Tracy Travels: Top 5 Must-Have Travel Items January 21 2015
As Urban Junket’s Chief Bag Lady, Tracy Dyer spends a lot of traveling to markets, tradeshows and retailers across the country. With so much time spent in the air, she’s fine-tuned a short list of essential items she never leaves home without...
Take Charge this Winter with Wearable Tech January 15 2015
Like many people, we're kind of obsessed with this whole wearable technology trend... (continue reading)
On a Happy Note... August 21 2014
From Robin's Corner: A Blue Bag Recap... June 16 2014
Several weeks ago, my husband and I attended a "Pink Out" fund-raising event to cap off our daughter's awesome badminton season at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Illinois. After getting our butts thoroughly kicked in a challenge grudge match against Carly and her partner, another mom approached me and introduced herself.
Sharon's daughter, Rachel, and my daughter have been teammates and friends for some time but we hadn't yet met, and the subject of summer badminton camp was being discussed between the girls. We exchanged contact info and I asked her to simply email me at email@example.com...that should be easy to remember, right?
Sharon's face changed immediately with surprise and she asked, "did you say Urban Junket? I just bought this blue Ellen Zipper Wallet from your website in support of Project Onward! Do you work for Urban Junket? I love these bags - I bought two! How weird is that?!" She explained that her oldest son is on the spectrum so she and the family are connected with a few different autism organizations around Chicago. Makes sense she would learn about our Blue Bag campaign through those various channels but the power of social media never ceases to amaze me.
All said and done, we probably sold close to 20 blue bags from our website in support of this campaign with Project Onward (plus many more at the really fun Blue Bag Luncheon finale held at Project Onward on April 27th). Not necessarily a huge amount of bags but this partnership was just as much about spreading the word about Project Onward and showcasing the incredible works created by their field of talented artists. In our case, Jackie Cousins hit the nail on the head when she drew women of all colors, shapes and ages carrying our beautiful bags. All of us at UJ were simply blown away by her work, and it affected Sharon as well when she visited our site.
A special thanks to Sharon and all those Blue Bag supporters out there. Thanks to all the ladies who attended the Blue Bag Luncheon to cap off our month-long campaign. Thank you for taking to heart our partnership with Project Onward during autism awareness month. And thank you to all our new-found friends at Project Onward for reaching out and including us in such a worthwhile cause and event....what a great group of peeps you are!
Be sure to keep following Urban Junket on social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram....we subscribe to them all! I'm super excited and proud to share that we are continuing our partnership with Project Onward and specifically Jackie by hiring her to work on special projects. That's what this was all about after all....proving how capable these talented individuals truly are and that their work is both needed and valued. In the months to come, be sure to look for our new "Urban Junket Girl" series on UJ social media - a nod to superheros and super women everywhere!
Holy Smokes: lucky laptop protected by UJ bag May 20 2014
When we set out to create quality laptop bags that truly protect your devices, we knew they needed to withstand the rigors of travel and the wear of everyday life. But recently, we were surprised to receive a testimonial from customer about how her Urban Junket bag protected her laptop from complete destruction when a house-fire broke out. Gratefully, no one was injured in the incident.
Below is a portion of her letter and pictures of her bag after the fire. It’s pretty crazy. (In case you are curious, it’s the J.B. Powered Laptop Bag.)
I'm writing and including pictures to show you how my Urban Junket bag protected my laptop in a house fire I had a few weeks ago. I had my computer in its bag by my front door when I walked my kids to school. The fire started while we were gone (electrical in the garage) and spread to the house. Jackets that were hanging above the laptop bag totally melted, and everything was heat-damaged in that area, even cracking my windows. Half the house burned.
When the fire was finally put out, I asked a fireman to go inside and try to find my purse and laptop bag. When he brought it out I was afraid it was melted. But I carefully unzipped the bag, and saw my laptop was intact, with just a little damage to one corner and a smell of smoke for sure.
But the computer started right up! I am sure the bag helped protect it.
I plan to get the same bag again for sure.
