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CUSTOMER STORIES PROJECT

We interviewed Archie at Bruntsfield Evangelical Church in Edinburgh.

Tell us about yourself. Where do you live, and what you do?

I work for the Bruntsfield Evangelical Church in Edinburgh, and live in Leith. That means I spend most of my time reading the Bible - with people, or on my own - in order to teach people about it on a Sunday which is a real joy.

What are you passionate about and what keeps you motivated?

I'm gonna struggle not to be too evangelistic as I say this, but I'm extremely passionate about the Bible and about Jesus. I love telling people about them. It's why I do what I do. It motivates me because of the difference that I think it makes to life today.

I really believe that Jesus can transform lives. Not that he heals every disease or anything like that, but that life really is better with him. Then I guess then there's the eternal motivation too, the question we all have, "what happens when we die?" Jesus makes all the difference in the world in answering that question for me.

I also just love people. I love spending time with people. I love seeing people grow and get better. And part of my job is walking alongside people as they do that, which is great.

Walk us through a typical day in your life?

I'm married to Katie. We've recently got a puppy, six months old. So my life has been shaped very significantly around that at the moment. Getting up early, taking the dog out… I've actually really enjoyed having that kind of routine in my life. I'm a routine kind of guy and to have that to get out of bed for is really helpful.

My day-to-day can vary quite a lot depending on what's going on in people's lives. Occasionally I get a call and have to drop everything and go to someone, but generally speaking, a lot of my day is reading and teaching the Bible. I spend quite a lot of time at my desk doing that and preparing for that, or in some of my favourite coffee shops around about Edinburgh. In fact, I've just come from meeting a guy who's going through some stuff and it's great to just meet with him for an hour, have a coffee, catch up, and then just encourage him with God's word.

"I really like well-made things that are going to last, things that can be repaired, things that are going to grow with you, and things that are useful."

How did you first find out about Trakke and how did your first bag enter your life?

I was at university in Glasgow. I can't remember exactly where I first saw them, but I do know that it didn't take long before I really wanted one. Eventually a few years later, I bought my first bag, which is the one right in front of you, it's called the Fingal.

They still make a version of it though the one that I have has a slightly different finish and is a different colour from the one they sell now.

What really drew me to it were a few things that are important to me. Trakke are obviously focused on sustainability, and I really like well-made things that are going to last, things that can be repaired, things that are going to grow with you, and things that are useful. So all of those things drew me to Trakke.

How do the bags you have fit into your life?

The Fingal, I literally use that every day. It's not a massive bag, but it's a good size for taking into the hills for a day trip and packing an extra layer and some lunch. But I also use it for work. I can fit my laptop, an iPad, and my lunch in it, which is great.

I recently also got a Largo sling, so I'm still working out exactly how I'm going to use it. Some days I'll be able to just take the sling with my iPad and a portable keyboard. As you can wear the sling on your front, I'll probably take both quite a lot. Which is good because that adds a little bit of capacity for me.

Which probably means I'll be sending my Fingal back to Trakke for repair less, as I'll be less tempted to overfill it!

What's important to you when it comes to adding something like a backpack into your everyday routine?

I like stuff to be well-made. I want it to last, and I like things that become unique over time. It's the same reason I like raw denim, right? I like stuff that's going to fade in a way that it slowly becomes yours. I like that kind of story.

When it comes to buying stuff the aesthetics are also important. I like things to look nice and Trakke bags look great. The thing that really drew me to the Largo sling was the accessibility of the pockets, and having easy access to everyday carry items that you use all the time.

I also love Trakke's free repairs. With my Fingal, if I'd had a similar backpack and it got a tear in it (it wasn't a massive hole, but it was going to get bigger) I probably would've ditched it and bought a new backpack. It might have ended up in a landfill instead of sending it in for repair. So that service is phenomenal.

You might think, "Oh, I'm spending however much money on a bag" but if they're going to repair it for free, then you're really getting multiple bags for the price, which is, I don't want to just be a Trakke fanboy, but that really is great.

Tell us something you're looking forward to in the year ahead?

Life's pretty busy at the moment. Work is pretty full-on, and I also play quite a lot of rugby. I got injured late last year and haven't played since, but should be back next weekend. I dislocated my ankle pretty badly, so that's why I've been out for so long. And that's just going to make my life even busier when I go back to playing.

My wife has gone back to university to become a nurse, so this summer there's a three-week window where she's not on placement, and I'm going to try and take three weeks of holiday in a row. My parents live up North, so we'll probably try to get up there and spend some time on mountains and beaches. So I'm really looking forward to that.