When Kelly and Matilda Belknap were backpacking around the world, they noticed a pattern emerging in each place they encountered. In every city they went to, they saw families on the street asking for food. After seeing this, they would go to grocery stores and buy meals to hand out to those families in need. When they returned to the United States, their company, Adventurist Backpacks, was born.
The company launched in 2017 and has continued to grow ever since. Both Kelly and Matilda Belknap knew they wanted to create backpacks that were high-quality but also affordable.
“We both love to travel, so we need a good backpack always,” Kelly Belknap said. “We noticed that there weren’t a lot of good backpacks out there that fit all the criteria we needed. We wanted to basically make the world’s greatest backpack, high-quality, minimalist design for less than $100.”
Since the launch, they now feature three different types of backpacks, all of which are vegan and animal-friendly. Each aspect of the backpacks are thought about and well-curated, according to Matilda Belknap
“Our backpacks are completely water-resistant and the straps are made out of synthetic leather,” Matilda Belknap said. “Each backpack has front and back padding to protect anything inside and they’re also designed to fit perfectly under an airplane seat for traveling.”
When it comes to giving back to the community, Kelly and Matilda wanted to make sure their company was able to lend a helping hand. With their inspiration coming from traveling and seeing many people in need, they wanted to team up with a nonprofit organization.
Adventurist Backpacks partnered up with Feeding America, one of the world’s largest domestic hunger-relief organizations. Every backpack sold gives back 25 meals to families across the U.S.
“At the moment, we have currently given back 81,365 meals,” Kelly Belknap said. “We teamed up with a nonprofit because we didn’t have any knowledge in that area. We found Feeding America through a site called Charity Navigator and that’s how we found the perfect fit for us.”
As of Fall 2019, Adventurist Backpacks are now being sold at the Bronco Shop. Victoria Wood is the art supply and general merchandise buyer for the Boise State Bronco Shop and is excited about their partnership with the company.
“They actually reached out to us,” Wood said. “They were just a great fit. The backpacks are a popular shape and their mission statement just got me excited about them, so I pushed for their backpacks to be in the shop,” Wood said.
With the Bronco Shop also being a nonprofit, Wood knew that partnering with Adventurist Backpacks would be a good match. Although the company has multiple designs of backpacks, the Bronco Shop is only carrying one right now.
“I just have their most basic design right now with a couple of colors,” Wood said. “The backpack sells for $65.”
As for the future, the duo wants to stick to creating travel-related products. Currently, they have three different backpack designs and beanies.
“We want to make sure we create travel essentials, so maybe we’ll work on something like passport holders, products similar to that,” Kelly Belknap said.
Both Kelly and Matilda want to make sure that their company stays true to their mission statement and continues to make ethical products throughout their continuing growth.
“We want to make sure that we are creating products that are thoughtfully made and timeless,” Matilda Belknap said. “You could say it’s the opposite of fast fashion, we want to take our time and make products that we can truly stand behind.”
Within the next year, the pair has one main goal for their company.
“We have one big goal we have set to accomplish before our third business anniversary next Fall,” Kelly Belknap said. “Our goal is to provide a quarter of a million meals to students and families in need around the country.”