So I’m sitting on a United Airlines flight watching this guy with an overstuffed garment bag trying to fit it into the overhead bin. As a premier member one of the few perks was getting to board early. Once in my seat, the natural form of entertainment was watching the other passengers. This guy caught my attention because his garment bag was so full it was like pushing on a balloon. He’d push in one place and it would bulge out in another. It seemed like a bad way to pack.
Believe me, I was no packing wizard and also not known as a sharp dresser. I hardly noticed if my own clothes were wrinkled, something my friends enjoyed pointing out to me. But I did know the trick about rolling up your clothes when you pack them. I started to think about rolling up a suit and realized that no one traveled like this, for good reason. How would you roll up a suit?
When I got home I paid a visit to Home Depot, my favorite place to shop. I bought a section of very large diameter PVC tubing, about the width of my suit jacket. I also bought some fabric and Velcro and enlisted the pregnant wife of a friend who was handy with a sewing machine to help make an outer cover. I wrapped the suit around the PVC and held it there with the cover. It worked. The suit came out wrinkle free. I had a concept but was a long way from a product you could actually use to travel. Then the hard work began.
Fast forward about 15 years and I now run a luggage company. Pretty much the career path you’d expect from a guy who studied materials engineering (Go Gators!) and made computer chips at Intel. I do not know if a background in engineering has helped me design luggage. I certainly didn’t take any luggage design courses in college. But being an engineer and having a personality where I enjoy complaining about things that don’t work right does come in handy at times.I like to think that SkyRoll does things better than typical garment bags and rolling suitcases. After all, suits were not made to be folded in thirds and stuffed into suitcases. I hope you agree, and I hope you enjoy traveling with your SkyRoll as much as I enjoy making them.
Don Chernoff, July ’07