• Which one?

    We get lots of questions about the differences in our new leather bags.  I thought it was time to discuss the design and features represented in our three carry bags.

    Messenger Bag

    When we set out to craft these bags one of our biggest litmus tests was the question:  Does this tie together old and new ideas? The messenger bag concept is a classic designed larger bag meant to sling over the back for the daily commute. This design holds lots of stuff and has pockets to keep everything in order.  We took that idea then added luxurious and organic materials to make something new, yet familiar.  We love the two large pockets for holding your cords, chargers, battery back ups or hard drives.  Along with a large laptop pocket designed to hold up to a 15 inch Macbook Pro retina. Finished off with a large leather flap that has a real cherry wood laser etched Pad & Quill mark to make quite a statement.


    The Satchel

    Think of the satchel as a slimmer version of the Messenger.  Same gorgeous materials in a more deft package. When we first made this design we had a more pronounced handle at the top and the flap did not go very far down, sort of brief case looking. We decided that was a bit too old school and we wanted something with a larger flap and more subtle handle at the top. A design somewhere between a satchel and soft sided bag.  We also wanted something that holds up to a 15 in MacBook Pro retina laptop as well as a journal or iPad. Add to that misc cords and chargers all bundled in a minimal designed carry bag. That is what we achieved in this leather bag and that is the Satchel by Pad & Quill.


    The Field Bag

    The Field Bag is like taking our Satchel, going portrait in the orientation and then adding a ridiculous amount of pockets. Did I mention many pockets?  This is my favorite bag for travel by far!  We wanted a bag that does not swing behind you as you move, but rather sits just behind your back. The vertical orientation allows for this quite nicely. Great for tight commutes on planes, trains and various other modes of transportation. This bag holds laptops, journals, cords, chargers, iPads, iPhones, and other items in a slim, yet ready to grown leather and canvas package.


    Ultimately your the one who has to decide which bag is right for you. Pad & Quill bags are not only designed to last but make a statement. Organic materials, unique hand made craftsmanship and subtle design combine to offer 3 very unique and beautiful bags for all the daily adventures you might encounter.  So go ahead and Carry On!


    Mr PQ


  • Beards, romance and our first interview together

    The holidays are upon us and Kari and I are very occupied between the new Pad & Quill product launches and 4 busy Quills. So I thought this post might be a good time to slow down and actually talk to each other while letting you in on the conversation. Our first ever published interview between each other.


    Thanks for joining me today Mrs PQ. As you know, I’m a big fan and always appreciative of your time to sit and actually talk to your husband.


     Kari- If talking via email counts.  I can see you in the reflection of my iMac Monitor, so this is  especially romantic.  Adding to the ambiance, Bear the faux fox (our dog), while laying under my desk, is gassing off his Pupperoni snacks and that tang is co-mingling with the bouquet of fast food remains being utilized to live-trap my new furry friends which have taken up residence under my filing cabinet.   Ew.


    Question 1

    A beard is a gift a man gives his face.  What is it like being married to a man with such a manly beard?  Especially around the holiday season?



    It’s the gift that keeps on giving, particularly if you’ve gnoshed on Sloppy Joe’s Mondo Burger for lunch.  It does give me an idea for a Christmas gift for you.  The Art of Manliness  has some wonderful beard maintenance tips in the event that rubbing your fingers through it vigorously ever fails to satisfy as a grooming technique.  


    Question 2

    When considering the caliber of husband that I am, what causes the most wonder?  Can you describe your feelings around this?


    Well initially, my answer was “how can so much power come in such a little package?” and then my next thought was, that just simply came out wrong.  My ADD kicked in when I read caliber, which instantly brought me to ordnance and munitions which compelled me to go completely Barbara Walters and wonder if Brian was a bullet what caliber would he be?  Brian being a strong personality but not one who’s overtly brash or loud strikes me as being a high impact, versatile round like a 9mm.  There are entrepreneurial men who present like a stick of dynamite, but that becomes boorish quite quickly.  A visionary husband that can unbridle his passions while reigning them in with patience and wisdom is a blessing indeed.    


    Question 3

    One of my favorite things about leading Pad & Quill is the jobs we create. When you think over the past 3 1/2 years, what is one of your favorite parts of being Mrs PQ?

    Back Camera The basement window that thousands of cases moved through.


    Since those early days in our basement this company has felt like an extension of our family.  I think of Will, our first employee, like a brother.  Having the ability for the kids to come to work with us, to help us build a company that provides for them and so many others is an exceptional gift.







    Question 4

    What’s your passion behind the orange lining in our new leather bags and Sleeves?

