Shop Small on Saturday at Porteen Gear

Posted on Posted in Small Business Saturday, Travel Gear, Video

Because I was raised in a small business, I know how hard business owners work to make their customers happy and how important they are to not only the economy, but to the individuals that walk through their doors. This weekend after Black Friday, it will be Small Business Saturday and I am featuring one business that I absolutely love – Porteen Gear in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The owner of Porteen Gear, Robyn, and I met at a travel media conference in Minneapolis. She noticed my leather bag from Mexico from across the room and struck up a conversation. I explained how happy I was with my bag because I could fit all of my new camera gear inside.

Robyn quickly explained that I needed to be careful because the bag did not have any padding. Then, she invited me to her studio where she creates camera bags to design and take home a custom bag for my gear in return for an honest review! (Review can be found here on YouTube. Note: This post isn’t sponsored. I just love my bag and Porteen Gear a lot.)

One month later, I road tripped to Grand Rapids and Team Porteen helped me design my dream bag and brought it to life right before my eyes!

They were patient with me as I perused all of their leathers and fabric swatches. Once I saw the leather with a fern embossed in it, I knew I had found my match! Team Porteen helped me find the coordinating leather for the top flap of the bag and helped me narrow down the pops of color they would sew inside.

Robyn even added space for my laptop and created a security feature I could feed through a belt so I felt safer walking with my bag abroad. Thick, protective foam ensures that my camera, lenses, and laptop will be protected for years to come.

As you can see, the bag is gorgeous. Over a year later, it looks just as great as the day it was created.

Click the video below to see how Team Porteen created the bag from start to finish!

The bag was and is everything I need when I am headed out for the day. If you are a photographer or have one on your Christmas list, I highly recommend checking out and using their Bag Builder to create a one-of-a-kind gift that is sure to wow. (Proof of the “wow?” They’ve been featured in British Vogue, GQ, and the Professional Photographers of America.)

Robyn handpicks the leather and fabric swatches and you can find the most up-to-date selection on the site. This is a preview of the bag builder:


If you are not a photographer but still want a beautiful bag, you are in luck! They have a range of tote bags you can choose from that are sure to delight.

So, check out Porteen Gear on this Small Business Saturday! If you know a photographer or want a rockin’ custom handmade bag, you can design one today.

Let me know which bags you love in the comments!


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