Every journey has its battles – we knew that the moment we embarked on this business journey to create the Top Shelf camera bag and to revolutionize the photography industry. However, we just didn’t know the extent of it all. The ten years behind Bevis Gear came with its fair share of setbacks and challenges, but with ultimate triumphs and victories. Either way, we’re just glad we made it this far.
The Start of it All
The roots of our Top Shelf camera bag dates back to 2011. With a $10,000 loan from our mother and an idea in mind from his own struggles as a photographer, Matt took it upon himself to patent the Top Shelf. The convenience and practicality of a portable camera bag didn’t exist in the industry. At the time, he shared the idea with an acquaintance and his father, and they wanted in on the company. Little did he know this business partnership would turn into 5 years of legal battles, lawyer consultations, and bitter ends. We were going to lose the company to them.
After years of negotiations to win back what was ours, in 2018 we finally got 100% ownership of the company. Those five years of sleepless nights was all worth it to get back our dream.
Shortly afterwards, Matt spent an entire year in Vietnam working with manufacturers to figure out all the specs and details of the bag. Prototype after prototype, he wouldn’t settle until the bag was as efficient as it could be. If a feature wasn’t up to par, back to the drawing board he went. Through these alterations the sling strap, then the table platform system, and open layout compartments began to unfold.
But just as we hired a marketing firm and prepared for launch day, the pandemic hit. This also put a pause on our launch day. So we fine-tuned a few details here and there which brings us to February 2021, the launch of our Kickstarter campaign.
In our campaign we outlined every spec about Top Shelf that makes it one of a kind – everything from the 1.1 second camera equipment access to the open layout for all camera gear. Suddenly we gained more organic traffic than we could ever imagine. In just one month we raised over $1.2 million on our Kickstarter campaign and Top Shelf received the recognition we only dreamed it would get. On top of that, more than 3,500 people have backed our project on Kickstarter. This means we have over 3,500 people who see the purpose, benefit, and convenience in Top Shelf for their photography ventures. From our end we wanted to find a way to give back all the love we received. That’s why our campaign pledges offer our supporters first access to the Top Shelf camera bag along with a generous discount.
And this is only the start. While we close off a decade long chapter, we can’t wait for what’s next. We’re sure there’ll be many more challenges and hurdles but our excitement for the potential, growth and all that Bevis Gear can become overshadows that. We just hope you’ll all join us for the ride.