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March 31st, 2014

Are you working virtually..? You’re a Digital Nomad

March 3rd, 2014

The ‘Digital Nomad’, AKA The Suitcase Entrepeneur

Meet the business-savvy travel addict who lives out of a suitcase and earns thousands online.
Natalie Sisson, 36, has bank accounts in four countries and 17 SIM cards for her mobile phone.
The former marketing executive calls herself The Suitcase Entrepreneur, also the title of her blog and book.

Now this is the sort of story we like to hear! Tired of working from 9 till 5 one woman seized the opportunity to break out of her corporate life and has been travelling the world ever since.
Courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk on 27.02.14.

Natalie Sisson, 36, says that one of the first questions she gets asked is: ‘How do you make a living?’ But after forging a successful online business, writing a book and turning her attention to motivational speaking she rakes in an ample six-figure salary.

The former marketing executive and body builder, told Yahoo.com: ‘People think that I’m either crazy, a little bit strange or they think it sounds fantastic. I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world. Wherever I place my suitcase, that’s kind of my home.’
travller 3
Ms Sisson does not have a permanent residence, has bank accounts in four countries, 17 SIM cards for her mobile phone and calls herself ‘The Suitcase Entrepreneur’, also the title of her blog and book.

She identifies as a new breed of worker- a ‘digital nomad’ - someone who works exclusively online and is not fixed to one location. To date, she’s travelled to 66 countries and plans to tick off ten more destinations – including Japan, Sweden and Spain – this year. On the money front, she says she has about eight different revenue streams and spends anything from 20 hours to 60 hours a week working.

‘My blog brings in some form of advertising and affiliate marketing. I have digital products and programs for sale. I do coaching, and it’s all online through Skype,’ she revealed.
Traveler 2
“Now that I’m wanting to settle a little more, I would definitely love to find somebody who’s up for an adventure and for moving around as well’
Ms Sisson estimates she saves up to $2,000 a month because she doesn’t have typical living expenses. She lives in hotels, rents apartments and sometimes stays with good friends which keeps living costs more affordable.
‘A lot of people think travel is really expensive but when you don’t have all those extra payments like mortgages etc. you can stay in places quite cheap,’ she explained.

Back in 2008, the entrepreneur found herself frustrated with her corporate career in London, despite a recent promotion and pay rise. She had also just invested in property.
But determined to leave the rat race, she booked a flight to Vancouver, Canada, to compete in the Ultimate Frisbee world championships. Once there, she attended a business networking event in the city and met a like-minded entrepreneur and the pair founded charity app called FundRazr.

Ms Sisson soon became fascinated by the tech industry, especially how few women were in the field.
‘I started a blog to talk about my experience and used it as a way to interview some of these women in technology,’ she says.
‘I realized probably about six months in that it was becoming more of a passion than the business that we had built.’

After 18 months, Ms Sisson turned her attention to building an online business that would help others escape the confines of an office and work remotely and so the Suitcase Entrepreneur was born. While she says she ‘really enjoys the constant change’ traveling brings, it also has its downsides.
Traveller 1
For instance, it can often be difficult to forge long-lasting, meaningful relationships with people. Structuring the days can also pose a challenge. As a result, she plans to slow things down in the future spending longer periods of time in each place.

Ms Sisson hopes more people are able to live her way in the future.

‘I would love businesses to get over the fact that you don’t need to be present to be adding value. At any time you can reach out to people and connect.’

A recent survey by the job site oDesk of more than 800 businesses found that 90per cent of people believe technology is making it easier to do their jobs from anywhere. More than half the respondents said it also boosted their income.

To see the full article please visit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2569578/Homeless-RICH-Meet-business-savvy-travel-addict-lives-suitcase-earns-thousands-online.html#ixzz2uv4NrBxT

 

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January 27th, 2014

New Year, New You, New Bag

We sent Jonathan a couple of our latest products to test out for himself. He’s passionate about posture, so we told him to test the bags however he saw fit (gulp) we wonder what they’ll be like upon return! Here is the analysis he gave us:
Assessment by Jonathan Nunn 20 December 2013

PICTON
It’s possible to carry by hand, but if the bag is heavy, can be conveniently held over one shoulder or across the body, resting on the hip. When worn across the body, it lends itself to being hugged by both arms into the abdomen, distributing the load through both shoulders.

