A CHAT WITH JACQUI MA, FOUNDER AND DESIGNER OF GOODORDERING (OUR NEW FAVOURITE MAKER OF BACKPACKS)
When did you start Goodordering?
It was 2012 at the same time I had my son, while we were living on top of a family bike shop in East London.
What is Goodordering?
Goodordering was originally about making cycling fun for families. It has now branched out to include all sorts of bags for the whole family, not just for cycling but for an active life. Mini-backpacks attach to scooters and backpacks double as pannier bags in the range of bags that are all multi-functional and a blank canvas for customisation and personalisation. There is a functional playfulness about the bags that are nostalgic due to their slight retro styling. We aim to design bags that form a personal attachment to their owners.
Why did you decide to make bags?
When I started Goodordering, I’d been designing bags for eight years for various brands from Puma and Virgin Atlantic to Microsoft and Debenhams department store. What I love about bags is the balance between function and form. I wanted to design bags that could sell for a reasonable price-point – under A$100 whilst still being packed with functionality and have design at its core.
What is the process? Where are they made?
The bags are made in China, in a factory that I’ve been working with over the years. I usually have an idea for a kind of bag, get sample made up. I then use the sample or test it out with a customer. After gathering feedback the design is refined and finalised and then it’s launched. We launched four years ago with just four styles. Two years later we added an additional six styles. The range is tight and we focus on colour. I like to co-design bags with my customers, friends and families, by taking ideas and feedback from users. This could include finding out what people use their bags for, how they wear them, how they get around, and what kind of things they do in their daily lives.
What inspired the design?
The design is based on utilitarian, simple boxy lines. Japanese school bags were a big influence to the original bag and then the range grew from there. The signature white binding was selected originally because it made the bag cheaper to make because it was white for all the colours and saved on material minimum costs. Now the white binding is what makes the range stand out from other brands. I also love German Bauhaus design, retro sports graphics and vintage Samsonite luggage.
What inspired the colours?
The colours were originally inspired by school uniforms. In Australia anyway, where I grew up, these preppy timeless colours are familiar and nostalgic to most people. The classic colour ways also help us, as a small company, because they are not based on fashion colours that have to keep changing season by season. Each season we aim to add one or two new colours to the mix, but keep the core colour range the same.
Who is your audience?
Families are changing now, and it’s these changing families that are the audience for Goodordering. Parents may be single parents, same sex, mixed race, part time parents and grandparents. This mixed bag of family life is real life definition of the Goodordering family. My family, for example consists of my son Otto and my Swedish female partner Mia. I also identify as Chinese Australian-British.
We love to encourage parents to drop their kids off at school on bicycle, scooter or walk them to school. Our audience also includes busy dads who are constantly multi-tasking, and kids that need to store all their toys and food for their urban adventures.
What’s the best thing a kid has said about your product?
It’s not so much what a kid has said but one little girl, Malou who is two years old will not let her personalised green mini-backpack out of her site. She tries to put it on before her clothes and gets very upset when anyone else touches it.
GOOD NEWS FOLKS.
We’re giving away a bunch of Goodordering backpacks! To enter sign up to Good Ordering newsletter + the Lunch Lady newsletter before Friday 20th, 2017. We have 20 to giveaway (well minus the one’s I gave my kids for Christmas), so there’s a good chance you’ll be a winner.