Pad and Quill Blog on Leather Bags, Apple Watch, iPhone and technology.

  • Briefcase to Cafe Racer

    Mr. PQ was busy becoming a major radio star the other evening but I had no idea what his topic was to be, I wasn’t allowed to be at the PQ World Headquarters while he was participating in 9to5Mac’s weekly podcast.  This has nothing to do with the fact that the FIFA Women’s World Cup is competing in Canada this month.  My exclusion from the taping also clearly has nothing to do with my propensity to scream insanely at the television when a goal is scored or mutter incoherently at the oops-I-fell-so-clearly-Christie Rampone-knocked me-over smathlete.   Who am I kidding?  When it comes to world-class soccer, I revert to my 18-year-old Colorado self; this would be the self, weaned on Bronco football, who lived in the mile high city where exuberant cheering is an art form.

    Art forms have been a significant point of conversation in the PQ household, or at least this is how Mr. PQ asserted his claim that surely the best way to be motivated to create world class backpacks and briefcases for Pad & Quill, was that he be fully immersed in the artful, gritty, urban world of the Café Racer.  To do so meant purchasing an artistically rich cafe racer motorcycle, specifically, a Triumph, preferably a Thruxton.  He appealed to my accounting side: “it’s a great tax write-off”.   Sorry babe, the IRS won’t see it that way.  He appealed to my affection for history: “Mom is English, it would tie me to my heritage.”  Honey, scones and tea would do the same but I don’t see you clamoring for them.   He appealed to my sense of nostalgia: “Steve McQueen and Anne Margaret rocked the Triumph in iconic photos and movie shots”. Me, having a lifelong love for Anne Margaret wavered.

    Original Photo by Cal West, 1964. Original Photo by Cal West, 1964.

    Once Mrs. PQ wavers, it’s not terribly hard to push her over.  Especially when the one pushing has worked 70-80 hours a week, month after month, year after year, putting food on the table and a roof over our heads.  There are people who might view Mr. PQ’s new bike as a mid-life crisis, I’d say it’s a ride well earned by a guy who’s taken loyalty and devotion to an art form.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Backpacks, Briefcases and Jurassic World

    “You’re wearing that, I didn’t know you wore that.”  The “that” Mr. PQ is referring to is an exquisite leather and copper bracelet he bought for me while on a recent visit to our manufacturing partners in Mexico.  It is also the “that” which has been on my wrist constantly for the past 6 weeks, how it took him that long to notice is beyond me.  The man is a stickler for fashion details.  This is never more apparent than when he is talking product design and Apple accessories.  Mr. PQ can spot a hand pounded copper rivet on a backpack or a Japanese nickel cast zipper on a briefcase from a mile away.  While the aesthetic details drive his designing mind, functionality governs the genesis of any new leather, tech-lifestyle products.  It’s a match made in heaven.

    The hybridization of some species can be an Indominus Rex type disaster, not so the marriage of 24 oz wax canvas and full grain American Steer leather when it’s crafted into a new line of  backpacks and briefcases.  Allow me to insert a note of gratitude toward Universal Pictures for their release of Jurrasic World, in which Chris Pratt screams across the screen on a Triumph Scrambler , the same weekend we had selected to release our new line of gorgeously versatile backpacks, and briefcases, inspired largely by Mr. PQ’s mid life crisis aka “the beast” aka Triumph Thruxton.

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    To be bequeathed with the PQ ampersand, a backpack or briefcase design needs to stand up to the rigors of a daily commute, passing through 4 seasons of slush, snow, sweat and slop, while still retaining it’s rugged beauty.  Mission accomplished!  We are fairly certain that if you are the poor tourist plucked up and digested by Tyrannosaurus-Rex, your Pad & Quill Backpack would live to tell about it.

    PQ Bags Stillwater-101 crop

    Our new line of Backpacks and Briefcases will go with you from the conference room to the cottage and back again, and will easily become your go to bag for all the adventures you pursue.

    Check them out and we think you will agree!

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • Triumph, Pratt and Backpacks

    Mr. PQ forwarded an article to me that was written by a fellow early adopter, he thought it was insightful and humorous.  The author offered some simple, straightforward advice regarding how to introduce one’s friends and coworkers to the wonder that is the Apple Watch.  As I still wrestle daily against the Activity Target of Tyranny, driven to complete all three circles every 24 hours, the haptic tapping of impatience becoming yet one more voice of “I need” and “I want” amongst a cacophony of voices, I probably am not the model spokesperson.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the breakdown of data in the Health app, and I’ve figured out how to skip around to my favorite Miranda Lambert songs while running, so yea me.  However, I can’t escape the feeling of being shackled to the modern world.  So I’ve done what so many others in captivity have done before, I’ve succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome.  That’s the only explanation I can offer for why, on a gorgeously sunny day, I sat inside watching the bulk of the keynote speech of the Apple  WWDC (World-Wide Developer Conference).  I actually caught myself “oohing” when they announced that Apple Watch would do that thing that will make the Watch operate faster.  Fantastic!  Mr. PQ and I are in a race as to who will learn a second language faster: him learning enough spanish to order his own coffee at Starbucks or me learning to speak techno-geek.  Being that he runs on caffeine, I’m guessing he might be more motivated.

