Two guys walk into a bar and what they walked out with was much more than a punch line.
Aaron Jones, a former tailor at Nordstrom, and Jason Bass, a former IT and marketing guru, were introduced by an acquaintance at a Fells Point pub. “I was looking for someone who sews and was told that there was a guy who comes into Blarney Stone all the time who sews and is super talented,” Bass says. “About 30 minutes later, Aaron walked in.”
Thus, The Treason Toting Company was born.
Since 2013, the company has produced a well-curated selection of totes, backpacks, laptop sleeves, and more, all made with genuine leather and high-quality canvas. The line was first sold through holiday pop-up shops and local stores, like Sixteen Tons in Hampden. But it was when Sagamore Ventures, the venture capital firm of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, decided to invest in them that things really took off.
Through this new partnership, the duo was able to open a production space at City Garage in Port Covington, where all bags are designed and made, and a brick-and-mortar location on Thames Street, across from the highly anticipated Sagamore Pendry Baltimore hotel. The new retail space not only offers the brand more exposure, but also transports customers to a high-end shopping experience with minimalist design and clean visuals.
The grand opening in August even attracted the likes of recording artist and fashion icon Janelle Monáe, who happened to be passing through town and bought a couple of Treason laptop sleeves. Though the store has been open for only a couple of months, the Treason team is hard at work to release its new fall-inspired line early this month.
“Our new collection will feature some wax canvas products to support the season, and we will introduce some lower price point items to give the line a bit more body,” says Jones.
Look for new silhouettes in their coveted weekender and duffle bags, or just opt for the best-selling Chase backpack that can be purchased online or in the store. But heed this advice: Fridays mean in-store happy hour where you can shop, listen to music, and sip Sagamore Rye Whiskey with the guys themselves.
“They support us and we support them,” says Bass.