Is it just us, or did 2014 totally fly by?! It seems like just yesterday we were moving into our new office on Varick Street, and putting the finishing touches on the Berlin, the collaboration bag we created with Leica. So much has happened over the past twelve months, but some things remain the same — we are so incredibly grateful for each one of our customers. And as we approach our fifth anniversary, we’re so glad to have you on this journey with us. We’ve got some exciting things in store for 2015, so we encourage you to stay tuned! As we prepare to ring in a new year, here are just a few highlights from a wonderful 2014 here at ONA.
After a year in our cozy Midtown space, we realized we needed a bit more room and upgraded our office digs to a downtown space in Soho West. The new office featured photos by our favorite photographers and an entire wall to show off our bags. Our friend Lauren Kallen even took some photos of the new space for a feature that appeared in WeWork Desktop later in the year.
We braved the Polar Vortex to shoot a round of videos for our spring/summer release, with each of the talented featured photographers tossing on an extra layer and a smile as we shot on the frigid streets of New York City. Mark Mann dodged snowflakes, Sharon Radisch was windswept, and Lisa Weatherbee donned a bright pink coat. We were also excited to have Brian Chan join the ONA team as our Director of Finance & Operations.
In March, we launched our first-ever collaboration bag — the Berlin was designed specifically for the Leica M-System, and was originally meant to be a limited edition. We were completely overwhelmed with the response, selling out shortly after launch and deciding aftewards to produce a successor to the Berlin. The New York Times even called the Berlin its hands-down favorite camera bag!
In addition to introducing four new products (the Capri, the Leather Capri, the Astoria and the Leather Presidio), we also welcomed office assistant Sunny Kang as the newest addition to the ONA team. And one of our favorite Instagram contests to date, #ONAPets, launched in April as well. Cue the best start to every single morning — scrolling through photos of the most adorable puppies, cats and bunnies with your favorite ONA bags.
For our team field trip in May, the New York City crew checked out the Impossible Project headquarters in Soho, and even had a team portrait taken on an old school large-format Polaroid camera.
In June, we filmed our fall/winter new product videos on what had to be the hottest and most humid days of summer. But few things make us happier than featuring some of our city’s most talented photographers, like Bee and Rog Walker.
We teamed up with charity: water for the launch of the Sahel camera strap. Our newest strap not only encourages people to #TellStories, but it also directly supports charity: water, allowing it to continue to bring clean water access to the millions of people living without it. We coordinated the launch with our good friend Cubby Graham and celebrated with an Instameet and drinks in Williamsburg, attracting dozens of creative photographers.
One of the things that’s most important to us is listening to and responding to our customers. Indeed, many of our bag designs have come directly as a result of photographer feedback. Not only did we decide to re-introduce the Berlin II after receiving numerous requests, we also created the Prince Street camera bag in both Italian-tanned leather and waxed canvas for photographers carrying tablets and smaller laptops.
Founder Tracy Foster and Sales Manager Jillian Wishart ventured to Cologne, Germany for Photokina, the world’s largest photography trade show. We met with distributors and also announced the collaboration bag we created with Swarovksi Optik for a new special edition set of luxury binoculars.
We rounded out our collection of small goods and accessories with the addition of the Clarendon and North Sound, and featured our friends Paola Franqui and Joshua Anderson as we launched these two new styles.
In November, we moved to a new, bigger office in Soho and also welcomed Mark Chou as ONA’s Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. And as we geared up for the holiday season, we were especially grateful for all the gorgeous entries to our #INMYONA contest, which Kristin Young won!
Throughout the year, members of the ONA team visit our factory in the Dominican Republic to work on production and new designs. In December, Tracy headed back for a few days to oversee preparations for some new styles ONA is planning for next year. We can barely believe the year is over already, but we can’t wait to see what lies in store in 2015!