When I started Kámen Road, the letter opener became an important symbol of me as the founder as it represents an intimate opening of new and unimaginable information. I think of letters from immigrants to families and solo travelers to themselves in diaries for hundreds of years.
My grandmother wrote letters and postcards regularly. Some of her postcards were written in pencil, which always made me wonder. Maybe, she couldn’t find a pen or maybe she just preferred revising her words as she discovered new places.
When my grandmother passed away, I found one of her travel cases and asked if I could have it. I knew nothing about it, where it was from, or how long she had it. It looked like leather – but I learned later that it was vinyl with a lining that was still in tact almost fifty years later.
One day, my mom gave me a box of postcards that my grandmother had sent her from Italy on one of her trips. On the back of one photo of Florence, my grandmother writes, “Found luggage in the city center. The night here is beautiful.” In those two fragments written in pencil, I found answers and the inspiration that compelled me to explore what was possible in terms of getting the most carrying space in a compact form.
The size of her train case was what I loved. The width allowed the greatest amount of packing space. Finding one bag for every type and duration of travel had been my dream since I can remember and here I had a version.
Five years later, Kámen Road offers carry-on designs made in all-natural materials that last the longest and age the best. My ultimate goal is to work with individual artists and artisans in leather, textiles, and metals to support work that is so vital to our communities.
I want every blog post to be like a personal letter to you, sharing new discoveries, ideas, and the challenges in making the best possible bags in a very personal and ethical way.
In my “letters” and “postcards” I would like you to experience our unique process, and my belief in slow fashion, which, by its name, is not a rush game. Our method is intentional—to source the most natural materials possible and consider deeply and from all angles the impact of every decision.
I also want you to know that there are organizations and individuals out there working on revitalizing neighborhoods by developing an artisan industry and small production economy like Ilana Preuss at Recast City. I want you to know about the people we work with and their great talent.
I invite you to write back with news about where you are, the discoveries you’ve made, what you are seeking and haven’t yet found. And, perhaps, what makes you feel totally alive—like the way I feel about travel, design, nature, and Kámen Road. This is my letter to you wherever you are.
Carry What You Love,