Designer Finds His Niche in Gnome Bags

Former Mount Pleasant resident, Jeffrey Bruckwicki found his niche by creating bags that are stylish, affordable and extremely useful.

Former Mount Pleasant resident, Jeffrey Bruckwicki just needed a new bag. One that was small and light, able to hold a textbook and stay in place during bike rides.

Since refashioning purchased bags just wasn’t cutting it, a determined Bruckwicki set out to create his own. So the first bag was made, unrefined yet deemed successful as requests for replications surfaced.

With the next handful of bags being created, the design was set and soon money was being offered. Bruckwicki, who at the age of 19 started his first company, Bruckwicki Instruments, decided to pursue making bags and thus, Gnome Bags was born.

“Gnome Bags was just kind of a joke name at first,” Bruckwicki said. “It stuck … Now the name is on bags all over the country and soon to be in the U.K.”

Each bag is made by hand with tough stitching, an array of customizable colors and as little waste leftover as possible.

Central Michigan University English Professor Matthew Roberson loves his own customized Gnome Bag.

“Not only is [it] cool looking, it works where other bags don’t,” Roberson said. “I put my swim gear in it, strap it on and run to the gym to use the pool — and don’t even notice it’s on my back.”

Gnome Bags is a one-for-one company, meaning that for every bag sold, another is donated.

“I think the company’s donation program suggests that it’s run by people for whom doing business is not the bottom line,” Roberson said. “The bottom line for them is doing some good.”

Bruckwicki said the idea came after his profits became “startling” to him.

“The suggested price was higher than expected,” Bruckwicki said. “I have never really been into living too far in extravagance; so what do you do?”

Donating money was an option that came and went. He wanted his customers to know what was being given.

“There is more transparency to the establishment,” Bruckwicki said. “So I decided to give what I had, bags.”

Bags aren’t the only thing coming out of Bruckwicki’s workshop. Like-style purses are a recent addition to the company while koozies, t-shirts and art prints are sold to help with day-to-day operations.

The Gnome Bag crew also offers up free hugs to anyone they see wearing their products.

With a little determination and a lot of heart, Bruckwicki turned a hobby into an eco-conscious and friendly company.



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