Attire Accessories - May/Jun 2018 (Issue 70)

Priscilla Chase talks about the Healthy Back Bag Company’s development into a successful brand offering a distinctive and health-focused product Tell me a bit about how the company started.What was the aim of the label when it was launched? The Healthy Back Bag (or HBB) came into being in the US over 25 years ago – an innovative design by an American couple who wanted to create a super comfortable single strap alternative to a shoulder bag or back pack. I first spotted these bags in Canada in 2002 and was immediately entranced – the concept was distinctive both in its design and purpose and did exactly what it said on the tin.The owners at AmeriBag Inc, took a considerable leap of faith by letting me take on the UK distribution, and in 2004 the European subsidiary company was established. We concentrated initially on the outdoor and travel market, which I knew best. Later we progressed to comfort footwear retail, as we have like-minded customers, and these two channels continue to be immensely successful for us. More than anything I wanted to spread the message that you can have a comfortable, stylish and distinctive shoulder bag that genuinely enhances your life and doesn’t hurt your back. We have an almost cult following. Customers tell us that they wouldn’t think of going back to a conventional shaped bag, and many have a vast collection – 18 is the record we know of so far! It has grown to be an iconic comfort-wear accessory; its teardrop shape is identifiable for being honest, functional, original – a little quirky – and always fun. How were the initial products developed, and what was the response? The original Healthy Back Bag was developed specifically to combat the problems of weight stress in a single strap bag, to create a solution for those who can’t or don’t want to use a backpack, but need comfort, security, organisation, and, of course, good looks. Most single strap bags pull away from the body, causing you to unconsciously compensate by leaning and twisting.This can cause neck, shoulder or back pain, which ultimately affects posture.The HBB design was the result of a collaboration with a doctor and a chiropractor, to determine just how the ergonomics of a single strap bag could accommodate the requirements of the Taking the weight ATTIRE 59 PROFILE