10 Questions with Erin Scott, Production Manager

IMG_1405

1. How did you first get involved with This is Ground, and what do you do here?

I permanently joined the team about one and a half years ago, after starting as a contractor. I saw the huge opportunity for growth and knew this was something I wanted to be part of—from the ground up, so to speak. I am the Production Manager, so I am in charge of workflow from the design lab to the warehouse. I also order the supplies and materials that make up our product lineup, so I scour the world for the best leathers and hardware.

2. What’s the best part of working at This is Ground?

I love the group dynamic of the company. We are all an integral part of the team, and we have the opportunity to make a direct impact on an ever-evolving industry. I also love working directly with our in-house factory. Coming from the world of corporate fast-fashion, I have always worked with overseas factories. So here, I get to see first-hand how each product is made. That has really deepened my understanding of the technical aspect of design. I learn something new every day!

3.What song should play when you walk into a room today?

“Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and Chaka Khan. . . as we are eagerly awaiting some fresh prototypes coming off the sewing line.

4. Are you originally from LA? Do you bring any influences with you?

I was born in Germany as an Air Force brat, so I travelled extensively as a child. That really was an education in itself and it shaped who I am today. I landed in LA after my dad retired and have loved it ever since. But the wanderlust never goes away and I need to travel as much as possible.

5. What’s the most recent photo on your phone, and what struck you in the moment to take it?

A most amazing breakfast bialy from Gjusta in Venice. It was so delicious, I had to Insta-immortalize it for posterity:

IMG_3818 (1)

6. Are you into cooking? What kind of food do you daydream about?

I love to cook, but my favorite thing to make is reservations. . . preferably to any restaurant helmed by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.

IMG_2638 (1)
Taken at Son of a Gun

7. Who are your personal icons?

Amy Schumer for her outspoken viewpoints, Grace Kelly for her timeless style, and my grandma Dorothy, who was a consummate Southern Belle until the last days of her 92 years.

8. What are you currently reading?

I am a big fan of listening to audiobooks en route to work to ease the burden of LA traffic. Just finished Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso and Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein. Girl Power!

9. What’s been your most interesting adventure so far?

A few years back, I went to Costa Rica on a solo surf/yoga retreat. I met wonderful people and came home with amazing memories and met lots of new friends. . . including this prickly little guy!

FullSizeRender-2

10. Do you have any creative projects or leisurely pursuits on the horizon?

I am on a mission to mix up my workout routine, so this weekend entailed paddle boarding in Marina Del Rey, where I had a little too-close-for-comfort encounter with some sea lions. I like to keep it interesting!

10 Questions with Customer Service Manager Grant Perrins

IMG_0708-2

1. What’s the best part of working at This is Ground?

The team. I moved from Australia one year ago, and these guys make me feel at home. I have never worked for a company that makes me feel this comfortable—a place I enjoy going to every day.

2. What’s on your desk right now?

A protein shake, a stapler with my name on it, my iPhone 6 Plus, and an invitation to Let’s Make a Deal.

3. What is the most recent photo on your phone, and what made the scene worth capturing?

It’s a new product that is not released yet, and I’m offering it to one of our VIP customers to get their opinion.

4. Is there an element of your wardrobe that you’re particularly feeling at the moment?

My barely-there gym gear.

5. What are you currently reading?

My Facebook feed.

IMG_2484

6. Who are your personal icons?

My parents and Elvis.

7. What was the first film or album that had a significant impact on you?

As a child, I watched Calamity Jane the musical at least once a week.

IMG_0159

8. What’s been your most interesting adventure so far?

Traveling the world for five months in 2013 with my BFF from Sydney and going to every possible big gay party we could find!

9. What’s going on in the world right now that excites and inspires you?

Caitlyn Jenner. This is Ground. Mykonos. Making new friends.

10. Is there anything the rest of the This is Ground team doesn’t know about you?

I am pretty open. I think I tell the team everything—like that my mum is my favorite person.

The Genesis of the Mod Laptop 2

Mod Laptop 2 in Toffee

About a year ago we introduced the Mod Laptop. Our goal was to take the success of the Mod Tablet and expand it to accommodate not just a laptop, but all the essentials of the modern professional: phone, cords, cards, pens, a tablet, notebooks, glasses, keys, currency. It was the largest and most complex piece we’d ever made.

