A Travel Bag Company Founded by Two Best Friends
It all started with a pair of bad bags.
When Elizabeth and Connie met in business school, they bonded instantly over fashion. Their shared aesthetic: A love for clean lines and a flair for simple sophistication.
Following graduation, their paths diverged as each pursued her passions.
Years later, a Vegas reunion was planned. The women were to meet at the airport.
Upon laying eyes on each other for the first time in years, Elizabeth and Connie had the same horrified thought: “Why is she carrying that bag?”
Sure, the intervening years had brought new responsibilities, high-powered jobs, boyfriends who would become husbands, mortgages and more.
But the bags that the women had packed for the trip -- a simple nylon duffel and an uninspiring canvas gym bag -- gave no indication of the passion each knew the other had for eye-catching design.
At this stage of their lives, functionality was important. Convenience was key. But shouldn’t there be room for a bit of style, too?
Filling a Market Void for Stylish Women
After a few glasses of wine, Elizabeth and Connie gingerly approached the topic that had been weighing on each of their minds: carry-on luggage.
They were intrigued to discover that they had each been searching for a bag in the functional luxury space, but with no luck. What was the travel bag for women who carefully select their outfits and shoes every morning? What was the brand for women who seek the quality, craftsmanship and value that flashy designer bags lack?
That was the night that ectu was born. Following months of thorough research, sourcing trips and negotiations with vendors, Elizabeth and Connie had an Italian-made genuine leather bag prototype that suited the women’s simple sophistication far better than the gym bag and duffel had.
Simplicity is Sophistication
That first prototype -- of ectu’s signature Palermo weekender bag -- made quite a splash. Elizabeth and Connie took it out for trips to Singapore, New York, San Diego and more.
Their aim was to validate that the bag was up to the task of global travel. As frequent flyers, Elizabeth and Connie knew what to build into the design: a handy zip-around closure, supple Italian calfskin leather treated for durability and pockets sized and placed for easy access to travel necessities, for starters.
But what they hadn’t planned for was the response they got to its aesthetic. On jet bridges, in parking lots and in crowds of people domestically and abroad -- the Palermo turned heads. Compliments flowed freely, and women of all ages demanded to know what the bag’s brand was.
The Palermo captures attention because it’s an understated statement piece. Its clean, modern silhouette is paired with just the right amount of gold to make it feel instantly classic.
Elizabeth and Connie knew they had something special.
Sustainability Isn’t a Buzzword -- It’s a Responsibility
For women-owned ectu, sustainability is a founding value.
Elizabeth and Connie have carefully considered each aspect of production, from the materials used to the location of manufacture and beyond.
As a travel bag company, ectu feels strongly about the importance of leading by example and promoting practices that contribute to a healthier environment.
For example, ectu only works with tanneries that are Leather Working Group (LWG) certified. All tanneries certified by LWG must undergo continuing onsite audits that include waste management, usage of environment resources such as water and energy, level of emissions to the environment, and traceability.
And most importantly, ectu practices the ultimate sustainability practice by moving away from trends in favor of classic quality pieces that can last a lifetime.
By the end of 2021, ectu pledges that 100% of the materials it uses will come from vendors and factories that are certified for their sustainability practices.