#BotteTravels

Rahim Siddiq's Park Adventures

 

Recently, we partnered up with Rahim Soddiq, an amazing photographer based in Los Angeles, and asked him to take our products for a spin during his epic trip to Yellowstone National Park. Our design team took a trip to Yellowstone late last year as an inspiration retreat (read the story here), and we we're excited to see what Rahim would discover while he was there. We're not going to lie, we're a bit jealous that he saw more wildlife than we managed, but the experience was similar...amazing. Read Rahim's thoughts on how he travels. 

As a photographer, you're probably always carrying your equipment so that you're ready for the next shot. What do you typically carry with you (lenses, camera, flash, etc) and how did the Nomad/Weekender work with your equipment?

Each trip takes me on a different adventure. What typically stays the same is the few things I carry in my bag while on these adventures. When I took the Nomad out to the depths in Yellowstone, I made sure to keep my Canon 6d strapped with my 50mm lens inside the bag for quick access in case I saw wild bison or blowing geysers. Also, I carry my journal, where I typically write about my experiences to preserve the memories, my phone, extra battery packs, pocket knife, fire starter, flashlight, other essential survival gear, and bear spray (which I spent $50 on, don't know if it would have worked but it gave me confidence haha). The Nomad was great to use because it was easily accessible to the essentials I needed when going on these hikes. It also was aesthetically pleasing when taking pictures across these vast landscapes. Big thumbs up for that. 

What was the most striking feature of Yellowstone?

Definitely had to be the Boiling River. This river was part of Yellowstone's natural geysers and hot springs. A mix of boiling water with cold water created a warm mixture of water where steam filled the air around. This area was free for people to swim in, but to be careful of not crossing into the boiling or cold water. My buddies and I jumped into the river during a blizzard and stayed in until the blizzard passed through. One of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. 

It looks like you did a lot of hiking, although the Nomad wasn't really designed as a hiking bag, how versatile was it?

Surprisingly enough, the Nomad was exactly what I needed when I went hiking through Yellowstone. The bag was easily accessible for my camera, very lightweight and versatile, and had many pockets. The Nomad was really photogenic as well when taking portraits of me and my friends along the landscapes Yellowstone had to offer.

What essentials do you always carry with you when you're traveling?

Some essentials include my camera (duh), journal, tripod, extra batteries, headlamp and flashlight.

What's the next travel destination you have planned?

Right now, I'm craving for a backpacking Europe trip over summer. Then again, I still have to save up for that, haha.

 

Design is all in the details.

 

Good design gets out of your way. It stands just close enough to be immediately visible, but not close enough that it gets in the way of the original purpose of the product. That's the theory our designers adopted when designing the Weekender. We asked, how can a bag so vital to our travels be designed in such a focused way that it appears it has a singular purpose. What we came up with is the Slouch Weekender. 

Each Weekender is made by hand in our American workshop where we can keep an eye on quality, dignity of the artisans, and working conditions. And because each bag is individually made by hand, no two are exactly the same. Your Weekender is truly your Weekender. We used an ancient material for the exterior, premium grade "A" burlap sourced responsibly. Burlap is one of the most sustainable and natural materials known to man. When properly grown and harvested, it is extremely resilient and beautiful. We then double layered the burlap and lined the bag with durable 11 oz. canvas to add even more durability. 

For the finishing touches, we used our amazing Italian leather for the handles and details. This is the same glove-soft, premium aniline dyed leather we use for our other products. And we finished the bag with brass zippers made to our specifications in Los Angeles. 

When you look at the Weekender, you see a bag with a singular focus...no distractions. Only one zipper for the main compartment and a material that is both, beautiful yet ready to take all the abuse of travelling. But dig deeper and you'll find the leather hidden ticket & cash pocket, the two side pockets offering convenient storage of quick access items, and a construction that is carefully designed to be effortlessly flexible. 

We'll explore how our designers designed the bag, how we selected and worked with our manufacturer, and how the Slouch Weekender ultimately ends up in your hands. Stay tuned.  

Explore the lookbook here.

Shop the Weekender

 

Every woman is an artist.

 

Let's face it ladies, we may not all be great at painting abstract landscapes or watercolor flowers, but we're artists! Whether you like the natural look, the barely there look, or the obviously there look, putting on makeup is an art. Here at Botte, we believe every artist should have the right tools. This includes our perfectly simple Artist's Case. Made from beautiful Italian leather that will only age better with time, this bag is the perfect carry all for all your makeup brushes, liners, and everything else you may use. 

And while you're at it, get one or two more Artist's Cases for your pens, pencils and markers. You can't have enough of these wonderful organizers. 

--  Shop Now  --
--  Shop Now  --
 

Majestic Beauty

 

We began our trip to Yellowstone national park by flying into Jackson Hole Airport, a small, but quaint airport that hits you in the face with cowboy themed designs and frontier inspired architecture to really hammer home that you’re in the middle of no where. Once you walk out of the airport, that feeling intensifies. There is nothing around for miles except for mountains, prairies, and clear sky.

We set out to Jackson, Wyoming, a fifteen minute shuttle ride, to pick up our rental car, and start our journey in earnest. Of course we wanted to do everything right away, but first, a matter of grave importance demanded our attention. We were hungry. We found our way to the town center, and proceeded to look at every restaurant’s menu. You’ll notice immediately that pretty much every place that sells food prominently features buffalo or elk, or both. So we sat down for some good old fashion buffalo burgers, which were delicious. Hunger out of the way, we set our sights on Yellowstone proper. An hour and a half drive from town, which was filled with much discussion of Dr. Dre’s new album, and whether Drake was an actual rapper or not (he totally isn’t). Through the ticket station we went and were now fully immersed in the majesty that is Yellowstone National Park. What can I say friends, we went looking for inspiration, and we found it in spades. Picturesque landscapes everywhere we looked. Wildlife was abundant, the weather was a perfect mid to low 70’s. The scenery was unbeatable.

We stayed for a total of six days, in which we didn’t even scratch the surface of Yellowstone had to offer. We visited many of the touristy attractions while we were there, but the majority of our time was spent exploring and taking in the environment. We hiked, and picniced, but most of all, we just absorbed what the park had to offer. I noticed that people are just going from destination to destination there, from one scenic view point to the next. Snapping a couple of pictures or recording some video, and then moving on. This struck me as odd. Sure, we photographed everything, but we took some time to enjoy it without a screen to hinder our view.

There was a moment on the last day in the park that will stick with me forever. We had seen solitary Bison here and there, which we found odd as they usually travel in a herd. We had all but given up on seeing a full herd of Bison, when we went around a curve, and suddenly, an entire herd was sprawled out in the valley below us. We sat there and watched, not speaking, just watching. Admiring the sight of fifty or so animals that you can’t really anywhere else. 

And that’s what going to these places is all about. Seeing things you don’t get to everyday. It was with heavy hearts that we departed for home. Our Botte luggage in tow, which performed admirably on our journey, our mood and creative thinking recharged and enhanced, we arrived at our respective locations. Navigating my way through LAX after such a peaceful and serene trip was tough, but I did it with a lightness in my step. Eager to put my thoughts to paper, and to discuss new design avenues with the team. Everybody needs a little more time with nature, it’s the best medicine a doctor could prescribe.