Since then, the Mod Laptop has become one of our most popular items, as well as one of the most frequently commented upon. We’ve spent the last year completing a detailed study of the needs of users, as well as of the feedback our amazing social community has shared with us. The result of this analysis is the Mod Laptop 2.

Mod Laptop 2 in Charcoal

The reboot begins with a newly felt-lined pocket for the laptop itself. We needed a material that was high quality, durable and soft to the touch of both the device and the user’s hand, while also providing a sophisticated accent against our leather. We found the answer by working with Buffalo Felt, a heritage felt maker in West Seneca, NY. Buffalo’s team worked closely with our designers to develop a custom felt just for our Mod Laptop 2 made of 100% natural wool produced locally in the US. This felt lip protects the laptop from scraping against the zipper, while also providing a protective barrier around the laptop.

IMG_7538
Wool “Gum” Locks in the Laptop

The next big change was the addition of our first ever cross-body strap. We’ve wanted to introduce a strap to the Mod line for a long time, but straps often clutter a design and we didn’t want to sacrifice the clean Mod profile. That’s why the strap on our Mod Laptop 2 can be removed and the hardware hidden away in back of the case. Our straps are 100% leather and custom made for the Mod Laptop 2 in the factory across the hall from our design studio.

IMG_7542
Strap rings retract into case when not in use.

The trickiest item in a laptop’s arsenal, though, is often the blocky charger. We often saw people chucking their laptop case into a larger bag just so they could also fit the power adapter. We tried to find a way to house The Brick (as we call it) inside the Mod Laptop, but this proved impossible without substantially increasing the thickness of the whole case.

But we wanted the Mod Laptop 2 to amount to a complete carry; The Brick had to come along.

The answer came from an unexpected source: the Italian Spatialist Lucio Fontana. Known for his Tagli series, Fontana made actual incisions into monochromatic canvases the subject of his work.

Lucio Fontana, Spatial Concept ‘Waiting’, 1960
Lucio Fontana at work

To house The Brick we made a 35° angled cut in the back of the case. This opening is unadorned yet produces enough natural tension to hold the charger in place.

Mod Laptop 2 in French Grey
Mod Laptop 2 in Cognac

Once we started using this unique detail we found ourselves obsessed with all the other problems it solved – it’s perfect for boarding passes, notes, or anything else you want quick access to. We nicknamed it “The Pouch” because it reminded us of the noble and biologically remarkable marsupial.

“Marsupialia collage” by Friendly_Female_Koala.JPG

Finally, the Mod Laptop 2 features our new, strong magnets from Connecticut based Romag. These magnetic fasteners are the best in the world at packing maximum power into the lightest and smallest package. They actually exert 8,100 Gauss, enough to require 21 lbs of force to remove, and they’re 100% safe for your electronics.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 4.11.45 PM

This final change means that the new Mod Laptop 2 is truly modifiable, able to seamlessly incorporate the full suite of Mod 2 inserts. This means it can be instantly customized to the unique needs of the photographer, the graphic designer, the adventurer, the bike commuter, the architect, the executive, the industrial designer, the writer, and to you.

GET YOURS NOW

GROUND CONTROL: The Summer Space for Creative Collisions

Ground Control isn’t a popup. It’s not quite a community studio. Even though it might feel like one, it’s not a summer camp for killer brands led by David Bowie—though that may be close to it. But without a doubt, Ground Control is a new kind of space.

GC9

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.41.35 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.41.53 PM

Tucked in the heart of DTLA, Ground Control looks across the street to our friends at the Ace Hotel. And with a fresh mural by our neighbors at Clashist, This is Ground’s namesake does get to watch over us. Every day we’re visited by a variety of interesting guests here to share their adventures.