Picton_AW13_Black_front_highres

MAPLE
Lightweight construction and multi-pocketed with an easily adjustable broad strap. This bag can be worn over one shoulder, or, by lengthening the strap, across the body thus distributing weight between shoulder and opposite hip. It can also be worn across the body resting in the small of the back. The sleek design makes it perfect for a light to moderate load, for someone travelling light.

Maple_SS14_TAU_Front _highres

KINSALE
At last! A bag with an intelligently designed, wide, easily adjustable shoulder strap. Each end joins the bag at a different angle and allows the bag to fit more snugly against the body than any other bag I have seen on the market, reducing pendular swing and allowing the neck to assume an easy position. The wearer can comfortably rest their arm across the top of the bag. With multiple pockets to enable even weight distribution this bag is both practical and stylish in equal measure.

Kinsale 13'_AW13_Brown_threequaters_highres

MONTAGUE
A very well designed lightweight backpack with wide, easily adjustable straps and a sensible handle. It’s spacious with a well-distributed capacity that expands for ease of access, and the flat bottom makes it easy to stand on the ground. As with all back packs it allows support for the back with symmetrical loading on both shoulders, leaving your arms free to swing naturally. The best bit is the heavier it is, the more it encourages a better posture.

Montague_

FALMOUTH
Lightweight canvas construction gives large capacity without loss of strength. The extra length of the backpack (if correctly loaded with weight at the bottom) allows the load to rest on the top of the hips and encourages and supports the natural curve of the back. The whole length of the spine is well supported with this model, almost corseted. The Falmouth combines practicality and health benefits with a very professional appearance.

Falmouth Backpack_ AW13_Olive_front_highres

 

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January 13th, 2014

Bags of Health

Last time we spoke to Jonathan, our expert on the body, posture and stress, he answered our general questions. We hope you’ve all taken his advice on-board! He gave us a round-up of his top tips for women who don’t want to be weighed down!

- Laptop bags especially need to be light, fit snugly and have very adjustable wide and soft straps.

- Women’s bags need to be able to accommodate their curves and have as many touch points on their body as possible, while still being fashionable.

- Smaller, lighter laptops (bravo Apple!) really help.

- The ideal way to wear any bag is to distribute the weight evenly by comfortable wide straps that are easily adjustable.

- Try and make sure there is no pendulum type swinging of a heavy bag that puts lateral sway into your walking and will cause tiredness and postural problems.

backpack posture

-The bag needs to be proportionate to body size, choose from a source with an extensive range.

- A good backpack will be sleek and stylish but will fit into your curves adding as it does an element of stability and security, especially in the lower curve of the back, the lumbar spine.

Montague_AW13_Marine_back_highres
Finally the general rule is “if we feel good and know we look good with our wonderful accessory, we will be lighter and inflated and happy and less stressed”.
All musculo-skeletal problems are created out of a process of summation of various stressors, like poor mechanics, posture or stress. So don’t let your bag become one of those stressors, in fact a well-fitting bag can be supportive to your posture.

 

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January 6th, 2014

Treat Your Body Right This Year

Here at Knomo clever design is paramount. Part of that careful design process includes making sure that you, the extended Knomo family, stay happy, healthy and comfortable whilst using your bags!

Jonathan Picture

We’ve teamed up with Jonathan Nunn, an Osteopath with 35 years’ experience, for an expert take on how to avoid any problems. In the past Jonathan has taught at The British School of Osteopathy for 20 years alongside running a busy Harley Street clinic. He now lives and continues to practice in the Cotswolds.

We interviewed him to gain a professional insight into the problems that can be caused and, of course, how to prevent them!