Hotel toiletry samples find a new home for children in need February 26 2014
About five years ago I started traveling with the regularity of an airline pilot - actually sometimes I think I spend more time on the road than a pilot or a truck driver… such is the life of an entrepreneur.
There are a lot of great things that I have learned from my travels. I can tell you where all the secret Delta Airlines bag drops are in many US airports and I know where all the best airport sushi bars are for sure.
One of the most interesting things I've discovered during my travels actually involves those little toiletries samples that most hotels provide for their guests "free of charge". Now when I say, "free of charge", please know that I say that with a heavy tone of sarcasm in my voice. When you are paying $300 a night plus $8,000 a night in incomprehensible hotel and city taxes to rent a match box sized room in New York City, shampoo and lotion samples seem like a small token of appreciation. I discovered that if you use any portion of those samples during your stay, the housekeepers would promptly provide you with another set of samples. Hmmm… this had me thinking.
It seemed to me that someone else might be able to benefit from all of those little samples. So, I started collecting these samples and storing them in a shopping bag in my linen closet. It didn't take all that long for me to fill a shopping bag with all varieties of soap, shampoo and lotion.
Now what to do with all of these samples? I have to admit, I'm rather picky about what kind of shampoo and conditioner I use on my hair - probably because I also spend crazy time and money to keep my hair all kinds of crazy colors that aren't gray. During this time I happened to be volunteering with a fabulous organization here in the Twin Cities called Free Arts Minnesota. Free Arts pairs up kids in at risk and shelter situations with adult mentors to simply do art. The end goal is to provide an outlet for these kids to express themselves as well as provide access to adults who are willing to be examples and friends to these kids. I happened to be working with a group of teens who were living in an inner-city facility called St. Joseph's Home for Children. St. Joe's is often the first drop off point for kids whose parents or guardians have been arrested or killed. Sorry to be so shocking, but this happens more frequently than any of us likes to admit. These kids are often in shock and are brought in with the clothes on their backs.
While I was talking with one of the facility managers, she said that these kids are often scared, hungry and dirty when they arrive and she wished that St. Joe's could afford to provide these kids with some sort of bathroom kit, so that they could at least feel like they had something of their own and take a little comfort in getting clean.
Ding, ding, ding! It the perfect answer to my, "what should I do with these samples?" question. I brought the shopping bag of samples in the next evening and gave them to the facility manager. She had tears in her eyes and thanked me profusely for taking the time and for thinking of the kids.
What a great win for everyone and what a seriously simple thing to do. I know that a lot of our Urban Junket followers are big travelers. Since we make laptop bags, handbags and travel gear, it only makes sense. I would love to encourage all of you travelers out there to collect your hotel toiletry samples and find a shelter in your city to gift them to. If you can't find one in your town, please send your samples to us and we'll make sure that they get to St. Joe's.
TracyHave any hotel toiletry samples you'd like donate to St. Joe's? Please mail them to us and we'll drop them off!
6981 Oxford Street
Minneapolis, MN 55426
Phone out of juice? Oh, the places (and lengths) you'll go! February 12 2014
If you haven't seen the funny Buzzfeed article that shares what extremes people have gone to in order to charge their phones, you must check it out. (Personal fave: "I once loitered at an Apple Store for an hour pretending to be interested in a laptop while I was really just charging my phone.")
We all know that feeling... the initial angst followed by a shot of adrenaline to find the nearest outlet. While we have to admit that it's been a while since we've been there (our Power Trips rechargeable bag has been life-changing), we still empathize with the legions of folks who must bear the burden of battery loss.
In fact, we run into these people everywhere - the airport, the mall, the bathroom (face it - if you haven't gone to that extreme yet, you would if you had to). Here are just a couple recent photos of people we've encountered along our fully-charged way...
All of this has us really curious...
Where's the oddest place you've had to charge your phone?
Wishing you fully-charged travels,
Looking for something a little sweeter this V-day? Look no further. We've got just the treat you've been craving.
Offer valid 2/1/14 - 2/14/14.
