A few years ago, I was running a travel bag company. We made pouches, dopp kits, rolls; small bags to keep items organized while abroad. I designed the products and partnered with a factory to make them ridiculously durable.
I leaned on my six years of experience in the US Army when considering the construction.
In the Army, our gear had to be tough. I wanted that same mil-spec construction and durability in our travel gear.
We double-stitched and bartacked everywhere possible. Chose water and abrasion resistant fabrics. Rock solid, fail-proof zippers.
The goal was to have functional items that could be passed down for generations.
Just as I was starting to make some real progress.
Life threw me a curve ball.
I discovered Fountain Pens.
As a journaler/planner, I found that fountain pens turned a normal activity like writing into a pleasant ritual. I also started sketching again, something I hadn’t done since middle school.
Fountain pens were helping me become more productive and creative!
The problem I ran into was the same problem all new fountain pen folks experience: poor quality paper ruined the experience. The lower viscosity of fountain pen ink feathered and bled through. So began my journey of testing fountain pen friendly paper.
After trying everything, I finally found Tomoe River paper and fell in love. First I made notebooks by hand using loose sheets and sewing the binding. Then I found a factory that could make them faster than my hands could cut and sew.
There were already notebooks out there, but none blended the functionality and durability that I was looking for. Also, as my fountain pen collection grew, I needed a way to safely organize and transport them. So I drew up some designs and had samples made.
Those first items became the Field Journal and the Tool Roll.
It wasn’t long before friends asked me to get them samples as well and soon we were in full production mode.
The company started to shift away from travel gear and towards notebooks and daily carry items. Given the new direction, a rebranding seemed necessary and I had to find a new name.
LOCHBY loosely translates to “Lake Town,” which is a nod to my hometown of Minneapolis, MN, the City of Lakes.
At LOCHBY, we strive to make premium notebooks and accessories that last a lifetime, and then some. Our goal is to help others in their productive and creative practices.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. If you have any questions or comments on what we’re doing, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Keep creating,Chris Elfering