WHY DO YOU CALL AUSTIN HOME
The people here are so great. My best friends are here and my family is close. And then there’s tacos.
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
Maggie Rogers and khruangbins (guest post from Allie-Brooke, who runs our marketing here at Tiko)
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE or TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
One coffee in the morning, one after lunch. Usually I go for the coldest, strongest cold brew I can find. I’ll drink hot coffee during the four days of the year it’s chilly in Austin or when I’m traveling in cooler climates. I love tea though and I’ll drink herbal tea when I’ve had too much coffee or when I’m in Asia and the tea is so much better than the coffee.
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION
Outdoor Voices, Conde Nast Traveller, and Warby Parker are just a few. We are constantly inspired by other brands.
GO TO MID-DAY SNACK or ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
I’m currently sampling lots of different protein bars. No clear winner yet. I’m working my way through Amazon and the Central Market shelves.
WHERE DO YOU CREATE BEST? EX: HOME, STUDIO, NATURE, ETC.
Early in the morning, at home, with no distractions and coffee in hand.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO BEGIN THE TIKO TRAVEL ADVENTURE
No one was making the bag that I wanted to exist. A simple, super high-quality bag. No unnecessary extras. And a great price. It was surprising that no one was making it.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR OF TIKO
The day our Kickstarter closed and we’d sold $100,000 in a month. The first 500 customers that proved they wanted this bag to exist too.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT
We focus a lot on being human and real. Lots of brands talk about being authentic and so we try not to throw that word around too much. Travel can be such a humbling, eye-opening and exciting experience that it really pushes the human spirit and we try to embrace that.
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
I’m a person trained in finance who loves design and since I never studied design sometimes it’s often hard for me to manifest what is in my head. This interview by Ira Glass has inspired me to continue making things and I’d recommend it to other who need some creative encouragement. I’m grateful to our other creative team members who really deserve the credit.
HOW HAS SOCIAL HELPED YOUR BRAND
Social is such a great way to build community. We continue to grow on our channels and have made so many great connections because of it. As we grow we hope that our social channels are all about our Tiko community of travelers. We hope that our channels celebrate all types of travelers from business traveler to leisure traveler to first time traveler to weekend traveler and on and on. We hope that people will come to us for inspiration on where to head to on their next adventure, what spots to eat at, where to stay and all things travel.
TELL US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF SHOPPING LOCAL ARTISTS / BRANDS
Austin is a unique city today because it stayed loyal to local brands for so long. I was talking to the folks behind South Congress Hotel about this the other day. They’ve gone out of their way to make room in their projects for local brands. With the launch of Tiko, we look forward to joining the great community of local brands and makers.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE TIKO EXPERIENCE
First, we go out of our way to make our customers happy. Prior to launch we hand-delivered some bags to early customers who really needed one in time for an upcoming trip. In addition to that, we’re also planning to host events and build a community around people who have the same love of travel as we do.
WHERE / HOW DO YOU SOURCE THE MATERIALS FOR THE TIKO CARRY ON
I spent over a year overseas sourcing the best materials for our luggage. The wheels are from Japan, the fabric from Korea and it’s all assembled responsibly in Vietnam (there are no luggage factories in the USA). We have a direct relationship with each of our suppliers and we don’t rely on any middlemen or sourcing companies to do this work for us. It’s important that we know who is making our goods and where each material comes from.
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
So many Austin folks go out of their way to be helpful with no ask in return. Through our circles we get a lot of great creative input, unique office space, and opportunities to do pop-up shops in cool locations.
WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO A DESIGN COLLAB WITH A LOCAL AUSTIN ARTIST
Absolutely! We are talking to a few folks now and are looking for more. The best thing about a suitcase is that it’s an empty vessel waiting to be filled. There are tons of opportunities to work with other local Austin artists.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT TIKO
A suitcase is a complex thing. Our suitcase is made of of 62 different parts, big and small, and we have an amazing design team that has thought through every detail.
AUSTIN INSIDER RECOMMENDATIONS
MUST-SEE RECOMMENDATION(S) FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO AUSTIN
See the bats, wander (scooter?) down South Congress and grab a bite to eat there.
FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD TRUCK
Thai-Kun and VeraCruz
FAVORITE LOCAL CURATED BOUTIQUE
Noah Marion Quality Goods on South Lamar (Interview with Founder)
FAVORITE LOCAL COFFEE SHOP(S)
Patika and Thunderbird Coffee.
WHERE CAN SUPPORTERS FIND YOUR DESIGNS
Exclusively on our website