    I’m highly motivated to finish my work in time to join the youngest Quill at the midnight showing of Jurassic World.  Chris Pratt is awesome, and the fact that he is riding a Triumph Bonneville while chasing dinosaurs makes him a sexy, urban hipster guy, albeit a little short on beard.  We have a busy weekend preparing for our own global release (I think that is ok to say, Pad & Quill does ship internationally) of a new line of leather and wax canvas backpacks and briefcases designed with the sexy, urban, hipster cafe racers in mind.

    Stay Tuned,

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

  • 38mm is Me

    It’s dainty, like me.

    If you ever want to achieve an epic eye roll from your kid, throw out a thought that is so patently absurd they can’t help but drop the full frontal eye roll.  Mr. PQ, being the Apple geek that he is, waited in the wee hours of the morning, in the virtual line that was Apple Watch pre-order, to stake our claim on the time piece(s).  In spite of my not so subtle hints, “Boy, I love the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle” he ordered 42mm Apple Watches with a variety of bands.  Because the band and the stand are where it’s at for accessory companies like Pad and Quill.  Bless his heart, he thought Mrs. PQ wouldn’t be able to stretch her arm far enough to read the 38mm variety without her cheaters, clearly he underestimates the reach of a mother’s arms, in spite of watching The Incredibles with the Quills any number of times.  In an effort to convince him, we sojourned to our local Apple Store where I fitted myself with the Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle that I was coveting, and voila! I could read the face sans optical correction.  So, Mr. PQ jumped back into the virtual line and placed an order, and we waited.  More precisely, I waited.  It’s hard to explain when an inorganic object makes an impression on your psyche so intense that you shun all internal norms and await impatiently for the all important “announcement” text which trumpets, “your Watch is in transit”!!  While normal Apple technology releases often feel like one more shackle of constraint tying me to the modern world while screaming of my ineptitude at adaptation in all things technical, I had fallen in love with the 38mm Apple Watch with the Midnight Blue Modern Buckle.  I can’t explain, I just know I love it.

    The Watch arrived yesterday and was unveiled by one of the Quills as we drove through an epic summer rainstorm, into downtown, to attend a fundraiser for a single mom friend with cancer, which actually doesn’t occur until next week.   (I really need to learn to read texts more carefully) Finding ourselves downtown with no where to go, we proceeded to a local eating establishment for burgers, a time to chat and a time to complete the un-packaging of Apple Watch.  The boys were impressed with the beauty of the timepiece and remarked as to how much smaller it is in comparison to the 42mm model.

    “Yes, it’s dainty, like me.”

    Cue the eye roll.  I called the older boy out, letting him know his gesture had not escaped me.

    “Mom you are not dainty.  You hike and swing an axe and have knives and camp in the wilderness and race triathlons.  It’s not a bad thing (protecting my feelings)”

    It’s not a bad thing at all son, and it doesn’t bother me even remotely that you don’t think of me as dainty, but rather you see me as strong, and comfortable in my own skin.  That’s what we want for you and your siblings.  You are a beautiful creation with your own gifts and talents that may or may not fit in with societal norms.  It’s a gift your father has given you, the courage to be yourself.

    Now go swim upstream, but give me back my Watch before you go.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

     

  • Another Apple Watch comes home

    Item One:  The youngest Quill received his Apple Watch last Friday amidst great fanfare and excitement.  I was given explicit instructions to pick him up from school, bring the Watch with all packaging intact and bring a knife to facilitate opening.  As Mr. PQ has been visiting our design folks south of the border, he requested a video and Face Time presence for the grand unveiling.  If there were any more geekdom going on in my car at that moment I believe it would have permanently smelled like Taco Bell and all night gaming sessions.  I have to admit, affection from a 14 year old boy can be hard to come by, especially when they are in the public arena, so it does this mama’s heart good to feel the haptic heart rate of my kid pulse against my wrist, and he sends it routinely and serendipitously.

    Item Two:  We will be staging a contest to see who can load more Apple Watch Apps to their watch.  The tie breaking round will consist of creative artistic expression utilized in app layout.  Mr. PQ currently has a Christmas tree of euphoria on his wrist.  Extra coupon love to those who post an Instagram of their own creations.  #applewatchart  (you need to add @PQ handle for Instagram)

    Item Three:  I cannot wait to get my hands, or in this case wrist, on the new leather straps we are designing for Apple Watch.  I love the sport band for it’s utility, but we are heading into the hell furnace that is Minnesota summer and I find the sport watch keeps my wrist sweating working out and other wise.  The supple feel of leather tanned by craftsmen who quite possibly geek out more about leather craft over generations of family members then my boys geek out about their electronics, is appealing at multiple levels.

    It’s the great thing about Apple, they keep proprietary the things they need to, while valuing what other companies bring in terms of value to their products.

    Kari

    Mrs PQ

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