From June 30 until the end of August, we’ll host a number of creative collisions both organic and orchestrated, including panels, parties, and even a dinner or two. Here’s a look at some of what’s going down so far:

GC3

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.06.39 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.18.43 PM

June 30 / BRANDAGRAM – NARRATIVES THROUGH VISUAL MEDIUMS: A night of conversation and drinks as we talk about visual storytelling platforms and how they’ve helped brands convey their stories. Hang with some popular Instagram storytellers and hear about their secrets to success. Guests include Michel Phiphak, iPhone 6 Food Photographer, Whitney Leigh Morris, Creative Director, and Heather Lipner, Founder at Clashist. Moderated by Mike Macadaan, Founder & Chief of This is Ground.

July 14 / SPECIAL EVENT: This is a private event for press, but we’ve saved a spot to give away. If you’re available July 13-15, are at least 18 years old, and live in the United States, you’re eligible. We’ll randomly select a winner that will receive a flight, room at Ace Hotel, a spot at our private event, and a very special gift. Entry directions @_groundcontrol. And if you’re press and you’re interested in attending, please get in touch at nosubject@thisisground.com.

July 9, 7:00pm to 10:00pm / New Product Launch by This is Ground: We’ll be celebrating the launch of our latest addition to the Mod lineup.

July 15, 6:00pm to 8:00pm/ REMIXER BY FIFTYTHREE: Come remix and meet the FiftyThree team. Featured Creator Mike Macadaan will give insight into his work from the prototyping process in Paper to real life products that you can find at This is Ground. Food and drink will be provided and bringing your iPad is highly recommended for some remixing fun. At the workshop, you will learn how to get the most out of Paper and Mix and meet fellow creators. We’ll be giving away our Pencil stylus and other fun prizes to a few lucky attendees. Hope to see you there! More info here.

Ground Control wouldn’t be nearly as fun without our friends. The rad team at Bold LA have kindly provided the loft space. Thanks to CaliWater , we have the coolest cactus H20 on the planet for our guests, and our pals at Diabolo have also stocked us up with some delicious all natural sparkling refreshments. As the evenings loosen things up a bit, there’s Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine. We’re also glad to have brand besties Shyp and The Motley with their flawless men’s grooming line along for the ride.

GC12

GC2

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.42.39 PM

The doors of Ground Control are open, and it’s shaping up to be an amazing summer. We’re making Ground Control a lightening rod of creative collaboration that’s as fun as it is smart—if you have an idea for an event, don’t be a stranger, and we hope to see you soon. This is a space oddity for us to create together.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.41.07 PM

GC 1

GC8

When: June 30 – End of August, 2015
Where: 958 S. Broadway DTLA
Site: http://ground-control.space/
Follow: https://instagram.com/_groundcontrol/

DAYTRIP Retrospective

1

With our debut NYC popup in the rearview mirror, many thanks are in order and the nostalgia has begun. After all of the fun we had there, it was hard to pack up and say goodbye.

IMG_4254

DAYTRIP’s goal was to introduce This is Ground to New York. We’d already been fast internet friends, and decided it was time to get to know each other better on the ground. In what ended up being a gorgeous storefront in Nolita—a custom-designed space made specifically with DAYTRIP in mind—all sorts of people got a chance to interact with our products and embrace all the laid-back adventures the popup had to offer. Nolita was abuzz with an interesting mix of tourists and locals—a perfect spot for us.

IMG_4256

Alongside This is Ground’s classics (plus some exciting new addition
s), guests got to see Priority Bicycles’ famed maintenance-free bicycles up close and personal. Partnering with Priority for DAYTRIP was a blast, and being on their home turf made it all the better. Dave, Lauren and the whole team from Priority were superstars—true professionals and party animals who brought so much passion to the project.

IMG_4255

Blessed with some perfect early-summer days, we got to spend our time playing sidewalk ping pong and throwing some amazing block parties—complete with cold brew from Nobletree Coffee, The Macallan Scotch, and catering by Nolita’s own Cafe Habana.

IMG_6747
Photo credit: @ramarich

And then there were the kinds of adventures that are funnier to talk about afterwards. Like our tiny Airbnb littered with glitter and potato chips. Or being greeted by the sheriff upon arriving to the popup space to learn it had been subletted illegally (we found the building’s real owner and sorted it all out in less than 24 hours, but oh what a 24 hours they were). It wouldn’t have been New York without a few surprises.