What are the most common problems caused by carrying a bag that is too heavy? Where is the most strain placed?

The most common problem from a bag that is too heavy is causing strain on the base of the neck, increasing the cranio-vertebral angle, which can lead to postural imbalance. As well as overstraining the shoulder and neck muscles and potentially pinching nerves in the brachial plexus supplying the hand and arm.
This all starts with the short term effects of muscle overload that, in time, can effect posture and overall body postural compensation. Headaches and migraines are important signs of a building problem, and should be taken seriously.

Cranio strain
Cranio-Vertebral Angle

If suffering, what are the best ways to try and recover/sort the problem?

1. Get the right bag. Then make sure all the variable straps are properly adjusted.
2. Get the biological mechanics of the body working optimally, by visiting your osteopath or body worker of choice. Build strength and flexibility – especially core strength.

Backpacks are clear winners when it comes to posture and support, what are the worst sort of bags? (Cross-body, over one shoulder, over the forearm)

Cross body and over shoulder bags should not be used by those with headaches, asthma, RSI or pinched nerves.

Do certain body types/builds have to be particularly careful? If you’re, say, 60KG what is an appropriate weight to carry?

Body types do play a role in bag choice: anyone who has exaggerated spinal curves, or in other words, has a deeply curved lower back or is rather hunched, need pay particular attention to carrying as little weight as possible. As well as using a bag that allows for good even distribution of the load – a bag that allows the main weight to be low in the bag and lots of distributing pockets. Also such people should choose a small bag – this sounds obvious, but if we have a large bag we are tempted to fill it!
The bag should fit the carrier snugly enough so that there is not a lot of swing. Else we run the risk of lateral torsion on the spine and tiredness and imbalance.
The perceived wisdom seems to suggest that a bag should be no more than 15% of body weight, and whilst this is probably true, the negative effects of weight are amplified by torsions created by a poor carrying practice.
Studies suggest that women are more prone to bag related pain than men, and those who sit for most of the day are again more prone. The answer is twofold; get fit and flexible and get a good ergonomic bag!

back pain spot

In the worst cases, can over-carrying create breathing problems? How can you tell?

Make sure that you are breathing from the diaphragm and not overloading the same muscles used in carrying your bag through poor breathing. This is typically caused by hyperventilation – something of a modern epidemic – born out of the fast pace of modern living.
It is more likely to be chronic pre-existing breathing problems that will lead to increased shoulder tension in the same muscles used when typically using a bag. Thus backpacks with wide cushioned straps distributing the weight evenly are best for this group of people.

Does the weight distribution make a considerable difference? Are there recommended internal layouts for organisation?

The bag needs good internal organization to distribute the weight evenly, so the spine and accompanying muscles are balanced. The bulk of the weight needs to be low in the bag, again allowing better balance.
It goes without saying that the bag needs to be as light as possible – muck out your bag regularly and dispose of anything unnecessary. For example, do you need all your chargers with you? Buy extras and leave spares at work and home.

Thanks Jonathan!

 

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December 13th, 2013

Heroes of the Season – The Magnificent Seven

Cavendish
As soon as we rebranded in August the Cavendish tote was set to become one of our classic pieces. The features we pride ourselves on – functionality, style and ‘handiness’ – are all included. There is a deep scarlet quilted laptop sleeve that can be removed and used by itself, leaving a spacious open-top tote. As the bag cannot be zipped up we needed to have a secure organisational panel, so the fitted pockets for iPhone and a 7” tablet are within their own internal zipped area. Marie-Claire magazine named it their favourite on the day of release and have continued to show their love for the Marylebone Collection throughout the season.
Cavendish_AW13_Black_Front_Feature Shot _highres