    Bags_Outdoor-321 copy

    Sweet potato pie!  Our orange reminds me of my favorite tuber.  Roast em, bake em, fry em and hide them in just about everything so the kids don’t know they are getting an extra dose of vitamin A.    I love me some yams.  The world loves yams too as they are a  popular dietary staple in Africa, the Americas,  the Caribbean and the South Pacific.  The world also loves clean water, so long as there is a well from which to draw it cleanly. Children generally love going to school, in particular when the ability to do so hangs in the balance.  And, families generally love to go to bed at night with a roof over their head, malaria shedding mosquito netting over their faces and the fear of a midnight machete attack allayed by relative peace in a region.  I love our orange because it reminds me of World Vision who actively promotes these good things for communities around the world.


    Question 5


    The PQ household has lots of holiday traditions including our celebration of the birth of Christ.  What is your favorite tradition that we do with the kids?


    I’m a gift giver at heart, so the holidays are downright nirvana for me.  I love seeing the kids faces light up when we’ve surprised them with an unexpected gift.  I love taking cookies to the neighbors and winter flowers to our adopted Grandma Maryann across the street.  And sledding! And making secret drops of food or presents to doorsteps of friends struggling this season.  Then there is wearing our Advent jammies while watching Christmas Story for the 87th time, and Christmas Eve service in all it’s regal candlelit splendor.  And the celebration of peace, hope and love.  Gatherings with friends and family, and the now infamous PQ holiday party, it’s all one great package of Holiday goodness.


    I'm a blessed guy, with exception to a few stray sentences (clearing throat).




    Anyway! From our family to yours, hoping you have a great holiday season and certain wax stamped gifts fall under your tree!


    Mr PQ


  • Frankenstein and Cream Puffs

    I’ve shipped so many iPad and iPhone cases in the last 72 hours my iPhone 5s no longer acknowledges my thumbprint.  Some artist might take a grenade for you.  Me? I’ll forfeit my IOS identity for you, now that’s undying devotion.


    I was talking to my son the other day, we were discussing Huck Finn and he was wondering how Huck knew the body discovered in the river wasn’t his father, as the body was espied floating “face up”.  I explained to him that fat is more buoyant then muscle and that women tend to have a bit more “buoyancy” in the chest region.  He, being a fifteen year-old boy probably knows that.


    Then he explained to me that the reason our family grace sung at Thanksgiving dinner sounded so awkward was due to too many individuals singing harmony.  Six distinct voices shouting, “hear me!”  “hear me!” thereby pulling the melody to pieces.  In singing as in life, where too many people are fighting for harmony, you generally get chaos.  As a young man, I hope he learns that.


    Spent our snowy Wednesday evening reading Frankenstein with our seventeen year old.   Learned that when you try to reanimate dead things you generally get a mess.  As an insightful young woman who has tried to resurrect her gold fish, she probably knows that.


    When the monster proceeds to bring death and chaos to Frankenstein’s home, we were assured some things buried are better left that way.  As a young woman, I hope she understands that.


    Finished “The Wednesday Wars” with the seventh grader.  He learned that cream puffs are delicious.  After finding and consuming one the size of his head, he certainly knows that.  At the close of the book when the precious commodity of friendship has been fully animated, upon ingesting the sweetness that “the quality of mercy is not strained” and savoring “The power of goodness and honesty and faithfulness”, as a family, I hope we can live that.


    Enjoying this holiday season, calloused thumbs and all,


    Mrs PQ

  • Juxtapositions, Contradictions and laundry.

    At Pad & Quill we are ramping up for the holiday season amidst the excitement of the new iPhone 5's and the much anticipated release of iPad Air. In a typical release cycle, Mr. PQ sketches out copy with our marketing department and shoots it to me for editorial review and revision. My apologies to my fellow grammar autocrats, there might be a few misses in the copy soon to be released. (There might also be a little coupon love for those who help me out, message us on Facebook with your insights.)

    The other part of the process is working with our amazing photographers to capture our products in a way that convinces our customers you have smell-a-vision. You can’t walk into a Pad & Quill brick and mortar store, but CT Ryan Photography get’s you pretty darn close. Yesterday we shot in a remarkable and historic section of downtown St. Paul. It was a perfectly crisp fall day, replete with a rain/snow mix. Being as I loathe having my picture taken, much less broadcast across social media, I reverted to my five year old Chrysanthemum and donned my favorite comfy sweater and cowboy boots. I announced to our photography team that my boots were my statement of contradiction, because you might shoot me in an urban setting with our soon to be released and incredibly hip bags, but I’m keeping my feet grounded in my country roots. Turns out the photogs loved my boots and booya, my little feet may make a global internet appearance.

