#Backpacks are a commonplace and functional item that few people regard as anything more than a means to carry books. However, a company known as Bixbee has recently launched a line of innovative backpacks that inspire children’s imaginations and support charitable causes. Bixbee backpacks are very lightweight and are tailor-designed to fit unique statures. The backpacks were initially designed after Luis Garcia, the company’s co-founder and CEO, spent four months traveling and volunteering at schools and orphanages across the globe. Luis saw how many children lacked basic #School Supplies and vowed to help them. Hence, Bixbee backpacks now adhere to the "Buy One, Give One (BOGO)” movement and whenever a backpack is purchased another one—filled with school supplies—is donated to a child in need.

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Luis recently discussed his company and its charitable mission.

Inspiration

Blasting News (BN): How did you get interested in a career in luxury design?

Luis Garcia (LG): I began drawing at a very young age. When I took my first commercial art class I felt I had a knack for creating functional art. I focused on packaging and product design while at Parsons School of Design and that led to positions at various luxury brands. Some of my notable projects were for Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Bobbi Brown cosmetics and Sephora.

BN: What prompted you to start Bixbee?

LG: I was volunteering in India with orphan girls and noticed that they so lacked school supplies that they had to share a pencil. I wanted to create a brand that focused on kids’ products and that the purchase of these products help alleviate the burden of buying school supplies for families living in poverty.

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We currently have 12 collections featuring backpacks with wings, animal packs, a camo collection and a sparkalicious collection, to name a few. I am super excited about our 2017 designs especially the Funtastical and Meme Space Odyssey collections. Kids are an endless source of inspiration for me. Their filter less comments and vast imaginations are what sparks ideas for products and themes.

BN: You traveled around the world a lot and saw some poverty that really affected you. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

LG: I volunteered in several countries during my “career break” and spent time with kids that were abandoned and abused, but yet filled with joy and humility. You cannot come back from a trip like that unchanged. That is why I switched my focus from luxury products to creating Bixbee.

Charity

BN: You decided to start a BOGO program where every backpack you sell results in a free one being given to a child in need. What has the response to this been like?

LG: The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

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Today’s savvy consumers are not only looking for value but also virtue in the products they purchase. Our very first donation of schoolbags with supplies went to the orphan girls of Homes of Hope India where I had volunteered. My intention had come to fruition and seeing the effects of that first donation propelled my desire to do even more.

BN: You fill needy children’s backpacks with supplies. What kinds of things can they expect to get?

LG: The supplies vary from location to location but in general they can range from school supplies and clothing to hygienic supplies. This is achieved by partnering with vetted ngo’s that source the goods locally and deliver the goods to these in need.

BN: What countries do you think need the most aid?

LG: We currently have some amazing partnerships with ngo’s in the U.S., Philippines and Thailand and are working on potential partnerships in LATAM, Africa and India. I attend the donations when I can and when I do its incredibly moving and gratifying.

BN: How do you envision Bixbee evolving over the coming decade?

LG: Our vision is be a globally recognized brand known for quality, feel good products that embrace the imagination. We are currently working on adding luggage to our collections. #charity