Savannah Now Article

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  • November 11, 2012

SCAD grad student turns class project into small business

By Adam Van Brimmer

 As a boy, Jamie Bowerman looked forward to something most children dread: his parents or grandparents dragging him to friends’ homes for visits.

He’d ask permission to explore and make for the basement or attic to check out the “old stuff.”

“What people thought was junk, I always thought was material to make something out of,” Bowerman said. “I liked to tinker.”

Bowerman no longer loots from the middle-aged and elderly, but he’s still tinkering. Inventing, actually. And his latest creation makes him a full-blown entrepreneur.

Bowerman will officially launch his convertible backpack business this week in conjunction with Thursday’s Fashion’s Night Out festival. His Bowerbag is a combination backpack/messenger pouch/bicycle saddlebag and has attracted interest from would-be buyers worldwide since he launched a fundraising campaign on the popular Kickstarter website in 2011.

Bowerman recently received the first run of 100 bags from his manufacturer. Eighty of them are presold, and he’ll retail the other 20 bags at Civvies clothing store on Broughton Street.

There is a waiting list for future bags, and he plans a larger production run soon. He envisions this first run creating the buzz to generate investor interest to finance an expansion.

“I’m looking at transitioning this from a college project to a small business,” said Bowerman, a Savannah College of Art and Design grad student. “I’ve had some investor interest but wanted to hold off until I patented the bags and got the first run done. We’ll see where it goes from here.”

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