Launching a Travel Bag with a $340,000 Kickstarter Campaign


Jimmy Hayes and his business partner, Doug Barber, love to travel. Throughout their expeditions, Jimmy and Doug would consistently run into one element of the travelling process that didn’t  quite meet their expectations of a great adventure– the gear. When they realized that they had to fill the need for better gear, Jimmy and Doug decided to quit their jobs in order to create products that make traveling faster, happier, and more efficient.

On this week’s episode, Jimmy shares the journey that he and Doug went on while creating the Minaal carry-on bag. Packed into this episode, you’ll hear how Jimmy and Doug designed, manufactured, and launched a campaign with the goal of raising $30,000, but ended up with $340,000 in support of their vision. Don’t miss it!

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Here’s What You’ll Learn

  • Why Jimmy and Doug created the Minaal travel bag and whom it’s designed for.
  • The frustrations of mainstream carry-ons that inspired Minaal.
  • What the phrase “travel drag” means.
  • The revision process involved when manufacturing a product like the Minaal bag.
  • The key components to launching a successful Kickstarter campaign.
  • Why it’s important to run through every possible scenario when creating a Kickstarter campaign.

What Was Mentioned

This Week’s Winner

Congratulations to Kimberly Rich of for winning this week’s eCommerceFuel shout out!

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Andrew is the founder of eCommerceFuel and has been building eCommerce businesses ever since gleefully leaving the corporate world in 2008.  Join him and 1,000 vetted 6 and 7-figure store owners inside the eCommerceFuel Community.

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  • Hey Andrew and Jimmy, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this episode. I loved hearing all the details about the design and manufacturing process. Now I have to go get one of those bags! 🙂

  • Hey guys,
    This is one of the absolute best interviews I’ve heard on manufacturing, marketing, and all small stuff that goes into producing your own products.

    Andrew, the questions were insightful and really dug deep into the matter. Another interviewer might ask something like “Why kickstarter?”, but you asked the tough questions about what it really takes to knock on doors and get something built from scratch.

    Jimmy, I’m always super impressed the more I hear about what it took for your guys to A) save and hustle to travel the world for fun and then for Minaal marketing, and B) The grind it was get the bag off the ground. I’d love to hear more in the future about what the kickstarter fulfillment and shipping process has been like (I own two, I get the regular email updates, and they were delivered on time and flawlessly). I’d love to hear from you on what your next steps are as you move on from the kickstarter into e-comm sales, and what/why/how you are building your new team.

    Awesome stuff guys.

    • Thanks Jeremy – really appreciate the kind words! Hope you’re able to get some great adventures in in the near future with your new Minaal bags….

  • Hi guys, I love the Minaal bag and what a great interview.

    Jimmy, you talked a little about the factory you selected, but how did you find them? Were you looking through public lists, did they have a website, did someone refer you to them? How’d that work?

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