Business & Development

Mixed Bag

Locally owned Composition Co. creates totes for the modern-day multi-tasker.

For Shannon Burch, necessity truly was the mother of invention. Previously an apparel designer for brands such as Gap and American Eagle, it was her time spent on the Under Armour innovation team that gave the 40-year-old the confidence to solve her own design dilemma.

After years spent switching from one bag to another to match her outfit (inevitability causing misplaced items and forgotten keys), Burch gave herself a task: create one bag that can be used for multiple occasions. “I’m always thinking, and I geek out on little challenges,” she says. “I was just playing around, and one thing led to another.” That task soon became a reality, and in March 2019, her tote bag company, Composition Co., officially launched.

The Comp Tote has all of the essentials: plenty of pockets, a clip for your keys, water-repellent lining, and a cinch-closure bottle pocket. But the genius is in the removable, mix-and-match cover and straps. “The brains behind the operation is the canvas portion,” Burch explains.

Every Comp Tote comes with a set of covers and two sets of detachable straps. You can choose a sleek navy or a graphic print, and you can pair it with plain black or colorful straps. The bag itself has a classic shape that you can dial up or down for whatever the mood or occasion.

For now, you can purchase Burch’s bags on her website. Expanding product lines and emerging into local retail shops is another obvious next step for Composition Co. But Burch—who’s used to working on a design team—also aspires to work with fellow creatives. “I’d love to bring in different artists and see what they come up with, just to further go after that whole concept of creating and having fun—I think that’s the most important thing,” she says. Then she laughs: “But one thing at a time!”