The Joey™ Battery: How it Works February 01 2014
We often get questions on exactly how our built-in battery works in our Power Trips collection bags. Really, it's so much easier than you think! Click here to view or download a quick, one-page PDF, where we explain how simple it is charge your phone on-the-go.
To view this image in larger format, click here.
The holiday season is upon us and we received a stellar gift at Urban Junket! Conde Nast Traveler named Urban Junket’s JB Powered Laptop Bag one it’s top 10 stylish travel tech bags! We’ve long known our bags are giving people something they crave – stylish, quality travel solutions for everyday gadgets, so we’re overjoyed to be recognized by a top international travel publication.
Part of the Power Trips collection, it’s no surprise the JB Powered Laptop Bag is a fan favorite. With a modern twist on a classic design, the tote accommodates a 17-inch laptop and includes a portable, built-in battery pack to recharge five different types of devices. It boasts five internal pockets and three external pockets, a padded laptop section for protection and a removable zippered gear bag. To boot, the water-resistant, eco-friendly coated canvas tote comes in 11 colors.
Traveling during the holidays can definitely be a headache, but we got your back (or shoulder). Whether you’re flying across country or loading up the family car for an afternoon at Grandma’s house, our hope at Urban Junket is to help make your journey as enjoyable, stylish and stress-free as possible.
From our family to yours, we wish you Safe Travels and Happy Holidays!!!
The Urban Junket team
From Robin's Corner - ONE Yoga Moment October 09 2013
I wanted to share a great experience I had during my Yoga Next class one morning. Yoga "Next" is more than just yoga...think of an ass-kicking, sweat-inducing, cardio form of yoga developed by my favorite yogi, neighbor and friend Rachel. As much as I love it, I had to drag myself into class on Tuesday morning, not in the best of moods. Like so many right now, my allergies have been killing me...I mean what the heck - since when do I suffer so from fall allergies?
Anyway, that all changed in ONE quick moment when I popped up into my first down dog of the day. My head hanging upside down, I quickly spotted a brand-new Jen Powered Crossbody Bag through my knees on a chair at the back of the room. It was like my legs were framing an Urban Junket photo of everyone's favorite Power Trips bag.
There was something about that ONE moment that turned it around for me and helped motivate me through my workout and entire day. Like I mentioned in my recent Serendipity blog and Tracy mentioned recently on our UJ Facebook page, there's nothing better than seeing someONE we don't know with an Urban Junket bag out there in the world. In a nutshell, it basically affirms what we're hoping to accomplish as we strive to create this new cross between fashion and wearable technology, and doing it as green as possible.
After class, I introduced myself and met Courtney, that's her photo to the right that I took after class with her new black Jen bag. A big thank you for agreeing to pose for the photo after the ridiculous sweat-fest we had just been through! We talked about Urban Junket and her new bag; she generously shared that Urban Junket is her new favorite bag line. She said she was loving her Jen Crossbody, especially with the rechargeable Joey battery inside. That is of course, when her husband wasn't trying to snatch it away for "work". A familiar story in my own house!
Sometimes it takes just ONE moment, ONE deep breath, ONE encounter or ONE affirmation to help make that ONE big difference in your day. Namaste!
-Robin Reimer, National Sales Manager
EcoManiacs Goes GREEN Successfully October 07 2013
Not to go all cliché on you, but how about walking the walk, talking the talk - and putting your (green) money where your mouth is? That is what my friends and incredibly cool clients from EcoManiacs in LaGrange, Illinois did.
A major undertaking to be sure, a big CONGRATS goes out to owners Becca, Nate and Leah for attaining their official Green Business Certification from the Illinois Green Business Association, a feat that's not easy to accomplish. They celebrated their success with a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion. Like me, several other EcoManiacs fans, vendors, media and local business leaders gladly stopped by to share in the celebration.
I was even more impressed and somewhat surprised to learn that EcoManiacs is actually the first business in the Chicagoland area to attain this status. The rep from IGBA who presented them with their fancy certificate explained that several more local businesses are closely following suit but it's clear these savvy local entrepreneurs are leading the way in our own DTLG (that's "downtown LaGrange", as the kids like to call it :).
