Your plane lands after a five-hour flight, and you’re exhausted. You see the night sky through the airport windows and walk through the sparsely populated terminal. On the trip, you were squeezed into a cramped seat, and the person on your left fell asleep on your shoulder. All you want to do is head to the hotel and get a good night’s rest before your conference in the morning. You hurry to baggage claim as quickly as you can.
The carousel is already spinning when you arrive, with a few bags still riding like children on a merry-go-round. You stand, scanning the bags through heavy eyelids, looking for the one that belongs to you. Finally, you spot it and the stranger trying to drag it off the carousel.
“Wait a second,” you call out. “I think you have the wrong bag.”
“No,” they reply, “I’m sure this is my bag.”
“Nope. Check out the tag. It has my name on it.”
At that moment another bag appears, similar to the one you both are discussing.
“My mistake,” the stranger says. “They look the same.”
If this has ever happened to you, you know the worry of losing a bag because of a simple mistake. With Ugobags, you’ll never have to fear your luggage looks too similar to someone else’s.
Ugobags are customizable luggage cases. You can upload an image to a central panel, or shop any of the designs in our marketplace. To get a better understanding of the company, I spoke with Managing Partner Gerardo Perez about the genesis of the idea to start Ugobags, as well as where they want to go in the future.
Travel in style
Ugobags started with two travelers and an airport. The idea came about when the two founders noticed that the luggage spinning around the carousel looked remarkably similar.
“Based on their heavy travel,” Gerardo said, “they saw that, when they were waiting for their bags, a lot of the luggage was black and boring. The bags didn’t have a story behind them. They saw an opportunity, within the luggage industry, to give people the possibility to be unique with the luggage they were using for their trips.”
Once the idea was locked in, they needed to figure out how they would put custom designs on luggage.
“To produce a product as quickly as a consumer is expecting, we knew we wouldn’t be able to print on the luggage itself. That would’ve been too expensive and time-consuming. We came up with the idea to use laminated vinyl to place a custom design on our luggage.”
They had the idea, and they figured out how to make it feasible. The next step was deciding on where to base their company. After traveling around the United States, tending to other business, Ugobags’ founders fell in love with California while meeting with a lawyer in Los Angeles.
Success has piled up for Ugobags.
“We are a start-up,” Gerardo said, “but we’ve been making solid steps. We are very proud to be the only players within the luggage category, at least in the United States, to offer print-on-demand luggage.”
Not only has Ugobags partnered with Zazzle, but they’re also the official bags for soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona.
“My two partners and I are huge sports fans. We love soccer, and thought that, with FC Barcelona being the biggest soccer club in the world, it was a great idea to launch this license. We also have the ability to use the likenesses of Barcelona players like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Iniesta.”
Ugobags isn’t stopping with FC Barcelona. They have bigger plans in mind, including new product offerings.
What’s next for Ugobags?
Ugobags is a very young company, so their next steps are focused on growth.
“For now, we think we have enormous growth we can make with the products we have. We want to take advantage of the fact that we are the only players in this space so far, and become the experts in custom luggage.”
Gerardo did, however, give me a little peek into what new products he is hoping to introduce on Zazzle.
“We’ve developed full-panel customization for our luggage. Right now, you can only design on a central panel. Our new bags will allow customers to personalize the whole front of their suitcase for all three sizes we offer. We’ve also worked on a computer bag with 4-wheel rollers, a trolley, and full customization. We haven’t seen that product out there. Most computer bags aren’t rollers, aren’t hard-shell, and don’t offer customization.”
If you are interested in seeing what Ugobags has to offer, please check out their Zazzle store. Be on the lookout for more great products from this wonderful company!