Archive for category Jansport

SUITS NOT REQUIRED:JanSport’s Skip Yowell Shares Experiences

Climbing up 14,410 ft.  Mt. Rainier in Seattle, WA may not be your typical business function, but for JanSport Co-founder and Vice President of Global Public Relations, Skip Yowell, an ascent to the United States’ most glaciated mountain is just another day at the office.

“JanSport represents fun and discovery,” shares Yowell, who wrote the business book and memoir ‘The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder & Other Mountains.’ “We encourage everyone, including our business associates, to discover the outdoors.” The annual JanSport-sponsored Mt. Rainier climb started as a way for JanSport dealers and sales people to see the product in action and better understand their customers’ needs.

JanSport’s avant garde business strategies are also featured in the “The Skip Yowell Story,” a film that follows JanSport’s evolution from a three-person operation housed in Seattle to one of the world’s most recognized backpack brands and offers Yowell’s refreshing business insights.

“We started with a vision and having a vision in the Sixties wasn’t all that uncommon. Everybody was having visions and mystical experiences,” shares Yowell. “So, when Murray Pletz said that he had a vision of building better frame packs and selling them to climbers, I wasn’t shocked.”

A loud and proud product of the “flower power” era, Yowell believes that JanSport’s success demonstrates how conquering corporate America isn’t a matter of wearing the right business suit. “Sure, we had the suits, but we were not businessmen in the traditional sense,” says Yowell. “To pretend otherwise was to be unfaithful to who we really were – slightly irreverent hippies on a mission to make the best packs in the world.”

Yowell explains that for JanSport, the bottom line is that it pays to pay attention to cultural trends, not simply to be “trendy,” but to meet their customers’ ever changing needs. “JanSport represents a lifestyle of fun and freedom and we continuously innovate to make sure our customers are able to enjoy that lifestyle,” says Yowell. “It’s that willingness to innovate, to take a risk that makes people successful.”

And take a risk they did. In 1970’s, with a blizzard raging around them, Yowell and the rest of the JanSport team went on a 21-mile cross-country hike in Blewett Pass, Washington that led to the creation of the Trail Dome tent – the product that put JanSport on the map. According to Yowell, the creation of other mountaineer essentials such as the suspension flexible frame pack and the panel load daypack, was also largely due to their own outdoor experiences.

Listening to other outdoor adventure junkies is also part of JanSport’s game plan. “On our climbs, we get to meet people who use our products,” says Yowell. “Their feedback helps us add more fun and fashion to the function of our gear.”

Next year JanSport will celebrate its 44th anniversary as it continues to change the outdoor industry landscape by introducing innovative products inspired by current trends. In 2006, JanSport was the first to launch an iPod line called LiveWire before the digital music player trend started. The line included several packs equipped with Bluetooth connectivity.

Despite its success, JanSport has not lost its pioneering spirit. JanSport sponsors outdoor programs and climbing expeditions in various far flung areas, these include Bhutan, Kenya and Mt Everest. “Each JanSport pack is infused with the freedom-loving, trail-blazing lifestyle of frontiersmen,” adds Yowell. “Encouraging people to have adventures remains JanSport’s reason for being.”

The Primer Group of Companies is the retail maverick behind JanSport® Philippines, it is the licensed and exclusive distributor of JanSport® bags spanning the entire archipelago and across Asia.

About JanSport®

Founded in 1967, JanSport is the original outdoor gear Brand that equips people globally with quality backpacks and travel gear. JanSport stands for fun and discovery.  For more information, visit

About The Primer Group of Companies

The Primer Group of Companies was founded in 1985 and is in the business of distributing, retailing and licensing consumer and industrial products in the Philippines through its affiliates. The Primer Group is composed of three major business groups: Consumer products such as footwear, apparel, bags, luggage, accessories, etc.


For more information, please contact:

Rlyn Doroteo, Brand Associate

Tel. Nos.: 567-0611 local 510

Mobile: 0917-886-8823


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Their Bag, Their Story

For international outdoor gear brand, JanSport, every pack tells a story. Every scruff and scratch on a JanSport back pack recounts volumes of adventures. 

Today, JanSport unveils a bag that features Filipino’s collective story with colorful symbols of Philippine history and culture on the surface of a classic JanSport Superbreak backpack– the JanSport Pilipinas Bag.

Designed by award-winning artist Rommel Joson of OsoMundo, the JanSport Pilipinas Bag is based on the red and blue fields of the Philippine flag. Inspired by tribal tattoos and the maximalism of Philippine design, Joson created a dense visual interplay of contemporary and historical Filipino icons.

On the top portion of the bag, three yellow stars blaze, symbolizing the country’s main groups of islands. Below them, a  horse-drawn calesa brings to mind the genteel turn of the century Philippines while 1521, the year the country was made known to the Western world by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sits comfortably beside the number 63, the Philippine’s country code.

