TGA Member Profiles
Suitcases & More
When David Stoller founded Suitcases & More in Phoenix in 1985, his goal was to offer consumers quality travel products in a market he felt did not represent the category well. Established almost as an afterthought after Stoller diversified the family-owned travel agency he helped start three years earlier, he sought out new products from relatively young travel goods companies that would separate Suitcases & More from other stores. Over the years, Stoller has added many well-known and established names to its brand assortment.
“We choose suppliers by their desire to be different, responsible, and reliable,” Stoller says. “We helped break a mold of traditional luggage stores by becoming more of a travel store and providing products that were meant for travel and not just for looking good. Support from our vendors, product reliability, and price reliability continue to drive us forward.”
Suitcases and More, Inc. is located at 9301 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85260; 480-860-0038; firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2006, two traveling professionals tired of constantly looking for that “better” suitcase put their heads together to found Sttelli, with the goal of creating a stylish alternative that also delivers customer value.
“Sttelli’s suitcases and travel accessories strive to give travelers the tools to have a fun, hassle-free travel experience,” states Elias Gutt. “Our luggage lines are beautifully designed with both practicality and the traveler’s budget in mind.”
Sttelli luggage uses easy-to-identify luggage colors and name tags in beautiful combinations; Sttelli’s travel accessories aim to cover most travelers’ in-flight comfort needs and “away from home” amenities.
With more than 60 years of collective experience in the travel goods industry, Solite International’s founders have designed their products with a variety of exclusive features, including patented wheels that glide in silence with double bearings, patented wire-tension expandability for soft-side luggage, and a tilt handle built for ease of control. Founded in 2016, Solite International also offers an additional brand for the budget-conscious traveler, Verage, which offers water-resistant pieces in eye-popping colors.
“Solite International’s start-to-finish knowledge of the luggage-making process, from design to manufacturing, enables it to create innovative, practical luggage products to address the changing needs of today’s modern traveler,” states Joann DePasquale. “Solite products are used by travelers of every variety, from the occasional weekender to the frequent-flying businessman.”
Scrubba by Calibre8
Scrubba by Calibre8 was formed in 2012 by Ash Newland, inspired by his difficulty washing clothes during preparations to climb Mt Kilimanjaro. He created a flexible washboard embedded within a sealable bag. The resulting pocket-size device weighs less than 5 oz and provides a machine-quality wash, anywhere – with minimal use of time and water. Fast-forward five years, and over 100,000 travelers have benefited from the Scrubba wash bag on their own adventures, gaining attention and funding through Shark Tank Australia.
“We simply aren’t interested in doing the same as everyone else,” states Ash Newland, who is also a patent attorney. “Scrubba products are durable, multi-functional, lightweight, and portable, and the company continues to adapt and improve its range to ensure that its products remain the easiest to use, most practical travel accessories on the market.”
Staple products include the Scrubba W pack – a wash bag, dry bag, and backpack rolled into one – and the Scrubba weightless wallet, which offers a virtually weightless, water-resistant means to carry cards and cash. Companion products include the Scrubba microfiber travel towel, for partially drying clothes or for drying off after a shower or swim, and the bulk-free Scrubba inflatable coat hangers that enable clothes to be dried anywhere.
Royce Leather Gifts
Royce Leather’s new 109A-5 Bi-fold Euro Commuter Wallet offers up a thoroughly modern twist on the classic bi-fold wallet, with two windowed ID pockets and five card slots on the left, three card slots on the right, two leather-lined bill pockets, and an additional wide slot on the back. And as a new twist, Radio Frequency Blocking Technology has been added to protect consumers against the identity theft perils associated with the millions of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanners in use.
Royce Leather has been producing fine leather items since 1974. “We incorporate a classic, well-designed product with rich character, enduring quality, and the unique beauty of each leather hide,” says Billy Bauer. “Each piece is meticulously constructed with attention to even, fine stitching, and is tooled using only the finest techniques and materials. The Royce Collection is a masterpiece of beauty and luxury.”
Royce Leather’s highlighted colors are: Carnation Pink, Key Lime Green, Ocean Blue, Wildberry, Purple, and stylish two-tone leather products. They also offer different types of leather to appeal to various price points including: Top Grain Nappa Cowhide, Milano Top Grain, Boston Leather, Genuine Leather, Sedona Bonded Leather, Man Made Leather, and Florida Leather. Personalization with debossing and metal engraving is also available.
Piel Leather, Inc.
