October 21, 2020, is when I started to put pen to paper on what would be Danú hydration bags. I had talked and talked about wanting this bag in my own life, every time adding a new feature that would make a hydration bag easier to handle and nicer to look at.

Time was an interesting concept at this point. Not only were we seven months into a pandemic which left little to do for entertainment, I was (am) working my day job on the night shift. With my job and teams based in the US and me in Amsterdam, I tend to start work around 2 p.m. and work well into the evening. Sure, some late-night calls can be brutal, but for the most part, I’ve been able to use the better part of the day to collaborate with the very small army of freelancers I’ve engaged to make Danú a reality (Upwork for the win).

Getting the design right has been the biggest and most important hurdle. It took about 2–3 months of iterating to lock in the blueprint, and lots of conversations with designers and manufacturers to learn what was possible and what wasn’t. Once I was confident in the big picture of what I was creating, it was time to decide on the little details that would make this bag stand apart — the zippers, pulls, lining, pockets, webbing, fixtures.

Final first sketches of the bag

Nearly four months to the day that I created a Google Drive folder called ‘Business,’ I received the first physical sample of the bag. I was so nervous to see it in person that I stared at the unopened package for hours. Once I finally opened it — it was pretty damn cool to touch and feel the idea.

I’m really pleased with the first sample and have been wearing it around Amsterdam to test it. It’s lightweight, super comfortable and the function is nearly there. For the next sample, I’ll test out new fabric, a new access point for the reservoir that will make filling even easier, and some cosmetic edits to make the bag as sleek as it is in my head.

It’s been an exciting few weeks receiving the first sample and stepping out into the world with my brand. The messages of support, encouragement, excitement are giving me life and I thank everyone who has sent a note, double-tapped, or left a clap.

Sample number two is in the works and I hope to share more soon!

A page from the final tech pack for the first Danú Bag sample

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Hopeful entrepreneur