Our story

It started with an idea. And a sewing machine. We wanted to make the bag we couldn’t find anywhere else. And we wanted to make it in New York City - the home of the fashion industry. 

The only problem was we didn’t even know if there were still factories in New York City and we knew even less about manufacturing bags. 

Neither of us came from the bag business or even the fashion industry. And even though we now have a bag business, we still don’t think of ourselves as actually being in it.

Our original vision was to create the perfect bag for pickleball. One that went beyond the game and could actually be part of your life. Something you could take to work. Take on a weekend away. A reliable friend who would always be there, no matter where you went.

When it came to design, we didn’t stop to think about bill of materials. This was about making the bag we wanted. It would cost what it would cost. It’s not designed for manufacturing. We once saw this as a weakness but now we see it as a strength. 

The Sport Duffle is designed to support itself when it’s standing up (easier said than done). To cosset a paddle racquet and protect it like its own child (we used toolbox lining material as a pocket liner). To delight you when you unzip it and peek inside. To provide a plush pocket for your watch and phone (it’s the backside of sweater material - what you usually feel on your skin). To be comfortable when you carry it (Eric offset the shoulder strap loops to improve the balance). 

We didn’t want mesh water bottle pockets like you usually see on sports bags. So Eric ripped up an old army sweater and figured the cuffs had just the right kind of material to work, and look good. We have since found a supplier for army sweater cuffs. Which is helpful, because we used all of Eric’s on the prototypes.

Our ambition is to be smart about the materials we use. Roll ends means we won’t always have the same color combinations - but neither will we make demands on suppliers so we can maintain a style, when we know they have perfectly good alternative fabric in stock. This is better for the environment.

We’re not going to offshore our manufacturing just to shave a few points off the build cost. Nor will we buy in materials or fabric from abroad, just because it’s cheaper (though we will consider it if it’s better). This means less miles on boats and trucks. And we think that’s a good thing.

Making our bags in New York matters. It creates jobs and we can be certain our machinists are being paid a fair wage. And they’re happy. And because they’re just down the road, we’ll always be able to make sure that stays the case.

We would apologize for the price of the Bernici Sport Duffle, if we were actually sorry. But we’re not, because we believe we’re making the right bag, the right way. 

We hope you do too.