In the early 1970s, Gerardo Cuellar was a young college student anxious to establish a new career in international trade with his close friend, Jaime M. Martinez. Together, they started importing a variety of handcrafted goods from Colombia, one of which was produced in Vaquetta leather. As Office Manager Claudine Hirashima says, “During 35-plus years of business, Piel Leather has proven time and again to be the ‘leader in naked leather.’ Undoubtedly, we will continue striving to improve and evolve the Vaquetta line for many years to come.”
Hirashima describes the company’s products as a finely handcrafted line of briefcases, carry-on bags, ladies’ handbags and purses, backpacks, small leather goods, and travel cases made from the finest natural leathers and highest quality hardware. In addition, the company offers custom design and private labeling options and a “no boundaries policy with an eagerness to work with clients to produce exactly what they need in the time they need it.” Piel also accommodates special orders, including embossing and embroidery within 30 days. “We are one of the most versatile companies in the industry,” says Hirashima. “Our items are fully covered under warranty and we produce fine products for everyone from the frequent traveler to the leisure golfer.”
Occles Travel Eyewear
The creators of Occles Travel Eyewear came up with the idea for “Occles – the ultimate eyeshades” – while lying on a beach in Greece. It was truly a light bulb moment when they were unable to find a product to totally block light from their eyes – one that set them on a path to developing a worldwide patent-pending, registered design and trademark product that does just that.
“Occles are a totally unique product developed to protect the eyes from strong light when trying to get shut-eye on the red-eye or relaxing at your destination,” states Hugh Robertson. “They are a truly multi-use 21st century first-class sleep mask and a “disruptive product‟ in the field of eyewear, one that challenges the conventional ways of protecting the eyes from light.”
Occles are one-piece, flexible eyeshades that wrap around the head and block 100% of the sun’s harmful UV light to the eyes. They have a bridgeless, comfortable eye pad system for total comfort. The totally opaque lenses ensure that no light transmission disturbs the wearer whether they are worn during travels or on the beach.
Ningbo Leed Bags & Luggage Co. Ltd.
With its 13-year history, Ningbo Leed Bags & Luggage Company is a highly experienced manufacturer of sewn and plastic injection travel products. Its expertise encompasses backpacks, school bags, laptop carriers, totes, cosmetic cases, travel bags, and ABS, polycarbonate and polypropylene luggage.
“We are very familiar with all the necessary trade steps including sourcing, quality control, shipping, and export, and ensure every step of the process is controlled,” states Stanley Xu. “We strive to provide efficiency, quality production of goods, high standards, and best service.”
Located in Ningbo City, China, the company welcomes OEM and ODM sourcing with an emphasis on developing new products together with its clients.
McKlein Company LLC
McKlein Company LLC manufactures and distributes three brands of travel products each uniquely handcrafted to offer stylish, cutting-edge and innovative designs and each offering rolling cases that feature their patented Removable Wheel and Handle System. Their new brand, Parinda, features stylish and affordable handbags, as well as ladies’ cases made of luxurious Italian leather in six “chic” colors, all created to be smart, yet sexy. McKlein’s product lines consist of business cases, computer cases, luggage, casual bags, backpacks, business accessories, attaché cases, accessories, duffel bags, note pad capability bags, tote bags, carry-on cases, and wheeled cases.
Our laptop cases, briefcases, and luggage provide unsurpassed protection and superior quality and are the leading choices among business travelers,” says Christina Schmitt. “Our patented and revolutionary detachable cases are two bags in one — they can be wheeled or carried. The commute of the mobile professional is finally simplified!” McKlein’s 220,000 square-foot factory in Thailand also does custom-made, OEM, or built-to-order products to any specification at competitive prices and high quality standards.
Matador’s first product, the Pocket Blanket, was born in a 10×10-foot San Francisco bedroom in 2014, when its creators stumbled on a trend – people sitting outside on their coats or lugging bulky blankets across town to parks and beaches – and envisioned a better solution. The resulting pocket-sized blanket also ignited a passion for designing and developing packable adventure gear.
“What started as a pocket-sized blanket that unfolds to seat four became a passion for designing and developing a full line of high-quality, ultra-packable bags and accessories,” states Tamara Kelly. “It’s a totally new category we’re introducing to the world. Our mission is to make travels and adventures more convenient through high-quality packable gear.”
With a focus on the future, Matador uses its strengths in consumer research, design, and cutting-edge material technology to develop the innovative products its customers expect. The ever-expanding product offerings stay true to Matador’s packable adventure gear roots, with a vast range of items from its top-selling pocket blanket to dry bags, nanodry towels, tote bags, duffels, and backpacks that all pack down into their own carrying compartments.