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[READ] How the Founder of TM1985 is Making It Here

Brooklyn based designer Tielor McBride started making his rustic leather and canvas bags when he couldn’t find ones that met his need for functional accessories. Now his brand. TM 1985 channels his passion for creating useful, lasting accessories and preserving the history of local manufacturing. This month, Tielor was among the makers chosen by Etsy for its “Fund on Etsy” initiative, a platform that empowers the community to support creatives in the launch of new products. With the pre-sale of his new, more refined collection coming to a close, Tielor shared what sparked his journey and how he continues to stay inspired to innovate. 

How do you define/approach creativity?
Utility and functionality are the prime motivators. Every bag we produce came from something I’ve made for myself. Different activities have different needs: hiking trips in Nicaragua, schlepping fabric around the Garment District, trips to the farmers’ market. They all needed a different type of bag. I love problem solving, and this is the most tangible way for me to do it.

How do the materials you use play a part in your creative process?
Materials inform about 90% of my design and ideations process. I can sketch a simple plan for a bag but it not until the materials have been selected, does the design has any real body. Picking the right combo takes time but I feel that its one of the most important steps.

When’s the last time you were inspired?
On the way home from an event (at STORY!) I was chatting with our cab driver about my bag. He noticed it as I was hoping in and asked where it was from. I told him it was my company and it was made right over the Hudson River in Bergen county. He just happened to be a former factory owner in the city and had to close up shop during the recession. Stories like these have always struck a cord with me. Creating sustainable jobs for people in this industry is what I’m most inspired by.

When you hit a wall creatively the best way to get over it is….
Sleep it off. Take a Nap and wake up with a fresh idea. I keep and note pad and pen next to my bed. My best ideas come to me when I’m either waking up or falling asleep. As soon as my head hits the pillow and my eyes close, 101 solutions to the day’s creative problems are right there in front of me. I’m driven to get right back up and start working again.

Favorite spot in NYC for coffee?
Intelligentsia at The High line hotel! They have the coolest coffee truck parked In the court yard! Its perfect for an out side afternoon refresher!

What was the inspiration to expand the line and create a new collection?
When we first started, the bags were meant for general use. Heavy-duty and oversized, they worked as travel bags that could withstand tremendous use, in the army surplus spirit of practicality and durability. This next collection takes those values and refines them for civilian life, if you will. Our updated line will be more refined, more structured, scaled down, ready to wear. I wanted to create something that appeals to fluidity of people’s lives — few people do just one thing anymore. These bags are meant to be with you through that journey.

Support Tielor’s “Fund on Etsy” campaign on Etsy or be among the first to purchase a bag for pre-sale at TM1985.