• Ship Got Real

    0 comments / Posted on by Phuong Mai

    Happy almost Friday!

    We’ve been busy putting the final touches on our P.MAI products—from literally hand waxing the zipper to perfecting the packaging. We’re proud to announce that the P.MAI pre-orders are being shipped tomorrow from Hong Kong, directly to your door! Depending on where you're located, you can expect your order in roughly 7-8 business days. Orders outside the U.S. may take a bit longer.

    You'll receive information the same time as we do, with tracking numbers and notifications on when your order is in transit and when it's out for delivery.

    We can't wait for you to receive your products and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support and patience. We'd love to hear from you once you get them so please post photos and share your experiences with us on social media. 

    Check out some behind-the scenes action:

    P.MAI backpacks being polished

    P.MAI boxes ready to ship

    Thank so much! 

    *Happy dance*
    —P.MAI

     

  • The Making of P.MAI: Factory Tour

    0 comments / Posted on by Phuong Mai

    Hello, love!

    We are finally back Stateside after visiting our factory in Dongguan, China, located just a few hours outside of Hong Kong. We wanted to take you behind the scenes. 

    Our first impression was of the city itself. Though the air was sticky with humidity, Dongguan is surrounded by lush green mountains and several lakes and reservoirs. It felt like being in Florida or Texas during the summer. 

    We feel lucky to have found a partner that cares about quality as much as we do. The factory has been producing quality soft goods for 30 years—from high-end designer handbags (think Versace) to high-performance luggage and laptop bags. Moreover, most employees have been happily working there between 5-10 years. It was easy to see why. 

    Everyone we met had a special role that they took great pride in. From the leather cutter tinkering on the die cut machine, to the woman sewing the pleated corner of our interior lining, everyone worked together beautifully. It was astounding to see such high quality products being made right before our eyes. 

    We're excited to have our backpack made on the same operating line as major brands and know we can trust our partners for the long term. We're still hoping to have the backpacks next month. In the meantime, check out the short video and photos below to learn more about how our backpacks are made. 

    Thanks!
    P.MAI

     

  • Don't Let Your Bag Weigh You Down

    0 comments / Posted on by Phuong Mai

    Ah yes, autumn is here—a time for cashmere sweaters, vibrant leaves, and, of course pumpkin spice lattes. (Unless you live in California, where we are finally getting a taste of, well, summer.) The kiddos are back to school, and their backpack are already swelling with books and supplies.

    Growing up, we couldn’t wait to purchase our new faithful backpack that would serve as a guardian for everything we thought to be sacred. We used anything—patches, keychains, pins—to accessorize our bags and accentuate our personalities. But what we didn’t consider was the amount of weight we carried.

    Children and adults should not be carrying more than 10% of their body weight in a backpack. And yet we often do. In fact, citing the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that more than 28,100 individuals were treated for injuries related to backpacks in 2014 and that more than 8,300 of those injuries involved kids and teens ages 5 to 18. Too much weight leads to poor posture, pinches nerves, and back and neck pain.

    Whether you’re a college student or working professional, check to make sure you’re not overloading your bags. In addition: 

    1. Keep the heaviest items low and closest to the center of the body near the spine.
    2. Avoid having the backpack lower than four inches from the waist.
    3. Remember to use both straps and keep them tightened.
    4. If you find yourself leaning forward then you probably need to lighten to load. (Leaning to support the weight can strain the back.)

    At P.MAI, we went through dozen of iterations specifically on the dimensions of our backpacks. Why? Because we wanted to ensure that it was large enough to carry your essentials without being too large that we’d be tempted to overpack. Be conscious about what you truly need to carry on a daily basis. A healthy spine is a beautiful one! Carry on, beautifully.
  • What’s in a Name: Behind the Valletta

    0 comments / Posted on by Phuong Mai

    It was a glorious sunny day in July of 2014. Our ship glided gently into Malta’s Grand Harbour, and I fought every urge to pull a Rose from Titantic and pretend to fly. I was greeted immediately by salty winds, a panorama of the Mediterranean, and the sounds of church bells ringing in the distance. ((Exhale))

    The stunning island nation of Malta bursted with culture and history. Colorful banners adorned the streets to celebrate the summer festivals, and homes boasted freshly painted doors in preparation. 

    I fell in love instantly.

    With its Mediterranean cuisine, perfect climate, and relaxed way of life, Malta was paradise. But what drew me in wasn’t the luxurious lifestyle, but rather the richness of its history, manifested by the splendor of 16th century buildings and structures that have been so carefully preserved within an urban environment.

    Beneath its centuries-old cracks were layers of histories, ranging from Roman to Norman to French and British, all shaping what Malta is today. For example, its language is a linguistic cocktail that sounds Arabic with half of its vocabulary coming from Italian and mixes of French and English.

     St. John's Co Cathedral Valletta Malta

    I strolled through its capitol, Valletta, pausing inside the famous St. John's Co-Cathedral, an impressive treasure of Baroque artand architecture. Built in the 1570s, the interior is extremely ornate and designed with intricate carved walls and painted figures that appear three-dimensional through shadowing. The most important masterpieces by Caravaggio are centrally displayed. But my favorite part was the eight chapels, each one dedicated to a patron saint of the langues (regions). Here's a photo of the Chapel of Italy, dedicated to St Catherine.

    I also learned that because of its strategic location as a military and naval fortress, Malta was ­­­one of the most heavily bombed countries during WWII. Valletta’s streets and buildings, including the Royal Opera House, were left in ruins. And yet, despite having survived battles for hundreds of years, Valletta has remained strong and victorious. 

    I decided to name our first collection of backpacks after this historical town of Valletta. There’s something powerful and alluring about its resiliency and colorful riches. Our Valletta backpack represents the strength and beauty that comes from understanding ones roots and fighting for what you believe in.


    That’s who we are. We celebrate each other’s cultural diversities, and we stand unafraid and unbridled by what tomorrow brings.

  • How to Look Business Chic with a Backpack

    0 comments / Posted on by Phuong Mai

    Happy Friday folks!

    We had the pleasure of snapping some shots with our friend Cheryl. She's the definition of business chic—managing communications at a global investments organization while curating fashion on her blog Haute in Cali. Here are some of our favorite looks.

    Who says you can't pair a backpack with a crisp blazer? Look no farther ladies. Cheryl shines in her monochromatic outfit that's exudes power and confidence. The jacket paired with her shift dress is a perfect balance of work appropriate style. 

    She chose to offset the white-on-white ensemble with pair of heels that added a pop of color.

    Add a classy leather bag to the mix and you've got the a sleek look that's ready for the boardroom. 

    Kickstarter update

    Just a reminder that we've got 11 short days left on the Kickstarter campaign. If know someone who has been thinking about getting a new work bag or purse, let them know about P.MAI! 

    We also had the honor of being featured in Racked this week. Their editor Robyn shared her vision of a black on black bag, and we think that's a genius idea! If we reach our stretch goals, we can make it happen! Also, Brit + Co also called us "THE perfect bag." We're shouting from the mountaintops with joy!

    Finally, we're excited to be launching a mini #pmaipioneers series that features female leaders on our Instagram page starting next week. If you want to nominate a bosslady in your life, let us know (hello@shoppmai.com) and we'll be in touch. 

    More updates soon. Until then, stay classy. And carry on, beautifully.

    XO,

    Phuong