Henderson
The briefcase has been part of our classic leather men’s range for a long time. But this Autumn/Winter season we introduced a rich blue colour to the collection. The seasonal splash of colour gave a needed modern spin to the professional looking briefcase. Amusingly the first time we put one in the window of our London store it was bought within 10 minutes – we knew we were onto a winner!
henderson blue_ photographers gallary

iPad Air
When Apple released their latest full size tablet, the iPad Air, everyone knew it was going to be a hot piece of new technology. We needed a case that was going to do the iPad justice, so we adjusted the leathers for a smooth, pristine finish that shines no matter the colour. iPad Air: Your Companion Manual even named the Knomo iPad Air Folio the number one case on the market! With a magnetic wake/sleep function, form fitted plastic shell and 3 ways of using the iPad Air Folio is our latest hero.
iPad 5 Air _AW13_Scarlet _ Half Open _highres

Scala
Our luggage always stands out from the crowd and we like to think the Scala trolley is a true upgrade from the classic Serra. The quilted Fitzrovia Collection was reconstructed for lighter, more durable products. The cabin-sized Scala is perfect for a short getaway with two large compartments and the bespoke Knomo telescopic handle never fails to impress. The trolley has been tried and tested by fashion, travel and tech journalists alike, always coming back with shining reviews.
Scala_Marine_feature_highres

iPhone 5s Folio
Our cases have always been popular, and our offering for Apple’s latest iPhone 5S continues the trend. Available in Black, Brown, Scarlet, Blue and a John Lewis exclusive Grey there is one for everybody, complete with vibrant colour-contrasting microfiber lining and room for cash/travel cards.
iPhone 5C Folio_AW13_Brown_Open_highres

Charlotte
Our classic Avignon women’s briefcase had a good run and continues to be popular, however, there is a new girl in town – Charlotte. It’s lighter, easier to keep clean and fits a 13” laptop. We’ve had great feedback on the new handles, a padded leather-effect PUC, which is softer and more comfortable to be carrying every day.
Charlotte_AW13_Black_front_highres

Troon
Since the Balham Collection SS13 release the Troon has always been a clear hero. Now available in Olive and Blue, as well as Black and Sand, there’s a colour for every character. The stir caused by the messenger bags at the Wired 2013 Event proved how versatile the Troon is. The delegates were made up of leaders in business, technology and innovation – all of whom loved their new bag and thought it was suited for both the board room as well as more casual days around the city!
Wired Troonss

 

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November 21st, 2013

Introducing… Falmouth

It’s rare that we dedicate a blog piece to one particular style of bag, but in this case we made an exception.

Introducing our latest must have – the Falmouth Backpack from the Balham Collection.

Once-again backpacks are on the rise, but with a modern-twist. The new 2013 styles are made from unusual materials such as bullet-proof plastic (Tumi) and feature ‘non-slip’ straps (i-StayPut). We, on the other hand, have designed a simple companion for those who like to two-strap their gear.

backpack15'_ record shop_ Ian

The Falmouth is made from a lightly coated twill-cotton canvas that remains structured even after jam-packed daily use. Inside you’ll find a shock-proof compartment that fits up to a 15” laptop as well as a large main section to pack your day-to-day belongings complete with an elasticated organizational panel. All kept safe with a modest raw leather strap under a brass bridge-lock. The result is a durable, pristine companion perfect for manoeuvring the city. There are poppers on the exterior of the backpack to expand the bag if need-be, along with ergonomic adjustable straps for maximum comfort whilst carrying.

Falmouth Backpack_ AW13_Olive_front_highres

We displayed our newest addition at the Wired 2013 Event where it was picked up before the opening speeches even started by innovation-hunters GearBurn (available at: here).

So whether you’re battling in the board-room or cycling to schmooze in the city keep your kit safe and style immaculate with our all new Falmouth Backpack

The Falmouth is available in Black and Olive at £119 – check it out here!

 

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October 25th, 2013

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

WE NEED YOUR HELP!
SEND YOUR IDEAS & WIN OUR FIRST KNOMO COVER TO CHARGE YOUR IPHONE & IPAD MINI ON THE GO
NEVER RUN OUT OF BATTERY AGAIN!

