If you wear a suit, or dress shirt to work, you know that keeping your clothes wrinkle free when you hit the gym can be a pain.
My friend Jared Boschan (photo to right) just launched an ingenious product that separates a gym bag into two separate bags so your gym clothes never mix with your work clothes. He calls it Preston. And it looks super slick.
Below is an interview with Jared about Preston, how he came up with the idea of creating it, along with other details that make for an inspiring entrepreneurial story and product that may help you make an extra trip, or two to the gym, or basketball court.
What is the Preston?
Preston is the bag that keeps your clothing pressed. Two separate bags – a duffel and garment bag – are connected with magnets, creating the appearance of one handsome bag. It can be used at the gym to keep work attire wrinkle-free and separated from gym clothes to avoid odor. It’s also a great bag for business trips and wedding weekends because it’s hands free, replacing the alternative option many folks use, which is to roll a carry-on in one hand and hold a garment in the other.
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
I hit the gym every morning on my way to the office. Sometimes I play basketball after work. This means I’m constantly transporting my work attire throughout the city. Before Preston, I had a few methods for doing this but they were inefficient. Sometimes I would fold my work attire and place it in the gym bag causing wrinkles and odor. Other times I would get dressed for work, head to the gym, get undressed and put on my gym clothes, work out, get dressed for work again and then head to the office. If you’re counting, that involves
getting dressed for work twice in one day. Once is more than enough for most people. My last option was to pack a gym bag and a garment bag but that would leave me with no free hands and too much to carry. As I looked around the locker room, I could tell that I wasn’t alone. I became fixated on solving this problem and the idea for Preston was born. I’m confident we’ve created a bag that will make your commute better and I’m excited to share it.
It sounds like it took more than a few prototypes to get the product right. What happened?
I’m a real estate asset manager. I’m very comfortable analyzing and forecasting financial statements but design, fashion and production were completely new to me. Having a vision in your head and actually building it are two different things. That said, I embraced the challenge. I would have a prototype made, test it, iterate and repeat. I traveled New York City’s garment district talking with professionals about various fabrics and hardware and I also had peers test the bag rigorously. Every time I put Preston in somebody else’s hands, I would learn something new about it and make improvements. I must have spent a month just looking for the perfect shoulder padding! When you find yourself desperately in need of the perfect shoulder padding, you quickly realize that there is no Google searching your way to an answer. It needs to grip but not stick. It needs to be soft but not delicate. It’s a minor detail but people really respond to it. It took six iterations but I got the bag I set out to make.
How does the bag work exactly?
You can take an outfit right from your closet and load it into Preston’s garment bag. Preston was designed to work with your hangers to speed up the loading process. Once you’ve got, let’s just say, your suit loaded into the garment bag, you simply drape it over the duffel bag. The magnets will pull it right into place. Sling Preston over the shoulder and you’re ready to conquer the day.
Can you put sweaty clothes from the gym in the bag without ruining it?
Absolutely. I created this bag to improve my own personal gym experience so no detail was spared. Most importantly, you will never find yourself “commingling” sweaty clothes with clean ones. Ever. Sweaty go in the duffel and clean go in the garment bag. The two distinct bags attach magnetically. They then appear to be one bag and are carried as one bag (hands free). This allows you to always keep your clean attire fresh and pressed. As for the duffel, it’s lined with lightweight water resistant ripstop nylon. Great for stinky clothes and easy to wipe clean.
How big is it? Does it come in different colors?
Think typical “weekender” bag size but for those who appreciate the details, 11’’/9.5’’/20’’. My goal is to initially launch one version of the bag that becomes synonymous with the brand. Expanding the line into different colors is something I look forward to and is fairly easy to do.
Where can you buy it?
How much does it cost?
$350. Most men either own a nice bag or need a nice bag. For those who still need one, we want Preston to be it so we kept our price incredibly competitive but refused to sacrifice quality. Our bags are manufactured in New York City and we source leather direct from Italy. We figure that if you’re serious about keeping your clothing wrinkle free, you’ve got somewhere important to be. You will never feel underdressed with Preston.
Are there any other bags on the market that are similar?
We have a provisional patent because we’ve created something original. Preston takes two bags and seamlessly turns them into one easy to carry bag with the use of magnets. This is a new solution.
Anything else you would like to add?
We spend a lot on gym memberships and travel. It’s worth investing in a bag that will make these experiences more pleasant. Preston is built to last. It’s incredibly durable. It might even outlast some current gym fads. It’s a good investment.