Chapter 12: Finally.

Roy set right to work and quickly built canvas mock-ups of my bag.

Meaning: after he and I discussed many changes to the design, he built the bag out of canvas.

I kinda dug this early version. It was flimsy, but I was already loving my new aesthetics.

Originally, there were two closures for the outer flap, and I’d chosen ridiculously impractical squeeze-clamps that required way too much work for a sleep-deprived dad carrying a kid on one hip and trying to pull out a damn diaper.

That was the first simplification. I wanted one easy closure.

There were leather strips on the outside flap which, at an early point in the design, would double as backpack straps.

I ditched that version of backpack straps and brought those decorative leather strips closer together so that (in my mind) they looked like racing stripes down the back of a European speedster from the 1970’s.

Or just Herby, the Love Bug. Yeah, strangely, I felt like my bag looked like Herby. Or a James Bond speedster.

And I dug it.

For the backpack, we originally had a hidden pocket on the back of the bag that stored a huge piece of metal that connected to its own two straps that one would then clip to the clangy D-rings at the bottom of the bag. (Are you following ANY of this? Suffice to say – it was unnecessarily complicated and required too much stuff, and too much stuff meant heavy.)

I simplified the shoulder strap to double as backpack straps. I had no idea if this would be remotely comfortable, but that’s the purpose of a mock-up.

Roy whipped the mock-up out and I took my umpteenth Citibike over the Manhattan Bridge to pick up my new bag.

I used it for two weeks.

We made more adjustments to a second mock-up.

I used that another few weeks.

And finally it was time to plunge into the actual fabric.

I brought Roy my fabrics: outer, removable liner, inner liner. I brought hardware: webbing (recall what that is?), slide-clips, D-rings, snap clips, small zippers, and whatnot.

A few more weeks, a couple big checks later, Roy. Came. Through.

He produced the stylish, masculine diaper bag of my dreams.

I had something. I really had something.

I hugged Roy and set out to start sellin’ bags.