We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Chan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my own business because everyone told me I should. I had been making some bags on the side for fun. I mostly made bags for friends or for myself. I was working a full time job at a bag company at the time and was comfortable with where I was at.

Eventually I got laid off and a couple months afterwards of applying to new jobs, I finally decided that I should just start my own business. I always had ideas about bags I wanted to make and now seemed like the perfect time to make a business out of it and try it out. Everyone had been telling me to do so for years and at that point in my life I had nothing to really loose.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a designer and bike bag maker. I come from an Industrial Design background, which is what I studied at art school. During my time at school I learned how to sew and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to focus my designs in soft goods.

It wasn’t easy to get to where I am now, mostly because of my own self doubt. I left art school feeling very defeated and lacking confidence. I stuck with it though because I felt like I had to try to make attending an expensive art school worth it. I still loved designing, I just didn’t know if I was good at it. Overtime starting my own business and getting to design what I wanted help me regain my confidence as a designer. I was happier getting to do work that I was excited about.

Being a bike bag maker allows me to blend two of my passions into one. There’s not that many female or BIPOC bike bag makers. Coming from a different background that isn’t the norm in the industry allows for a different perspective and insights into designing bags.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being a cyclist, most of my best friends are also cyclists. So there’ll be a lot of bike riding involved!

We’d most likely ride across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County. Marin has a great variety of riding available, whether it be road, gravel or mountain biking. From the Marin Headlands that have sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, all the way up to Mt. Tamalpais where you can see out to the Pacific Ocean in one direction to the bay and the East Bay from the other.

Within San Francisco, we’d ride through Golden Gate Park or out to Ocean Beach along the Great Highway. They’re easy to bike out to and fun to hang out at (if it’s not too foggy!).

Some of my favorite places to eat and drink in SF are Golden Boy Pizza (North Beach), Nute’s (Bernal Heights), Z & Y (Chinatown), Hook Fish (Outer Sunset), Arizmendi (Mission/Inner Sunset), Zeitgeist (Mission), and the Page (Lower Haight).

I think some of the best places in SF are it’s parks. Parks such as Golden Gate Park, Presidio, Sutro Baths and Dolores are great and more accessible, but there are all these smaller little parks tucked away up into the neighborhoods that also offer great views and different vantage points of the city.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to all those friends who encouraged me to go for it. I didn’t think I had anything new to offer to the world of bike bag, but my friends really felt like I did. Even as simple as telling me to go talk to certain people help cultivate the idea that starting my own business was the way to go.

I also want to give a special shoutout to my partner Chris. He has always been someone I’ve been able to discuss my designs with and receive feedback from. He’s also my biggest hype person when I’m not able to talk about my work with others.

Website: www.tunitascarryall.com

Instagram: @tunitas.carryall

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.