2

There was actually a little confusion around the name DAYTRIP, which might’ve obfuscated our brand identities to East Coast newcomers. TimeOut even called us a “cycling innovator” (sounds fun!). There’s also a bit of what we might call popup fatigue going around, which is one of about one hundred reasons we’re excited to be doing something completely new with our next adventure: Ground Control.

1433695300236

Ground Control is right across from the Ace Hotel in our own DTLA. Neither a conventional brick-and-mortar nor a flash-in-the-pan popup, Ground Control is a liminal, flexible space where creativity will have plenty of room to run wild. And not only our creativity, in fact: Ground Control is a focal point for all the incredibly creative entities and ideas springing up around This is Ground. DTLA hasn’t yet had a physical place for its startups, its innovators and its dreamers to converge and collaborate. With Ground Control, we’re excited to change that.

LA Popup Closing Party

Where: 8366 1/2 West 3rd Street (between Juice Served Here & Aesop)
When: Saturday May 23 from noon to 7pm
What: Complimentary Blue Bottle Cold Brew & California Donuts, Music, Ping Pong, and sample items on sale.

We’ll be having our last hoorah this Memorial Day weekend on Saturday from noon to seven. It’s going to be a chill day with lots of fun goodies on hand. Blue Bottle will be providing complimentary Cold Brew, California Donuts is making us custom treats, and of course we’ll have fun tunes and ping pong. In addition to the treats and games, we’re also closing out some samples and other products that will be marked down. Lots of amazing deals on hand! Also, don’t forget to do your Dads & Grads shopping ;).

Discounted items: Mod 1, Cargito Tablet Sleeves, Envelope Laptop Cases, Leatherback Writer 2, Metro Slim Wallets, and more.

cado

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 3.44.40 PM

Photo by Studio DIY

See you there!

This is Ground & Priority Bicycles Present: DAYTRIP

This_is_Ground_@Beau_Roulette31

This_is_Ground_@Beau_Roulette100

A recent collaboration with the wonderful folks at Priority Bicycles culminates in a pop up just in time to get adventure-ready for summer. We’re excited to announce this weekend’s launch of Daytrip in NYC

Visitors to Daytrip can pick up each company’s signature pieces, including Priority’s critically acclaimed low-maintenance, chain-free bicycles and This Is Ground’s newest DTLA-made craftsman leather carryall, the Mod 2.

This_is_Ground_@Beau_Roulette18

Day Trip also features co-branded, limited run products that are invitations to gear up for summer and get on with the carefree escapes and excursions the season promises. Daytrip will debut a new TIG sunglasses case as well as a range of classic Cord Tacos and Corditos bearing Priority-themed designs.

At the heart of the collaboration is our custom-built This is Ground x Priority Mod 2 insert. This magnetic insert houses a range of serious bike essentials to safely tag along with your tablet, phone, and other everyday items. There’s also a new leather clasp that attaches the case neatly to the bicycle, making it the perfect getaway accessory.

This_is_Ground_@Beau_Roulette45

What: Daytrip: A This is Ground & Priority Bicycles Popup

Where: 246 Mott St. NYC

When: May 2015

Follow: http://instagram.com/thisisground http://twitter.com/thisisground

About This Is Ground

This Is Ground is a thoughtfully made leather goods brand designed and manufactured in downtown Los Angeles. What started as creative solutions to everyday problems, their first products the Cord Taco and the Cordito gained instant love and attention for their simple, logical designs and catchy name inspired by everyone’s love for Mexican food. Known for their dependable quality and timeless aesthetic, This Is Ground’s designs are favored among creative bloggers around the globe and have been featured on The Today ShowUncrate and Real Simple as “clever ways to simplify your life.”

About Priority Bicycles

Priority Bicycles is a New York-based company dedicated to making cycling simpler for the recreational rider by offering high-quality, low-maintenance bicycles. Founded by industry veteran and former software CEO David Weiner, Priority launched on Kickstarter in 2014 by raising $550,000 in 30 days and selling over 1,200 bicycles. Since the launch, Priority has been featured top publications across the globe garnering praise for the bicycles’ beautiful design and innovative engineering, at a fraction of the cost of traditional bicycle companies and retailers. For more information, visit prioritybicycles.com.