When national touring artists stop at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, they leave with a little reminder of our Minnesota Nice. This series examines the locally made treasures given to these celebrity visitors.
When one of the hottest bands in the world comes to Minnesota, they will be leaving with a personalized gift from one of our oldest companies.
Mumford and Sons will play at the Xcel Energy Center on Sept. 4 and they’ll have four custom-made bags from Duluth Pack waiting for them when they do.
Molly Solberg, from Duluth Pack, said they were approached a while ago to partner with Xcel Energy Center to help them create custom-made gifts for the national acts that come through town. They agreed, excited for the opportunity, but had no idea who they’d be crafting gifts for.
“When they called back with Mumford & Sons, we were like, “Ahhhhh! Yes!” she said. “We’ve just been huge fans of the band since their first album came out.”
They had a pretty good idea of what they’d make for the band.
Here’s a look at the magic in the making …
“We were actually just in a marketing meeting and we were talking about, ‘You know who would be a great fit for our bags? Mumford & Sons.’ It would be such a great fit for it,” she said.
When that wishful thinking became reality, Solberg said they put together the perfect gift – one of their most popular urban trendy packs in waxed canvas.
“Well it just seemed like such a great fit for them,” she said. “We know these are very popular bags in England, as well as most of overseas, not just Europe but Asia, as well.”
Once the material was chosen, it was laid out to be measured for the embroidery.
Because they were using waxed canvas and they wanted to add a personalized touch – the band’s name embroidered on the front flap – they went back to basics.
“It is a hand-made process,” she said.
Once the material was cut, it headed off to a local embroiderer, a special touch and added step for their typical process.
After that, it went to the riveters – the oldest department at Duluth Pack, a company that’s been in business for more than 132 years.
“(The riveting department) has been in the exact same spot since 1911,” Solberg said. “We’re still using the exact same techniques. Electricity hasn’t affected the riveting department like it did with the sewing machines.”
The Duluth Pack’s iconic patches were then sewn on the bag.
And the straps were added.
The finished product was then sent to Xcel Energy Center for delivery to the band.
The entire bag was made in about two weeks – the personalized embroidering added several days to the process.
“The finished product is awesome and we hope the band will be excited about the bag,” she said. “We had a little choice in the color choice of the threading and we wanted it to be really subtle.”
The bag certainly looks perfectly suited for Mumford and Sons – from the simple design to the rustic details.
And for Duluth Pack, it’s a thrilling opportunity.
“As a huge fan, it’s amazing. It’s beyond exciting,” Solberg said. “We really couldn’t have picked a better bag and a better fit for a better band.”
The bags are currently on their way to Xcel Energy Center and if fans like it, they can get their very own version for around $190.