Timbuk2 changes ownership

by Stephen Garner

Timbuk2, the San Francisco-based bag makers, has announced it’s under new ownership. After 13 years, TB2 Investors and lead investor Ken Pucker will be passing the baton to Exemplis, LLC and its founder Paul DeVries, who has a proven track record of innovation success in On Demand Manufacturing.

As the new owner, DeVries will focus heavily on helping Timbuk2 continue to innovate in the travel luggage space. With his experience, he wants to build upon Timbuk2’s foundation in making quality products by focusing on long-term success, through disruptive product innovation and preserving brand legacy. As a company that has built its brand’s foundation on style and function, DeVries believes Timbuk2 can make a huge impact by taking that same philosophy and creating the perfect travel line for urban nomads all over the world. Timbuk2 will remain headquartered in San Francisco and will continue to operate independently under the Timbuk2 brand under the leadership of CEO Patti Cazzato.

DeVries brings an impressive track record of building successful businesses and much like Timbuk2, believes in the importance of delivering quality products to consumers directly and at an affordable price point. Exemplis was founded by DeVries in 1996, when he saw an opportunity to create affordable custom office seating products that could be delivered faster and more affordably than the competition. With his expertise, Exemplis is now one of the leading manufacturers of office furniture products in the world and owns three brands – Sitonit Seating, Ideon, and Symmetry.

“Paul and his colleagues at Exemplis have been able to disrupt and transform an outdated category with four important offerings: custom manufacturing, speed, affordability, and quality design,” said Cazzato. “At first glance, most people wouldn’t necessarily see the parallels between a furniture company and Timbuk2, but, with DeVries’ innovative manufacturing perspective, he is well-versed in the main touchpoints of what makes us, us. With his multi-faceted background, he makes the perfect addition to our team and we’re excited to see where the brand will go under this new ownership.”

Timbuk2 was founded in 1989 by San Francisco bike messenger Rob Honeycutt. As it expanded, Timbuk2 became the pioneer of custom manufacturing and the disruptors of the briefcase with its classic messenger bag design. Currently in its 30th year in business, the company has grown and evolved into a global company, known for building quality bags and delivering custom products. With a growing retail footprint in major cities, such as New York, Tokyo, and Melbourne, a strong female audience in what was once a male-focused brand, and a dedicated outlook to zero waste, DeVries is ecstatic to take a rapidly evolving company and push it to its next level of growth.

“Since 1989, Timbuk2 has inspired a creative movement of urban nomads,” added DeVries. “The brand’s legacy as an industry pioneer has transcended far beyond its amazing product. From urban manufacturing to the brand’s sustainability initiatives, Timbuk2 has been a true industry trailblazer. I’m thrilled to join such a boundary-breaking team and work on how we can continue to grow and make an impact with a keen eye on the direct-to-consumer experience.”