I recently reported on luggage brands making products with an eye to both quality and fashion. Away, which launched in 2015 and has already sold 50,000 suitcases, just released a limited-edition collection made in collaboration with British brand Pop + Suki.
There's Money in Suitcases
At the Away store in New York, Steph Korey glides through a demonstration of a light blue suitcase—the phone charger on its strong polycarbonate shell, the small nylon bag to separate dirty clothes from clean, the mesh that separates compartments, the compression pad that keeps stuff compact... But that's all Korey really has to say about the bag by the luggage brand she co-founded last year. The minimalist luggage that's generated such buzz since it hit the market last year has no lengthy features list for sales people to rattle off.
With $11M VC Funding, Women Behind Cult Luggage Brand Away Open Stores, Go Into Travel Accessories
teph Korey and Jen Rubio met working at eyewear unicorn Warby Parker, where they were among the first 15 employees, so they’re no strangers to explosive e-commerce growth. It’s a good thing, too, as the first run of their minimalist, thoughtfully-designed suitcases sold out before they even made it back from the manufacturer.
Luggage Maker Away Raises $8.5M for International Expansion
Luggage retailer Away has raised $8.5 million to take its suitcase sales and retail stores abroad. Founded by former Warby Parker executives, the New York company makes sleek, hard-shell suitcases with a built-in battery for tech-savvy travelers. Global Founders Capital, the venture arm of Germany’s Rocket Internet SE, led the Series A round. Forerunner Ventures, Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures and Starwood Hotels founder Barry Sternlicht participated in the funding.
Save Your Money, Skip The MBA, And Go To Startup Grad School Instead
If you have dreams of one day launching your own startup, the idea of getting an MBA may have crossed your mind. After all, business schools are great at explaining how successful companies got off the ground and providing networking opportunities so you can connect with potential investors and cofounders. That's probably why U.S. Department of Education data indicates that the MBA is the most popular graduate degree. But Jen Rubio and Steph Korey, who founded the luggage brand Away last year, would encourage you to give business school a miss. "I actually got an MBA from Columbia," Korey tells Fast Company. "But it was—truthfully—less helpful than startup grad school."