    Which brings me back to web copy editing. I’m a little behind. There was laundry to be done and homework to be reviewed. So I folded laundry and quizzed the youngster in vocab words. Which brings me back to Mr. PQ, who would like to dress J. Hilburn but has more of a Woot.com budget. Which most likely explains why the man has 32 t-shirts. In all fairness, this is not uncommon for multi sport athletes and runners as we receive a t-shirt at every race and some are not so easily parted with, eg Ironman and marathons. However, 36 t-shirts. That is one for every day of the month and two on Sundays. I took the four most threadbare and threw them in the ragbag for the next time I need to polish my boots. The rest I sorted into piles of “suitable to wear in public”, “suitable to wear at Crossfit” and “quite frankly suitable only for tackling the honey do list”. There was also the community share shirts that are free game to whoever in the family grabs them first, and the ironic statements of humor donned for particularly brutal Crossfit WOD’s or festive days at the office. The other half are headed to Haiti and a small community to which the kids high school has partnered.

    And so the week begins, just days until iPad Air is in hand, I better get editing.

    Mrs PQ

  • iPad 5 Rumors and Teasers: Part IV

    Following close behind the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, the iPad 5 launches tomorrow! At Pad and Quill, we’ve been reading about it non-stop, trying to suss out what exactly the new iPad will contain. With this one being the last in a series of posts, we’ll explore new features of the iPad 5 until the tablet becomes public.

    Continue reading

  • iPad 5 Rumors and Teasers: Part I

    Following close behind the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the iPad 5 rumored for release on October 22nd and Apple fans everywhere are counting down the days. At Pad and Quill, we've been reading about it non-stop trying to suss out what exactly the new iPad will contain. In a series of posts, we'll explore new features of the iPad 5 as the date gets closer and gets closer.

    Continue reading

  • iPad 5 is coming, along with some amazing new cases.

    We have had long enough to consider them, that's for sure! After almost a year and 1/2 since the big retina iPad release, Apple is about to introduce the new iPad 5. Multiple tech websites have confirmed that the new slimmer and faster iPad 5 is to be revealed on October 22nd.

    Kari, myself and the team have been working with new materials and unique designs that will make your iPad 5 not only more protected, but dare we say, appropriately adorned.

    We went back to the drawing board on some of our most popular cases. I cannot wait to show you some of the huge improvements we've made. These are killer changes that combine bindery materials, genuine leathers and wood to craft 'ampersand' worthy iPad 5 cases.

    We have a one time newsletter going out for our new iPad 5 cases. Sign up below and we will only email ONCE when our new cases are available to order.

    There is something else coming soon as well. Something I've poured myself into over the past 6 months. This is a big change for Pad & Quill, one we are stoked to introduce. Stay tuned for some big announcements over the next few weeks!

    Talk Soon,

    Brian(Mr PQ)

    iPad 5 case announcement

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  • Plastic? Yeah...no.

    I actually heard a case maker recently say that they do not like wood and don't want it being in the way of the iPhone (inferring us in the comment). Really? Isn't finished wood in an iPhone cover sorta...amazing? Another maker decided to use plastic to hold iPhones in their covers. Continue reading

  • Reviewing iOS 7 for Apple - Part III

    Welcome to the last part in this three-part review on Apple's latest software update, iOS 7. In the time span between the last review and this one, Apple's already gone ahead with a tweak...that adds up to absolutely nothing at all.

    But, this blog post isn't about that! Rather, it'll be showcasing the last round of hits and misses in some of the new features. Continue reading

  • Mrs. PQ's version of Open Letter

    “Mom do you know if even one kid brings a phone into an AP testing site the entire room of tests are voided?”


    Our oldest son is preparing to take his first AP Exam, Human World Geography, and as per usual, in studying with him, I know a great deal more about things like gentrification and dairy circles then I used to know.  Taking your third and fourth trip through high school teaches you a thing or two.


    Much like taking a trip through a business start up.


    You learn the good ways to coax all of the beauty and functionality from a product imaginable, and you learn the bad ways; I’ve got a basement full of prototypes and discarded blueprints.


    There are good ways to manage a supply chain and an inventory system and there are not so good ways.  What am I supposed to do with 497 Octavo frames with no left rail?  (Hint:  stacked alternately they make great nesting sites for mice in the winter.  Thank goodness those were stored in the garage.)


    There are good and bad ways to convey to the public how you care about your customers, your products, and your employees who have become like family.  (I honestly don’t think anyone cares that I will retweet pretty much anything coming out of Alton Brown’s mouth.)


    In our endeavor to convey all of this to you, we lost our way a bit, but we never lost our commitment to craft amazing things, to be inspired by nature and innovation, and to bring you amazing products from our workspace to yours.


    Kind of like Prom, state qualifying long jumps and epic tennis matches all rolled into one, there are exciting changes afoot at Pad and Quill, and we can’t wait to share them with you.


    Mrs. PQ


    Here's a hint of what we are working on.

    New Textures...





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