I’m standing in baggage claim when I really “see” that my cobalt blue nylon duffel doesn’t at all match the purpose of my trip. For this particular trip, I’m traveling pretty comfortably. Wine tours and water taxis are on the itinerary, but my luggage has the look of a granola infused outdoor excursion. I like the technical features this bright blue bag offers, and I have fond memories of ill conceived couch-surfing adventures this bag has accompanied me on in years past, but up until this point, I really hadn’t given the aesthetics of my travel gear much thought. And in this particular case, my choice of travel gear did not reflect my "grown-up" trip. Once I made this realization, I couldn't shake the thought - I had to get some better luggage.
I returned home determined to find a more suitable duffel to fit my new self-realization. I searched high and low for travel gear that appealed to both my love for outdoor function and the refined look I had recently realized I was lacking. I’ll save you some time and tell you now that it was (and still is) slim pickings. There are a few companies out there that make some great products, but they didn’t quite fit the marriage of form and function that I was looking for. I wanted a duffel bag that had the features I had come to rely on during my backpacking trips and outdoor adventures, but in a classy and sophisticated package. No luck.
What I did find through these searches were two materials I knew matched my vision of the ultimate travel duffel – waxed canvas and full-grain leather. Waxed canvas had a great appeal to me due to it’s waterproofing properties and durability, while full-grain leather exuded class. To me, these materials seemed to be a perfect match for the type of bag I envisioned but could not find. I began to think that if I couldn’t buy it, I could possibly build it. So, I set off to design my perfect duffel bag. A good friend, Jay, was my sounding board for many months as we discussed ideas, materials, and even the Duckworthy name.
So where did the Duckworthy name come from? Well, that’s likely a much longer story than you're interested in, but I’ll give you the short(er) version:
It didn’t take much research into waxed canvas materials to find a recurring name for a type of canvas known as “duck canvas”. Duck canvas is specifically known for its over-the-top quality and durability. We were immediately drawn to this type of canvas for our products because anything worth doing is worth doing well, and duck canvas is the best canvas you can get! In addition to duck canvas, the more we thought about the duck (as in the type of waterfowl), the more we liked all the creature symbolized for our brand. They are hardy birds and the more you learn about them, the more you come to respect their tenacity and diligence.
These tough birds care meticulously for their feathers, applying special waterproofing properties through preening - a perfect parallel to the durable and waterproof nature of waxed duck canvas! They are also beautiful creatures - another parallel to our desire for aesthetics. This perfect blend of duck qualities (both of the bird and the canvas) led us easily to the decision to base our brand name around the "duck". The second half of the name isn’t quite as difficult to figure out. After our extensive duck and canvas research, we concluded that our products should be sturdy, meticulously crafted, and hearty against the elements…worthy of the title “duck” and worthy of recognition by others. Thus, Duckworthy came to be.
After a few more months of brainstorming and product design, I introduced my brother, Cody, to the brand concept and he began working as my partner in Duckworthy with a fervor and focus never before seen on this planet. Cody is a civil engineer and his detailed, project driven mind has proven invaluable.
We created Duckworthy to fill a gap I personally encountered in the marketplace. Some of the best ideas come when you see a void, and then begin to explore doing something about it. We design waxed canvas and leather travel goods to fill the void between technical and professional so that you can maintain your style no matter where your journey takes you. We work every day to build and grow the Duckworthy approach to adventuring well, and we continue to seek new and innovative products that inspire adventure. Who knows what products that strategy might lead us to next?!
**PS - If you’d like to know more about the details of how we started Duckworthy and the moves we're making every day to make Duckworthy grow, be sure to subscribe!
**PPS - Check out “The Original DUCKumentary” by PBS. It’s worth your time: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5py9gy