The Winners are in the Bag

To celebrate the brand’s first Filipino-designed bag, JanSport rolled out the “What’s Your Story?” contest. Participants were asked to share what was uniquely Filipino in their JanSport bag by sending in photo essays from May 1 to June 30.

Four lucky winners of JanSport Pilipinas bags were selected : Ma. Edlyn C. Madlangsakay, Catherine Carlos, Maria Cecilia Tan Velasquez and Ernest Khan.

Ma. Edlyn C. Madlangsakay, a struggling 19 year old student from theTechnological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) narrates how she sells native goods like hand-woven abaca wallets to support her education in her photo essay “Tampipi”.

Madlangsakay, who hails from Bulacan, carries her abaca wares along with her school things in her JanSport bag. For her, these abaca wallets represent Filipinos’ unique brand of resilience. “I believe I can endure everything to finish my business course,” shares Madlangsakay.

For ethno-arts missionary Catherine Carlos, her JanSport bag carries all the things she needs to minister to indigenous people in foreign countries.

“There are so many conveniences we take for granted but are absolutely essential in the mission field,” shares Carlos. “My JanSport bag usually contains plain table salt, a lighter, some crackers and a devotional book on Filipina missionaries.”

“Filipinos always bring baon or food to work or school,” shares 27 year old Maria Cecilia Tan Velasquez, whose photo essay “Baon” illustrates Filipinos’ love for food to a T. A medical transcriptionist by day and a blogger by night, Velasquez says that when a Filipino carries a bag, it usually has food in it. “If you happen to pass Filipinos eating, they automatically invite you to eat with them,” adds Velasquez. “Sharing food is a way for us to be hospitable.”

Ernest Khan, a 22 year old yo-yo enthusiast from Manila, is proud to carry around one of the world’s oldest toys in his JanSport bag. In his photo essay, Khan proudly shares that the yo-yo was invented by Filipino Pedro Flores in the 1920s. “I’m never without my yo-yo. I suggest you pick one up too and rekindle your inner child,” enthuses Khan.

Each JanSport bag truly tells a unique story. To check out the latest JanSport bags, head on to Bratpack and selected The Travel Club stores. JanSport is proudly represented and distributed in the Philippines by the Primer Group of Companies. For more information on, log on to

About JanSport®

Founded in 1967, JanSport is the original outdoor gear Brand that equips people globally with quality backpacks and travel gear. JanSport stands for fun and discovery.  For more information, visit

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A Bag that Speaks Volumes

JanSport, the original outdoor gear Brand that equips people globally with quality backpacks, travel gear and collegiate apparel, today unveiled a line of bags featuring Philippine history and culture, encouraging Filipinos to tell their stories.

JanSport believes that bags carry records of our adventures. If bags could talk, they would recount the stories behind every scruff, scratch and article it carried.  Today, JanSport unveils the limited edition JanSport Pilipinas bag, its tribute to the Filipinos’ courageous spirit and collective story through the nation’s history. The JanSport Pilipinas bag features colorful symbols of Philippine history and culture printed on the surface of a classic JanSport SuperBreak backpack.

Designed by acclaimed artist Rommel Joson of OsoMundo, the JanSport Pilipinas bag design is structured in the form of a Philippine flag. Icons from Philippine culture, significant historical dates, as well as images from everyday Filipino life make up the bag’s dense visual interplay.

Joson emblazoned the year 1521 with distinction, being the year the country was made known to the Western world by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The number 63, for its part, refers to the globally assigned country code, two vital digits for modern-day communication.

Three yellow stars shine with pride as they do in the flag, symbolizing the three largest islands of archipelagic Philippines. The horse-drawn calesa, evokes images of an era when maidens with Spanish mantillas were wooed by young lads professing love everlasting.

“You could say that you’ve got the country on your back, every time you bring it along,” says Joson about the bag. “I included as many elements as I could, using a mix of historical events and cultural icons.”

The backpack comes in four cool colors: Black, White, Downtown Brown and Electric Purple.

Tell Your Story, Win a Bag To make JanSport Pilipinas Bag’s introductory splash more exciting, the company is rolling out  a contest  dubbed “What’s Your Story?” It encourages everyone to share their stories by taking a picture of something uniquely Filipino in their JanSport bag.

From May 1 to June 30, members of the JanSport Pilipinas Bag’s Facebook Fan page can send their photo essays to Entries should include the following: photo, a photo narrative of no more than 150 words, contestant’s name, e-mail address, Facebook name and mobile number. The four lucky winners of the limited edition JanSport Pilipinas Bag will be announced on July 7, 2010.

The JanSport Pilipinas bag is available at Bratpack and selected The Travel Club stores nationwide. For more information on the “What’s Your Story?” contest log on to

About JanSport®

Founded in 1967, JanSport is the original outdoor gear Brand that equips people globally with quality backpacks and travel gear. JanSport stands for fun and discovery.  For more information, visit

JanSport is exclusively distributed by Primer Group of Companies.

JanSport Pilipinas Bag is available at Bratpack stores and selected The Travel Club stores nationwide.

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