Welcome to our series that introduces you to the Brooklyn-based designers who make our favorite kids’ gear.
This week we chatted with Scot and Jacq Tatelman, the husband-and-wife duo behind STATE Bags. Founded in 2009, STATE Bags is not only about some seriously awesome backpacks, but also giving back to the community. With their one-for-one business model, they’re helping local kids get off to a bold, and stylish, start. And with fun designs and Brooklyn-themed names, we’re excited to have STATE Bags kick off our Brooklyn Play Makers series.
CKC: Tell us about your community work and the GiveBackPack program.
Scot and Jacq Tatelman: Our work with the kids of Camp POWER has proven to us that simply donating material things doesn’t get them very far. What’s really needed is role models, positive messaging, and genuine love. This is why we built out our bag drop experiences the way we did as kids leave our events with not just a new bag, but a newfound belief in themselves, motivation to follow the right path and aspirational figures in our PackMen/Women who have successfully risen from similar situations as the kids we serve.
CKC: You recently announced 40,000 backpacks have been donated this summer. First of all, kudos to that amazing number. What was that moment like when you realized how many kids you have helped?
We still haven’t fully absorbed it as this summer has truly been a whirlwind, but it feels really, really, REALLY good. The very first conversations about this business weren’t strategic decisions such as ecom vs retail or what would we call the company, it was how we could build something that would genuinely impact kids in need living in our own backyards. The mission started it all for us, and we are so proud to say to the thousands of kids out there that STATE now has your back!
CKC: How can the local community get involved?
Because we’re a one-for-one company, the more bags sold means the more we can give. So, spreading the word about STATE to your family and friends, on social media and elsewhere, always helps. We also recently launched our Do Goodie Bag Program where people can buy STATE Do Goodie Bags for people’s birthdays, which get directly donated to local kids in need. That’s been a huge hit for us, and we’re so honored that people of all ages have decided to “donate” their birthdays for kids who could use some extra support.
CKC: Do you have any words of wisdom to Brooklyn kids who are now back in school for the fall?
Aside from “watch out for sidewalk bumps on your scooters” (our 3-year-old daughter has learned the hard way a couple times)? We would relay what our PackPeople talk about at our bag drops and remind each kid that no matter who you are, what you look like or believe in, each and every person has something special to offer the world… and to go into this school year with the focus of deciding what your footprint will be in your school or community.