It's a stark reminder that even though so many of us are talking about green living, pollution, climate change, etc - we have to wonder how many of us are actually doing something about it? EcoManiacs is in the business of selling the best in green products out there (think Urban Junket of course). They promote, educate and live green; and now they can proudly say they've backed it up by working with the IGBA to become Green Certified. With every aspect of their business closely scrutinized, reviewed and updated where needed - they've proven their commitment to the cause. Cheers to that!
- Robin Reimer, National Sales Manager
* * *
EcoManiacs is an environmentally and socially conscious boutique, specializing in toys, books, apparel and accessories produced from recycled, eco-friendly and sustainable materials. The store front is located at 74 South La Grange Road in downtown La Grange, Illinois between Harris Ave. and Cossitt Ave. More information about EcoManiacs can be found on their website or by connecting with them on Facebook or Twitter.
Urban Junket has many retailers in different areas, check for a retail store near you.
WINNER! Summer Travel Photo Competition August 16 2013
After much deliberation and admiration for the wonderful photos that we received over the course of this friendly competition, we at Urban Junket have come to a decision about which photo is our winner.
We chose the winner because of the creativity and effort put into the story and photography of each of her photos. Not only did we travel to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho to go wakeboarding...
... we shared her joy in realizing that Hostess treats are back on the shelves...
... and finally, we learned that our Urban Junket Convertible t.o.t.e. helps her keep things organized as a stay-at-home mom of an adorable two year old.
Congratulations to Laura Dahmer on winning our summer photo competition and thank you for sharing your wonderful photos and summer story! We hope that you enjoy your gift card to Urban Junket, check your email!
A great thank you goes out to everyone who submitted photos. We truly enjoyed seeing some real life photos of our bags being used and traveling all over the world! Such lucky bags we have! We hope that you had fun seeing some of the photos, too! If you saw a style that you liked but don't yet own, please check out our website or look for a retail store near you!
From Robin's Corner - Serendipity at MSP July 22 2013
Okay - I'll admit this is not the best photo ever taken. It was taken on the fly through Minneapolis - St. Paul airport on my way home to Chicago. And let's be honest - like so many others trying to freeze-frame a moment in a flash, I use the camera on my iPhone far too often, and with not the best results. Case in point - check out this fun photo of traveler Melissa from Kelley Blue Book Company in Troy, Michigan.
Melissa had just arrived and was making her way through the terminal at MSP when I stopped her dead in her tracks. I couldn't help myself. I was rolling through as well, gate-bound, with my standard black carry-on and not-so-standard black Robin laptop bag connected on top. As Melissa approached, I quickly spied that she too was rolling her standard black carry-on bag, with not-so-standard, indigo Robin laptop bag connected on top.
Naturally, we laughed at our mutually fabulous taste in travel gear - and she could not help but laugh when I explained that I actually work for Urban Junket, was just in town for meetings and that the indigo Robin Laptop Bag she uses happens to be named after me. Kind of a strange thing to have a "bag" named after you - I couldn't tell if she was like "wow - that's cool" or "wow - that's kinda weird" - but either way, she couldn't have been more genuine in professing her love for this Urban Junket best-seller.
"This is..." she said, "without a doubt - the best work bag I've ever owned - I love this bag!"
Thanks Melissa - for taking the time to speak with me, Robin Laptop Bag in the flesh, and allowing me to share your photo! There's nothing better than seeing our Urban Junket bags in airports everywhere...and on more women and more women who value style, color, function and quality! In just a few short weeks, the Robin laptop bag - and all of our fabulous t.o.t.e. styles - will be available in two new colors (slate blue and ecru), along with a variety of cool new handbags styles, travel gear and accessories. Stay tuned!
- Robin Reimer, National Sales Manager
You'll remember that Uptown Minnesota opened its doors in April with Urban Junket leading the display effort. As a result of UJ bags doing so well, a second sister store has opened in another location in the Minneapolis airport (MSP) called Grand Ave. The focus of Grand Ave centers on the fashionable trend of color blocking.
