Interviews

Portable Culture Portrait: Mausermama

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member Mausermama. The previous editions featured Forum members platisc, ceepee, sea_otter3, NWHikerGal, widepipe, Rocks, JonC, cdh, Badger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin.

Portable Culture Portrait Mausermama TOM BIHN Blog

What’s the most useful item that you carry?

That’s a very challenging question for me! I guess if I had to distill it down to one item, it would be the key strap as paired with the magical o-ring. As a child, I frequently heard my parents tell me, “You’d lose your head if it wasn’t attached.” They were right. It seems until I found TOM BIHN, I was always misplacing one item or another, usually my keys.

I’m a longtime knitter, and I first read about TOM BIHN and the Swift through the Knitty online knitting magazine. It sounded like a great bag, reliably sturdy and intelligently designed, and it had these things called o-rings. I especially liked that it’s a domestic company that pays its workers a living wage. I was intrigued, but the price tag made me hesitate for a couple of years (I can be slow sometimes). Eventually I pulled the trigger, but it was on a different bag, the Imago. I ordered it along with an extra key strap. When it arrived, I loaded my knitting and EDC items into it and discovered something wonderful. I no longer left my keys or wallet behind because they were now tethered. What I gained by buying that bag was not just a fabulous bag, but extra time in my day and peace in my life. From that point, I became a TOM BIHN convert.

Portable Culture Portrait Mausermama TOM BIHN Blog

I eventually did buy a Swift (and a lot of other TB bags and accessories), but the Imago and those awesome key straps and o-rings paved the way. I really love how modular they make the entire TOM BIHN system. I don’t have to be married to any one particular bag. It only takes a few seconds to slide my basics out of one bag and into another. Case in point, my Maker’s Bag Freudian Slip. It travels from my Swift to my Maker’s Bag to my Pop Tote effortlessly.

Portable Culture Portrait Mausermama TOM BIHN Blog

What’s your most treasured item?

I’ll break it down into non-TOM BIHN and TOM BIHN categories. For non-TOM BIHN, I think I would have to say my wedding ring. This upcoming spring my husband and I will have been married for twenty-five years. We married young and have been married for more than half of our lives. To me my ring is a tangible symbol of our love and commitment to each other. A close second would be my mother’s wedding ring. I lost her a few years ago, and my father gave me her wedding ring. They were married for forty-six years. When I look at her ring, I’m reminded of the love they shared in their time together.

My most treasured TOM BIHN item would have to be my Imago. It’s a lovely Navy/Cork/Wasabi combination, and every time I carry it, it makes me smile. Sadly, I don’t carry it as often as I used to because cross body bags are physically a little harder on me these days. Instead I tend to favor either my Luminary, Synapse 19, or the new Pop Tote (my new favorite bag, by the way!). I love the Pop tote because it is reminiscent of the Swift, but it’s lighter and zips closed.

Which item do you use more often than you thought you would?

Oh, that’s an easy question! Definitely my Travel Trays. It started with one and has quickly blossomed into several, each in a different color. I bought it because so many people on the forums raved about them, but I didn’t really see the appeal. Then I got it and plopped in my yarn and tools. Voila! It was another way to keep me organized and from losing knitting tools like stitch markers, cable needles, etc. My “obsession” with Travel Trays has grown. I now have at least one in most of the rooms of my house. My office boasts two: one to catch loose change and other pocket detritus, and the other to keep track of my stapler, binder clips, lip balm, tape, paper clips, and what-have-you.

Portable Culture Portrait Mausermama TOM BIHN Blog

I have three in my bedroom. One holds my essential oils, another keeps my watch, rings, fitness tracker, and phone in one spot for the next day. The other, alas, catches junk that I should put away but don’t. Once a week or so I take it around the house and put everything back where it belongs.

Travel Trays have become my go-to gift for birthdays and Christmas. I love their price point, and people who receive them always tell me how much they love and use them. They’re cheery and colorful organizers. I doubt I’m done collecting them, either. There’s always something else I can corral.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am finishing up educating my three children, who I homeschooled from the beginning. My oldest is in college double majoring in English and Philosophy. My middle kiddo is graduating this spring. He wants to major in computer science. My youngest is starting dual enrollment this January. She’s currently in her sophomore year. Eventually she hopes to work either in veterinary medicine or as a park ranger in our national parks system.

Now that I don’t have to spend quite as much time with my children teaching, I spend my time teaching other students. I tutor students with dyslexia using a special Orton-Gillingham program called Barton Reading and Spelling. Additionally, I work virtually for the Institute for Excellence in Writing in a number of rolls. I am the content editor of their blog, one of their homeschool educational consultants, and a moderator on their forums. When I’m not doing those things, I teach high school composition and literature to a small group of homeschooled students.

Portable Culture Portrait: ceepee

TOM BIHN Blog | ceepee Fantastic Four

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. This edition features ceepee.

Portable Culture Portrait: sea_otter3

TOM BIHN Blog | Antonia Sketch Kit

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN community members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features sea_otter3.

Portable Culture Portrait: NWHikergal

TOM BIHN Blog | NWHG MCB Kitty

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. This edition features NWHikergal.

Portable Culture Portrait: widepipe

TOM BIHN Blog | widepipe Bag

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member widepipe. The previous editions featured Forum members Rocks, JonC, cdhBadger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin.

Portable Culture Portrait: Rocks

TOM BIHN Portable Culture Portrait - Rocks

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member Rocks. The previous editions featured Forum members JonC, cdh, Badger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin. What’s the most useful…

Portable Culture Portrait: JonC

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member JonC. The previous editions featured Forum members cdh, Badger, haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin. What’s the most useful item…

Portable Culture Portrait: cdh

Portable Culture Portrait: cdh

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member cdh. The previous editions featured Forum members Badger, haraya, imahwaki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin. What’s the most useful item…

Portable Culture Portrait: Badger

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member Badger. The previous editions featured Forum members haraya, imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin. What’s the most useful item that…

Portable Culture Portrait: haraya

Portable Culture Portrait: haraya

Our Portable Culture Portrait blog series features TOM BIHN Forum members, the bags they carry, and the items they carry in their bags. It’s inspired by our Portable Culture tagline. This edition features Forum member haraya. The previous editions featured Forum members imahawki, Amy, Perseffect, jujigatame and bchaplin. What’s the most useful item that you…

News Briefs

The Synapse 19 is back in-stock and ready to ship in all colors. Yeoman Duffels and Tri-Stars, too.

We’ve retired Canyon 210d ballistic nylon and Carbon Aether. See a list of bags still available in these two colors and fabrics here.

We’ve decided to retire the Night Flight Travel Duffel. Read all about it here.

Subscribe: Blog Posts

You’ll receive an email every time we publish a new blog post. That’s about 3-4 times a week.

Recommended Posts