The Modern Day Briefcase

The hardest thing for me was getting the design finalized. There are so many final touches that you don’t think about.

Mark Cuban once said, “Every entrepreneur’s job is to invent the future. I also call it ‘kicking your own [butt].’ Someone is out there who thinks they have a better idea than you have. A better solution than you have. A better or more efficient product than you have….it’s part of your job as the owner of the company to stay ahead of them.” When Joseph May, founder of The Breton Company, heard this, he decided to take his idea and turn it into a product. “It stirred something inside of me,” May says, explaining that he realized he didn’t want to be the guy on the sidelines saying, “I thought of that first. I was just too busy.”

So May woke at 4:00 every morning to work on his design before going into work. At the time he travelled often for his job and usually took a backpack with him. While the convenience of the backpack couldn’t be beat, May felt it was too casual for many settings in which he found himself. When attending the largest leather conference in the world (it’s a thing) in Italy, he looked around at the beautiful leather satchels others had and fantasized about a backpack that would meet those satchels in appearance and exceed them in convenience. It was in that moment that the idea for The Modern Day Briefcase was born.

A while later, May left his position as Director of Operations at Freshly Picked to devote all his time to getting the briefcase off the ground (and onto backs). “The hardest thing for me was getting the design finalized,” May says. “There are so many final touches that you don’t think about.” Initially, May intended to launch his Kickstarter campaign in August 2015, but instead waited until the product was perfect and launched just a few weeks ago. The response has been worth the wait. So far 585 users have backed May’s project and pledged over $100,000 of his $40,000 goal. May plans to use the pledged funds to fulfill orders, purchase enough inventory throughout the year, offer several products, and launch a similar Kickstarter next March.

The success of the campaign so far is especially impressive considering May’s history. “I’ve never been part of designing something,” he says. May is actually an attorney by trade, a profession he practiced for three years before deciding the office life was not for him. “It just wasn’t what I wanted to be,” May says. So he accepted the position at Freshly Picked and developed a passion for design, a passion that he put to good use designing The Modern Day Briefcase.

While May is still trying to determine how to best stand out in the wide world of fashion, he and his product have had success getting the attention of some prominent Utah personalities and brands including Freshly Picked and Chatbooks, who promoted his product on their social medias. “I think Utah is a really unique place for influencers and just really nice people,” he says. “Most people are really eager to help out.” In expressing his gratitude for these influencers, May says, “Every post helps.”

Published 3/25/2016

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