Color blocking is a consistent trend in the fashion world where big, bold blocks of color are the focus. Urban Junket’s nine colors fit perfectly into this stylish trend. Not only are the displays of Grand Ave very eye-catching, if you know the colors that look best with your sense of style, you can easily compare the various designs of UJ bags to choose which is your favorite in your color.
If you find yourself in MSP near G16 or have time to take a quick walk over while you wait, stop by Grand Ave to see the new display. You’ll love the colors!
Summer Travel Competition with Urban Junket July 01 2013
Urban Junket loves to travel and we'd love even more to see where you're going this summer too! While you're out having a great time, snap a few photos or videos with your Urban Junket bag and send them in for a chance to win $100 gift valid at UrbanJunket.com! Since we know you carry your UJ bag with you anyway, you might as well capture some images whether you're headed somewhere really interesting or planning a great little stay-cation with a few local friends.
We’ll be collecting photos posted or tagged with Urban Junket on Facebook, videos on YouTube, or either attached to an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Summer Travel with Urban Junket. Tell us a little about where you traveled and your favorite feature of your Urban Junket bag. Get inspired and have some creative fun with your submissions!
At the end of the summer on August 15, the most fun or meaningful photo, chosen by the Urban Junket staff, will win $100 gift card valid at UrbanJunket.com. The lucky winner will be notified on August 16, 2013 and have their photo and vacation location featured on the Urban Junket website and Facebook page.
*Any photos submitted to Urban Junket may be used on our social media sites. Credit will be given wherever possible.
**The winner will be notified through Facebook or email on August 16, depending on their method of submission.
Located in quaint and upscale Hinsdale, Illinois, you can find a variety of Urban Junket styles at Stockholm Objects. Owned by Annette Brinkmeier since 2011, Stockholm Objects stands out as a truly unique, Scandinavian lifestyle boutique located in the heart of downtown.
The boutique is European inspired and stocks a smart selection of women’s fashions, exciting, high-quality pieces of jewelry, modern and classic home accessories and furniture, as well as golf wear for men. Stockholm Objects embodies the timeless quality and functionality of traditional Scandinavian design and promotes the cool and trendy Scandinavian lifestyle of today.
On fashion, Annette's goal is to offer elegance and simplicity for the smart, modern urbanite with an eye for good design and the busy professional who doesn’t necessarily draw a sharp line between work and leisure. For the staff, finding unique lines like Urban Junket and helping women discover the pieces that look great here and now - and that will quickly remain favorites for many seasons to come - is the most gratifying of all.
Stockholm Objects is located at 39 S Washington Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521. More information about Stockholm Objects can be found on their website or by connecting with them online through Facebook and Twitter. If you're ever in the area, please stop by to see their wonderful style and say hello!
Urban Junket has many retailers in different areas, check for a retail store near you.
Travel + Leisure ranked the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport (MSP) number one for many reasons, including shopping, food and drink, ease of security and check in, cleanliness and baggage handling, to name a few. On the top of our list for great new stores at MSP is Uptown Minnesota, now open on the G Concourse.
Uptown Minnesota features top local brands from the state and is a true “testament to the Twin Cities’ talent pool,” featuring brands such as J.W. Hulme Co., Itsaca Leathergoods, Illume, Thymes and, of course, Urban Junket.
Uptown Minnesota's wonderful display in the MSP airport.
Urban Junket is ecstatic to be one of the featured brands at Uptown Minnesota since the UJ style is great for travel, especially the portable power contained in the Power Trips line. UJ’s proprietary Joey Battery Pack, ideal for airport travel, is TSA-friendly, meaning it doesn’t have to be removed from carry-on bags to go through security. The Power Trips bags will keep you from being tethered to charging stations or wall plugs during any of your travels or lengthy layovers. Learn more about the benefits of the Power Trips bags.
If you’re ever lucky enough to travel to or through MSP, make sure you swing through G Concourse to see Uptown Minnesota and take a peek at Urban Junket’s display there.
Urban Junket joins HAMMS Event March 11 2013
HAMMS Event - a Minnesota market with a twist!
