Gary Waterfield on Taking Pride in Your Work
I can’t remember when I bought my first Waterfield Designs bag, but I can tell you that I’ve been a fan from the moment I held it in my hands. I love bags – a lot – and I have spent the past 8 years trying to find a bag that is better than my trusty Waterfield “Cargo,” but I’ve resigned myself to the truth: it doesn’t exist.
Based in San Francisco, California, Waterfield Designs is the namesake of Founder Gary Waterfield, but the company shares more than just his name. The hand-crafted bags sold exclusively through Waterfield’s online storefront echo Gary’s own high standards for quality and durability.
I reached out to Gary because after all these years carrying one of his creations, I decided I had to know more about the man behind the best bag I’ve ever owned.
In this short audio interview Gary graciously answers my questions about what it’s like to make a premium product in a world that is clamoring for everything to be cheaper, faster, and mass produced. He was also kind enough to welcome me in to his manufacturing facility and administrative offices a few weeks later while I was in San Francisco for a conference.
We can all take a cue from Gary and his products: there are pressures on all of us to be more average, but the magic happens when we choose to do work that is unique and meaningful in spite of those pressures.
DISCLAIMER: I am sharing this as a fan of Gary and his work, not as an advertisement. I have paid for every Waterfield Designs bag I own and have no incentive to get you to buy anything from them.