified B Corporation, joining thousands of businesses big and small who meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance.
Becoming a Certified B Corporation also inspired us to become members of the 1% For The Planet network.
We worked with wildlife biologists to create our first pro bono design to support wildlife: the Beaver Transfer Bag.
Amanda Keasberry of Cascade Forest Conservancy carrying a transported beaver in the bag.
Seven Star Women's Kung Fu came by to teach all of us the basics of self-defense.
On the blog: "Top Three Things We Learned in Self-Defense Class"
We were proud to become operationally carbon neutral.
We're not separate from the environment. We are part of the environment. We're literally all in this together.
Launched our pre-order system, debuted 10 new designs, and made several adjustments to existing designs based on customer feedback. A busy year, as usual!
This is us at our holiday party! Note the guest of honor in the photo: June Johnson, TOM BIHN Production Manager Emeritus.
We worked together to ship the most bags ever. It was crazy busy and (mostly) crazy fun.
Group photo taken just before everyone left for the day.
Our 2016 Holiday crew photo.
That's our legendary canine friend Ichiro. He spent many days at the factory over the years.
We designed and built our new Factory Showroom at our Seattle headquarters.
Nik, Lisa, Fong, and Ben getting ready to do some demo.
Purchased by Tom in 1980, this Consew 206RB is still in use at the factory today. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Today, Tao uses this Consew to do three-fold bias binding.
The canine-specific Skookum Dog line is launched, 2013.
Fong, Lisa, and Tom trying to make sure Darcy doesn't reveal the new design that's being developed.
These three collaborate on the manufacturing and production engineering of all new designs.
The first year that the generous TOM BIHN Ravelry group surprised us with wearable gifts for the entire crew.
We moved to our current headquarters at 4750A Ohio Ave S. in Seattle, more than doubling our square footage which allowed us to hire more crew.
Lisa (Production Manager) working with Mei (Sewing Professional) on the production floor.
We moved to Seattle to grow and expand. Almost overnight, we became a company of over 20 people!
Tom, June, Lisa, and Fong at our second (current) factory space in Seattle.
An early sketch of the bag that became the Aeronaut 45.
Line drawing of the Super Musette messenger-style shoulder bag, circa 1998.
Tom and friends on a snowless but chilly winter hike in Yosemite, 1997.
Christmas at the Santa Cruz shop, circa 1996.
In the mid-1990s, Tom briefly manufactured under the label Black Bag: this turned out to be a bad idea. Live and learn.
A photo taken by Tom's friend Dave Giannini, in Tom's original Santa Cruz shop.
Back in Tom's original Santa Cruz shop, he didn't have an "Open" and "Closed" sign but rather a "Here" and "Gone" sign. He modified this one on his way out the door on New Year's Eve 1996.
Cake! For a party celebrating Tom's first five years in his retail store in Santa Cruz, California. Cake courtesy Tom's mother Barbara Bihn.
The Basic Book Bag V1, ~ 1994.
Tom at work in his first shop in Santa Cruz.
Yes, that's a San Francisco Mime Troupe t-shirt.
Tom's retail store / workshop in Santa Cruz California, circa 1992. Every bag you see, every bag in the store, was made by Tom - designed, cut and sewn.
Tom's dog Faux Pas (usually pronounced Fox Paws) sometimes rode in Tom's backpack when he commuted to work on his bike. Faux was a constant fixture in Tom's workshops and stores from 1984 until 2001.
Backside of an early print catalog — in this case the "catalog" was a 4" x 6" postcard.
The first TOM BIHN shop — 109 Locust Street in Santa Cruz, California; 275 square feet. This photo was taken just days after the store opened in December 1990. Photo by Barbara Bihn.
Sketch for the layout of an early print catalog.
Tom designed and made a bag-less backpack that strapped to a kayak and allowed you to portage solo, late 1980s.
Tom volunteering at an event for the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz, California. Late 1980s, photo by Tom's friend Doug Rand.
A frameless, top-loading pack from the late 1980s. Photo by Dan Bihn.
An artistic arrangement of bags for a photo shoot at the Carmelita Cottages in Santa Cruz, California.
Tom's friend Doug Rand with a Limpet backpack, late 1980s, at Union Station in Tacoma, Washington.
Tom at work in his garage/workshop, 1982. He was making cases for bowed psalteries — who woulda thunk it?
When Tom was 13, he and his grandfather built a table for cutting fabric. When Tom was 20, he lived in a tent in the Santa Cruz mountains for a couple of years, and the table did a brief stint as an outdoor kitchen (above). Rescued from the woods some years later, the table went on the be used in Tom's various workshops/retail stores. In the 1990s it was rebuilt and fortified by Tom's friend Rob, and still does regular service in Tom's design studio.
Tierra del Fuego, 1977. Tom was dropping out of high school, so the obvious thing to do was for he and his dad to take off for South America.
Yes, that's a "60/40" mountain parka, made by Tom.
Tom in one of the down jackets he designed and made, circa 1977.
Tom on a solo backpacking trip in the back country of Yosemite, 1977. The pack hiding behind him was built by Tom for a classic Kelty external frame called the Massif.
First TOM BIHN woven logo label. Artwork derived from The American Boys Handybook, from Tom's grandmother Bess.
Hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, Canada, 1974. Tom carried a pack, a sleeping bag and rain gear he'd designed and made himself.
In the early 1970s, Tom made custom made down-filled jackets and sold them to friends, family and teachers at school. Some folks still have those jackets!
The very first "TOM BIHN" label, sewn in a couple of dozen down jackets in the early 1970s.
A purse made by Tom's mother Bobbie, who was the first person to inspire and mentor Tom in his own efforts making bags and gear.
Barbara (Bobbie) Bihn's initials in one of the handbags she made.
Tom (center), seems always to have had a thing for bags. Flanked here by the other Brothers Bihn, Dan (right) and Greg (left). Tom's father Michael flew for PanAm.
Departing for the East Coast, circa 1965.