Limited battery life can be very frustrating so Knomo’s design team are working with power specialist Case Power on a cover that will charge as you go. We’re still in the development phase and we’d love to get your feedback and ideas on this. By getting your thoughts now we believe we can design the perfect solution. We’re working on 2 ideas:

charge_pouch
Charge Pouch with wristlet £99.00
• Fabric with leather trim
• Wristlet pouch
• Charge smartphones
• USB output

Power_folio
Power Folio £149.00
• Full leather zipped folio
• Fits Ipad mini & phone, cables
• Charge tablets & smartphones
• USB & Apple certified Lightning cable

-Does running out of battery drive you mad and would this help you?
-What devices do you need to charge each day?
-We have 2 designs we are working on, what do you think? Would you carry a folio style or a pouch with wristlet?
-Anything you feel we need to consider? Do you have any other comments/suggestions?

Have your say and the 20 most useful comments will WIN one of the new battery-charging products when they are launched, est. to arrive in Feb 2014. Winners will be announced/notified by 20th November 2013. (Terms and Conditions Beneath)

Email greatidea@knomo.com with your thoughts.

Thanks!
Knomo design team

One prize per winner, selected at random. This offer is open to knomo customers only, there is no cash equivalent prize option, and no refunds will be accepted on prizes won. Knomo reserve the right to cancel the competition if deemed necessary in their opinion and if circumstances are outside their control. Knomo’s general terms and conditions apply.

 

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October 22nd, 2013

WIRED EVENT 2013

Wired Troonss

Each year Wired plays host to the sharpest minds in business and technology from across the world. We have been lucky enough to not only attend the event for the last three years but also sponsor the occasion, providing the 500 delegates with their very own Knomo – to carry the hefty amount of papers and information needed for the event – but to also fall in love with and use forever!

This year we supplied the conference with Troon messenger bags in cool new Blue and the professional looking Black, as well as some Argal sleeves and a couple of Newquay cross-bodys. Needless to say the keynote speakers, delegates and other attendees were thrilled with their goodies! To add a personal note to each bag we dusted off our 1902 embossing machine and set up a service to heat-impress initials onto the strap – which looked a little something like this:

embossin HWW
4
We estimate that half the conference used our bespoke service; that’s 250 happy customers and one tired embosser!

Over the two-day event we met some fantastic people, each with their individual ideas as to where the future will take us, how we will communicate with one another and what the world will have room for in an ever-changing technological landscape.
We showcased a variety of pieces to business leaders and tech-pioneers. On the men’s side we offered the Falmouth backpack, Henderson briefcase and Kinsale messenger bag to hear the other delegates thoughts, and for the women we displayed the Oldbury cross-body, Metropolis handbag and Cavendish tote. We received fantastic feedback on all our bags as well as our new iPad and iPhone cases – all-in-all an extremely positive reception!

With over 40 speakers there was a serious amount of information to take in, we thought we’d give you a round-up of four of our favourite speakers:

Björk
Icelandic born musician Björk is one of a kind. Her most recent album Biophilia was released in 2011, comprising of ten tracks that connect with ten apps to create a unique interactive music experience. Each track was inspired by a different aspect of nature and used corresponding technologies to create the effect, for example Thunderstorm used a Tesla Coil. Björk’s vision goes far beyond making music, she wants to use her tools to educate the world. In an age that has arguably lost touch with nature she (along with ten of the world’s leading app developers) have created a way to teach musical understanding in connection with the sublime. To see the full interview watch the video beneath:

Nick D’Alosio
Nick was the first keynote speaker of the entire event, a challenge for anybody and even more impressive when you consider he is only 17. Two years ago he founded Summly, an algorithm for summarising content into 1000 or 500 words, or even 140 characters. In March 2013 Yahoo bought the platform for a reported $30 million, making Nick one of the world’s youngest millionaires.