Join Urban Junket as we support HAMMS, Help A Minnesota Maker Succeed, organized by Becky Sturm of StormSister Spatique and Sairey Gernes of Irely Intimates. HAMMS is a one-day shopping celebration of unique Twin Cities local artisans and crafters. "Stop by, shop and support our collection of small, local Minnesota businesses," says Sturm.
Held in the former Hamm's Brewery shipping dock on the East side of Saint Paul, Minnesota, the event will house a number of "mini shops" offering an amazing collection of items: head-to-toe grooming products, leather goods, cosmetics, letter press products, lingerie, pet products and fabulous home accessories. HAMMS will be a fun, intimate shopping experience designed for men, women and their four-legged friends. We'll post more information about where to find Urban Junket as the event draws near.
DATE & TIME:
Saturday, April 20th, 2013, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Former Hamms Brewery
713 East Minnehaha Avenue, Top Floor
St. Paul, MN 55106
For more information about HAMMS, visit www.hammsevent.com.
Great Review on Funchico.com February 26 2013We can tell you a lot of great things about our bags, but sometimes it's good to have an outside opinion and a different perspective. If you're looking for a very good, in-depth review of our Jen Powered Crossbody bag from our Power Trips Collection, check out this wonderful review of the Jen done by Kate from Funchico.com.
A Ferry Ride From Seattle - The Traveler on Bainbridge Island February 20 2013
If you're ever in Puget Sound near downtown Seattle, take the opportunity to ride the ferry across to Bainbridge Island. On the island, there is an excellent store dedicated to all things travel related. The Traveler, Inc. is a quick walk from the dock and well worth the trip, especially if you're interested in anything connected to travel.
The Traveler represents Urban Junket very well through focus on functional travel accessories and luggage which goes hand-in-hand with our goal of stylish and functional designs. After all, what is better than a rechargeable Joey Battery Pack with a built-in velcro pocket for security when you're traveling. The Joey Battery can also be charged from any outlet in the world, so no pesky worries about whether you'll be able to charge your phone or other USB-chargeable device from a different voltage from your home country.
Urban Junket has an even closer connection to The Traveler since Tracy Dyer, UJ's owner and founder, used to live close by on Bainbridge Island, taking the ferry in to work each day. Here's a snapshot of Tracy outside the front door of The Traveler on her last trip out to the lovely island.
No matter what level of interest you have in traveling, The Traveler has something for you. From language classes and travel information guides to clothing and accessories, the team at The Traveler will get you set up for a future adventure and you can purchase your next Urban Junket bag to make the trip with you!
If you have a trip coming up or you live in the Northwest and would like to visit, more information about The Traveler can be found on their website or by connecting with them online through Facebook, Twitter or The Traveler Blog.
Urban Junket has many retailers in different areas, check for a retail store near you.
International Creativity Aveloilla Style February 06 2013We love creative advertising with our products. Here is an image from a photo shoot with our Kathy Backpack taken by our retail partner Aveloilla in Korea.
Accessory Girl Creatively Wears Urban Junket Accessories January 25 2013At Urban Junket, we are always looking for creative ways to display our products for the various shows and events we attend each year. Our philosophy to combine inspired and unique styling with everyday functionality complements our displays very nicely. Take a look at our creative and functional display from the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah:
Recycling at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, UT January 23 2013
A few weeks ago we gave you a peek at our creative plastic water bottle installation on location at the Atlanta Gift Show. Today marks the start of the Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, Utah so we have another glimpse into our creative recycled water bottle projects for you. As a vertical fixture, the lights help to visually represent that all of our lined bags use a certain number of recycled plastic bottles for their interior fabric.
Come find Urban Junket and our creative lighting fixture at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake, BR420.
The number of recycled water bottles it takes to create each bag is listed in the product description for each bag on our website. Each bag that we produce helps to reduce landfill waste by turning bottles into bags!
For more information about where you can see our water bottle creations in person and where you can find us, visit our events page. To contact Urban Junket or to find the showroom closest to your area, visit our contact list.
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