Chip Addington | Addington Company
Addington Company makes bags for any season. Each bag is designed with careful consideration to the carrier and the demands placed upon the bag. From the icy waters of the North Shore to the hustle of the city everything is constructed to last. They are committed to environmentally conscious studio practices. Addington company uses American cattle hides that have been veg-tanned which is better for cows, workers, water and their clients.
Can you tell us a bit about your business and how you got your start?
Addington Company makes waxed nylon and leather bags, packs, and leather goods. I started making bags as a side hobby because I couldn't find bags that matched my needs and style. Having worked in the outdoor industry for years I had a specific set of qualifications I expect in a bag, and no one was making a great urban bag with outdoor roots. I learned the basics of my craft from my Mom and Grandmother starting at a pretty young age.
Do you think living in the Twin Cities has shaped your style? If so, how?
Absolutely. I feel that the twin cities has a unique style that is contemporary enough to have a great look and feel, combined with a northern and Scandinavian practicality that keeps things from getting too wild. There is a lot of influence from heritage brands like Duluth Pack and Redwing shoes. In craft made bags especially, there is no getting away from the material language of the North Woods. Really the look and feel of my bags are an expression of my time guiding in Minnesota’s northern wilderness combined with my life living in urban Minneapolis and St. Paul.
How and where do you see growth for your business?
I see several ways to grow our business in the next couple of years. First is a shift in focus from design to sales and growth. We have done a great job in the first four years of figuring out how to make some of the best bags and products on the market. Now the focus is shifting towards selling those products to more customers and increasing our production capacity. Secondly we are designing more small products that are easily accessible to more people at a lower price point.
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business, what would it be?
Tell your story well, be patient, be persistent, and look for help. I think I wasted time in the first two years of my business trying to look and feel like I knew what I was doing. I felt like it was my responsibility to know everything. Once I became OK with having no idea what I'm doing, opportunities and help started coming our way.
LAB is founded on three key values: connect, create and collaborate. What are your three key values?
Craft, Community, and Sustainability.
What is the favorite thing about your workspace?
My giant window.
One thing you wish you had in your office/studio…
A longer lease, and coffee shop.
What’s currently on your studio playlist?
Classical jazz, folk, and the Lord of The Rings audio book.
What is your no-fail, go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
Get into the wilderness or out on the water in a canoe.
What are some of your everyday essentials that you can’t live without?
Coffee. La Croix. White Cheddar Popcorn.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
The same thing in a different material, furniture design, woodworking or metal working. Or working back in the Outdoor industry.
If you could be a fly on the wall of anyone’s studio/shop/office whose would it be?
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
My wool Filson Vest. It goes on in the fall and stays on until it too hot in the spring.
Favorite place to meet/collaborate in the Twin Cities.
Currently its the Spring Side Cafe on lake Como.
Three Instagram accounts you love to see in your feed.
@bokehm0n (travel landscape photography)
@bradleymountain (bag company with great image story telling)
Summer ------- Paddling and road trips.
Winter --------- Fireside.
Fall -------- Flannel and Camping.
Spring -------- Garden.
Last Adventure: North Shore.
Next Adventure: South Africa Safari.
By Day: Making.
By Night: Cuddling.
Latest Craft: Wet molded Archery Quiver.
Secret Skill: Knowledge of various adhesives.
Believes in: Jesus.
Embraces: Social justice.
Yes Please: Craft cocktails.
No Thanks: Spicy food.
Spirit Animal: Otter.
Brand you can’t live without: Darn Tough Socks.
Favorite word: “Snick” (the door snicked shut).
Favorite day of the week: Wednesday (Jenny Aka “Mrs. Addington” comes to the studio).