Natascha McElhone
Not only is Natascha an acclaimed actress starring in The Truman Show, Solaris and the long-running series Californication she is also a thought-provoking writer, speaking poignantly about the need to break down gender stereotypes. Many damaging labels exist in the Western world and casual sexism is at the forefront of the argument, or as McElhone puts it “We’ve hacked so many other spaces in our lives – how we date, have babies – and yet this space, gender objectification, remains stagnant.” She called for a change, starting with the media, in the hope that gender-boundaries may be broken, and the women of the future have a true place.

NAtascha Mcelhone

Mike Gunton
Gunton has worked with the BBC for over 25 years, helping to capture awe-inspiring natural history footage that the broadcasters are particularly famous for, frequently working with documentary-legend David Attenborough. He asks himself “whose perspective should I be telling the story from?” for each perspective, be it a new born chick or a rhino patriarch, the crew need to decide which sort of camera to use. Here the technology of the modern world has helped dramatically – for example using drones and helicopters they are able to see a clear shot from over a kilometer away. The technology of today has allowed us, the viewers, to experience the world in a way we could never have dreamed of.

To see a round up of Day 1 see the Wired video-blog click HERE
To see a round-up of Day 2 see the Wired video-blog HERE

Or, check out Wired’s full roundup of the event HERE

 

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October 8th, 2013

‘Last Night a Knomo Saved My Life’

A while ago we were reading through blogs and forums and stumbled across a great story written by one of the extended Knomo family! Meet Laura, who’s Cholet bag protected far more than just her laptop! Beneath is her story, we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did!

Motorbike Cholet

On my way to the station on 8th February 2013, I was knocked over by a motor bike at a zebra crossing. Dressed in my best suit dress, Wolford tights and “comfortable” heels, I ran to get my train after waiting ages to park.

So I’m already late, skipping past the student in his converse as I know if I have to get the next train, I’m going to be seriously late for my meeting. This is the meeting where my client is going to sign off the website proposal that I’ve been working on for the last three months. I’m an Account Manager for a Digital Marketing Agency and I’m regularly in London for meetings so I suppose I just became complacent in in my regular day to day routine when I ran across the zebra crossing at the train station.

I didn’t properly look to the right for oncoming traffic and the motor bike struck the right side of my body, knocking me to the ground in a heap. Somehow I got to my feet feeling more concerned that I might have laddered my Wolfords than if I’d done any serious damage. It was the pain in my shoulder that prompted me to check my laptop and Nexus tablet that was in my red Knomo bag, now lying on the stripy tarmac where I fell.

Okay, I have the guy from the bike trying to ask if I’m okay and me checking my tights and rummaging through my bag to check my laptop. I’m now distraught that my Channel Rough Allure 64 lipstick (that just so happens to be the same colour as my Knomo bag), has been smashed in the inside pocket by the impact of the bike.

Right priorities:
Head: OK
Tights : OK
Laptop: OK
Nexus: OK
Lipstick : Not so OK

Composing myself I ask the guy if his bike is OK and he says he’s fine and that he’s sorry he didn’t stop in time. I apologies for not looking and I go on my way, just reaching the train and sitting down next to “converse student”.

Its only as we pull away from the station that it dawns on me, I could have been really hurt. I felt my ribs on my right side, slightly bruised but not painful, I realise that had I not had my bag on my right shoulder, the motorbike would have crashed straight into my side. Instead, the bag took nearly all of the impact with just enough left to knock me over.

So often do we take inanimate and useful objects for granted, but for the 30mins of the journey to London, I took time to think about how thankful I was to have invested in such a receptacle of daily routine and career. I bought it when I still worked in retail whilst at university, thinking I will use this in my career ahead. I have had compliments at every interview I’ve ever been to. I always go dressed in black with my bag and matching lipstick and I remember my boss at the very first agency I joined said when she’s given me the job, “I was so please that your personality is as edgy as your look”.

This now very beaten up and humble brief case has been with me through thick and thin. The worn red handles where my hands have been clammy before a make or break meeting, the big motorcycle dent in the side and the lipstick mark alongside the green highlighter spill in the inside pocket, all memories of me, my success and my Knomo.

 

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