äventyr is proud to be participating in the American Swedish Institute (ASI) Midsommar Handcraft Market on Saturday, June 15. Midsommar is our favorite time of year, and the ASI is one of our favorite places. In honor of Midsommar and the ASI, we have a few special blog posts this week.
Ingrid, the first äventyr customer, with her Social in Olive at The American Swedish Institute
When I began volunteering at The American Swedish Institute in 2017 I had the good fortune of meeting Ingrid. Ingrid is the Director of Experience at the ASI, and they are so lucky to have her! Ingrid also participated in one of our first feedback panels, and became the FIRST EVER äventyr customer!
Ingrid agreed to be on our first feedback panel in 2017 while we were developing The Social and enthusiastically wrote me about her biking saying "I have always ridden a bike more for fun…but I am definitely an urban bike rider as of April 1st this year. A colleague challenged me to join her for the 30 day Challenge and now, it's August and about 900 miles later. I bought an e-bike, pedal assist that has made me WANT to get on my bike each and every day."
Ingrid with her bike during her first 30 days of biking challenge (day 3) with her electric assist bike. Picture courtesy of Ingrid.
I have also enjoyed getting to know Ingrid as a friend and that we have so much in common: we love to travel, we both like to camp (Ingrid calls her camper her "mobile Summer Stuga" and we call ours Silverhytten, we love our dogs, we are (Ingrid) or have been (me) museum employees, and we have loved to ride our bicycles since we were children.
Ingrid's bike parked at work at The American Swedish Institute (Yes, they have indoor bike parking for employee's!). Picture courtesy of Ingrid.
I asked Ingrid to tell us more about her cycling äventyr in her own words. Read on...
What kind of cyclist would you describe yourself as? What is your personal cycling story? I have always loved riding my bicycle – I don’t think I have ever gone without a bike from my first with training wheels to my current pedal assist. I consider myself a fair weather, sometimes commuter, sometimes recreational cyclist. During April – October, I will commute to and from work as much as I can. I am most fortunate to be able to commute via River Road and the Greenway or even Minnehaha trails from St. Paul. I love to watch urban nature and check out what everyone is doing with their home gardens. What better way to observe nature and gain some quiet time then by biking?!
We met when I became a volunteer at the ASI, and I started talking to you about my ideas for äventyr. This lead to you being on one of our first feedback groups, you buying The Social, becoming my fika friend, and always make us feel listened to when we see your 'likes' pop up in our Instagram feed. What drew you to supporting us? I saw the best of creativity and invention. You identified a problem, took a look around and realized that there was a product gap that could be filled…and more importantly, you went for it! You created a product made locally and served a need…a small bike bag that clips on, doesn’t look like a bike bag, and is cute and comfortable to carry. The äventyr team (both 2-legged and 4-legged members) are taking their recreational passion of cycling and making it work.
Ingrid picking out her äventyr The Social. (Yup, sometimes we do personal delivery for our customers!).
You purchased The Social right after we launched last year and you told me you knew early on that you wanted one of our bags, what drew you to the Social? What drew me to äventyr and in particular, The Social, was the simplicity of the bag – a place for everything and everything in its place. I really think that bike bags here in the States are very clunky, utilitarian and they serve their purpose if you are tossing in groceries, work bag, lunch box, etc. But what about when you just want to hop your bike to the movies or meet a friend for lunch or fika? After having been in Scandinavia and Netherlands, I have seen some awesome bike gear for the everyday biker whether going to school, work, or grocery shopping. The Social looked a great combination of bike bag and purse that I could clip on my bike and go.
Last year you travelled to Europe and brought your Social (the first äventyr bag to travel abroad!). This made us so excited because we specifically made the Social with travel as one of its uses in mind! Where did you travel to? Why did you decide to bring your Social with and how did you use it during your trip? Last summer, I was in Netherlands, Belgium and France for 2 weeks with my family. The Social came with…and I never even hopped on a bike while traveling…although that was one reason I decided to bring it. Nevertheless, The Social was small enough that is wasn’t overwhelming and large enough to carry what I needed. I tossed maps in the front pocket instead of my bike tools (some of us still like to use paper maps), wallet and other items in the larger pocket. (editor's note: Ingrid also told me she put her passport in one of the front tool pockets for easy access at the airport, which was a PERFECT application for an alternate use for our bags. We make our bags not only for biking, but for living - and travel).
What do you pack in your Social? (Maybe this is different depending on if you are traveling, commuting to work, going out to dinner, or doing other activities?) I pack my bike tools and standards items wallet, phone, and whatever else I need.
Would you recommend The Social to someone else? What would you say to them about this bag? Yes, I would recommend The Social. It is a great combination of bike bag and purse that you can clip on your bike and go. The simplicity of the bag – a place for everything and everything in its place – makes it a practical and cute way to cycle!
Thank you Ingrid for not only being the first äventyr customer and supporting us, but also for being you! What a delight it has been to have you in the äventyr family and as part of our community! ~DeAnn and Kurt