By @. A small collection of carry equipment, inspired by Atlantic adventure, designed & made in our coastal studio in Sligo, NW Ireland.
Describe the company – the elevator pitch …
The Atlantic Equipment Project design and manufacture backpacks, satchels and carry equipment, inspired by Atlantic adventure. Our bags are designed with durability and functionality as core values, lending a contemporary, minimal aesthetic to our collection. Material selection is crucial to our process and includes tough Duck Canvas, waterproof Waxed Cotton and solid cast brass fittings. We make each pack from start to finish in our coastal workshop in Sligo. We sell primarily through our webshop, and also stock a number of shops in Ireland, and now can be found in Canada and Tokyo. The vision is to build a manufacturing base in Sligo with craftsmanship and sustainability at its core.
— Atlantic Equipment (@EquipAtlantic) March 23, 2016
How are you different?
The company is born of a love of this place and the people here. I grew up a surfer and have spent my childhood traipsing around our muddy salty coastline. The roots of what AE is are planted here. Our bags are built piece by piece on our lovely big old industrial sewing machines. This means everything we ship from the workshop is of AE quality. Aesthetically, our collection is driven by its function and the honest beauty of the materials. AE is a brand based on Irish Atlantic heritage, but with a globally accessible product range.
Where are you based?
Our workshop is in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. This is where we make every AE pack, and it is where we will always make our packs.
When was the company launched?
In September 2013 I returned home from The Netherlands, having completed a 2 year Master programme in Integrated Product Design. The thesis for that Master was the brand development and initial product development for AE. During that graduation year I realised there were very few companies I really wanted to work for, that had solid responsible core values, and acted accordingly. However, all were either not hiring or not growing. I decided I would build a company like that myself at home. Delightfully this plan would allow me to create a job for myself and with some luck, one or two other folks. So, in early 2014 the website and original collection were launched. The path to date has not been without significant challenge, but the product has been extremely well received and demand is constantly exceeding supply!
What have been your biggest wins to date?
Being a new manufacturing business is somewhat unique in the West of Ireland, and Enterprise Ireland have been very supportive. The biggest win in terms of the company growth has been being awarded EI’s Competitive Start Fund. That has enabled AE to build on its small beginnings, raise brand awareness and develop capacity. I have also won a Future Maker award through the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, who have also been supportive. Gaining some international stockist was a great thrill, but the biggest win honestly, is that we are still building and selling backpacks and satchels from our workshop in Strandhill.
— Atlantic Equipment (@EquipAtlantic) March 19, 2016
What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?
AE started out as a brand based on the identity of the hidden adventurers of the Atlantic Coast. The surfers, bodyboarders, hikers, kayakers who get out in the wind and the rain and find magic out there. Our company will always be about this electric and inspiring community. I think we attract these folks, but also a whole collection of people who understand the value and the benefit in buying Irish made, well made, long lasting kit.
What are you long term plans for your company?
The ambition is to sustainably build the company into a large manufacturing base in Sligo, and invest in a team of highly skilled seamsters and seamstresses. We have a very strong brand identity, and the long term vision is to build this into a globally recognised, Irish made, outdoor brand.
— Atlantic Equipment (@EquipAtlantic) March 17, 2016
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
I’m not exactly a gadget person, but I have an ongoing love affair with Adobe. As a product designer I am trained in most of the Adobe suite and so I do most of the graphics and print design for AE. I dig colour palettes and font selection, Indesign is a wonderful part of my life!
How do people get in touch with you?
You can find us at www.atlanticequipmentproject.com and we are on all the various social: