Wildcard Wednesday: The Final Countdown

3 DAYS - 16 hours, 40 minutes, & 3 seconds. 

Calling all adventurers, hikers, and trip-takers!! We have big news.

Hint: there's a coupon code at the end of the post. So you know it's good. 

The School Yard Backpack and Weekend Warrior are coming out in less than a week—this Sunday, March 1st! These bags were made for you to carry your unbelievably heavy school books or adventure gear to your weekend getaway in style. They make your adventures come alive!

Grace's weekend adventure ^ 

The Weekend Warrior 

Product Details

  • 20” Wide x 12” Tall x 8” Deep
  • Interior Zipper Shoe Pockets & Exterior Zipper Pocket 
  • Nickel Plated Swivel-Hook Lanyards // Poly-Cotton Webbing 
  • Durable Cotton Duck Canvas 
  • Stain Resistant & Water Repellent  

This bag is a good idea when…

  • School is unbearable and a road trip to Nashville is the only thing that will make it better (not that I know from personal experience…)
  • You need more room than a backpack offers—but a suitcase is just no. too much. 
  • You’re going on an adventure that requires a lot of gadgets and tools !! (pockets on pockets)
  • The old, moth-ball filled duffle in your closet just isn't cutting it anymore.
  • Socially responsible products are your thing. 

Adventures we recommend when carrying this bag:


The Schoolyard 

Product details 

  • 16” Tall x 12” Tall x 5” Deep
  • Hidden Front Zipper Pocket + Exterior Zipper Pouch Pocket 
  • Padded Laptop Sleeve (comin in CLUTCH with the backpack organization) 
  • Durable Cotton Duck Canvas 
  • Naturally Stain Resistant & Water Repellent  

This bag a good idea when… 

  • You’re making the 30 minute walk to your 8am class (in the rain).
  • You have so many papers that a little backpack-organization is all you really want in life.
  • You need a hands free bag to go on some serious adventures (without the worry of staining your bag…because #stainresistant) 
  • You want to be apart of impacting in the world.

Adventures we recommend when carrying this bag: 

  • Biking around Austin--we recommend Shoal Creek!
  • Hanging out with Austin’s coolest social enterprises... (@Raven+Lily, @Teysha, @DominicanJoes)
  • Taking a spontaneous trip to Portland, Oregon to hike Forest Park !!! 


Y'all rock. Enjoy 15% off all pre-orders using the code february15 - good for only 3 more days!! Preorder today!

Thanks friends!



Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015

Music Monday: Bree Warren

Introducing one of ESPEROS’ new International Ambassadors--meet Bree Warren, everyone!

Bree in Joshua Tree National park

Bree is an incredibly talented model and we couldn't be more stoked to work with her. We chatted with Bree to get to know her better, here's what we learned about how she carries hope! 






Where do you call home? At the moment Williamsburg, New York - but home to me is still Brisbane, Australia!

What does carry hope mean to you?

It means to spread the love, in everything you do. 

Why is education important to you?

To me, education means so much more than books and algebra. It's about having an open mind and having the vision to see the bigger picture. You need to learn and explore in order to grow. Knowledge is power. 

What is something that people don’t usually know about you? 

I was bitten by a dolphin when I was 10! Not even kidding.

What would you say is your favorite place in Australia? Noosa Heads, Australia. I know Australia is such a long way for most people, but it's so worth it! 

Favorite type of social media? Instagram. I love it so much! Shameless. 


How long have you been an artist/model? 4 years


What is a song/band you are currently loving?


 Ive been listening to all this old Razorlight.

I have no idea what happened to them these days but their old stuff is great. 


Bree Warren, everyone! We are going to have a great time with Bree, we can already tell.

Follow her on Instagram @breekwarren - she’s #artsy on the real. {Also Twitter or Facebook}

Photos of Bree with our classic backpack in Joshua Tree State Park were taken by the talented Lily Cummings. Check out her amazing work here!



Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015 Intern

February 23, 2015 by Oliver Shuttlesworth

Friendly Friday: The Giving Keys

{We have the key to Ryan Gosling's heart...keep reading...}

6 billion people on this planet, and not one of us has the exact same story. We each go through seasons of incredible hardship and suffering (we would be lying if we said we didn’t); we face great times and not-so-great times, each shaping us into the unique beings we are.

“Like old keys, we might feel used and discarded. But we all have the ability to unlock potential. Potential to transform our pain into stories of redemption.”—Caitlin Crosby.

Seven years ago, Caitlyn Crosby began engraving and selling keys with inspiring words like fearless, strength, peace, faith, hope. She wanted the keys to be reused by each wearer, passed on and re-purposed over and over again. And thus was born, The Giving Keys. Here’s the idea: the wearer of each engraved key will wear the key until they meet someone who needs the inspiring word more than they do. Not only do you benefit from the message on each key, Giving Keys creates the opportunity to pay that forward to someone else. 

BUT WAIT—THERE’S MORE. The makers of each Giving Key aren’t your average college grads, each key is made by men and women who are looking to transition out of homelessness. Yep. Unreal. What started as a hotel key around Caitlyn’s neck has now transformed into an incredibly successful non-profit where ex convicts, the homeless, business experts and everyone in between come together as a family. 

Today the keys are worn by supporters across the globe, including Ryan Gosling, Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Ryan Lochte (hook 'em), Chad Michael Murray, and myself. Stars and commoners alike have realized the power behind The Giving Key's purpose, and made the choice to pay it forward. So, if you've been waiting for a chance to ask Ryan Gosling or T Swift to hang out--this is your chance! Just start talking to them about The Giving Keys. 


Caitlyn Crosby tells her story on the Giving Keys:


If this gets your heart beating fast, know you’re not alone. You can read more incredible pay-it-forward stories on their website here, or add your own giving keys story here !! 


Thanks for reading, everyone. Happy Friday!! Make this weekend a good one. 

*photos by www.givingkeys.com  


Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015 Intern

February 20, 2015 by Oliver Shuttlesworth

Wildcard Wednesday: J. Kimmel, C'mon

…uh YES WE DO. We, ESPEROS, formally accept your offer, Jimmy!!

Unfortunately…Jimmy & Matt just don't know that they want to pick us yet. So for the past month, we’ve been trying to get their attention. 

We started with emails (oh so many emails) but that wasn't good enough. So we sent them ESPEROS bags—and they got them! Alas, Matt & Jimmy still want us to try harder. Touché, friends.

So, we’re done playing the “we-are-a-small-business-and-we-are-socially-responsible-and-we-want-to-change-the-world-so-pick-us” card. Yeah, our profits go to educating children in underdeveloped countries…but that just doesn't cut it in the show-biz world. Maybe it would have worked on Jimmy Fallon, but not Kimmel. No, now they have forced us to do the unthinkable. Jimmy & Matt…you’ve brought this upon yourself. 

I proudly introduce to you…our final plea.  


We’ve put our hearts on the line with this one, Jimmy & Matt. You’ve played hard to get, and we enjoyed the chase—but lets get serious now...pick us, pick us, pick us!!!!!!!


We’ll be waiting for your call, guys :-) 


PS. if you're confused by our video...watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4lklnkk8SU


Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015 Intern

ESPEROS on The Manual Blog

Thank you to our friends over at The Manual for the kind write up in their last Friday's "Feel Good Friday" series! You can read all about us here.
February 16, 2015 by Oliver Shuttlesworth

Music Monday: Michael Reeder

Meet Michael Reeder, everyone! Michael is an incredible artist who carries hope with his ESPEROS Classic Backpack. When he isn't in his studio making some serious works of art, Michael loves exploring the great outdoors with his girlfriend and dog, Zoe!

Where do you call home? Level of Education? 

I am a Dallas, Texas native. My education moved me to New York City, where I attended the School of Visual Arts and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree focused in painting. I had the pleasure of studying under some seriously amazing artists there. The culture is so rich in New York, I remember one of my instructors pointing out Willem De Kooning’s old studio just a window view away from where our class was. That was surreal. After New York, my girlfriend and I zig-zagged across the US, living in Dallas, California, back to Brooklyn, and have somehow ended up here in Dallas…for now. We’re both artists, which helps propel our creativity. When one person’s fire is smoldering, the other can ignite it again. It’s cyclical.

What does carry hope mean to you? 

To believe in yourself no matter how difficult life may be. Even in the darkest and most challenging moments, there’s always light to be found. Those are the moments which help define a persons true purpose. 

Is education important to you? Does it always come in the form of schooling? 

Education is crucial in the forward progression of life. Some of the best methods of obtaining knowledge are through experience and effort. That being said, developing a foundation that is typically achieved through schooling can also be critical. With a foundation already built, you are putting yourself in a position to learn and perfect your craft even further.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Berlin. It has everything that I want in a city. 

What type of artist are you and why? Is this your passion or work or both? What motivates you to create?

I am a painter, muralist and graphic artist. I have painted the majority of my life, making it almost like a second language for me. Painting and creating is without question my passion. I love the roller coaster ride it takes me on. Sometimes we dance, sometimes we fight, but I am never disappointed with the journey. The more I push myself to step outside of my comfort zone and into uncharted territory, the more substance my art possesses. My work can be found here.

In addition to my own work, I am also a lead painter at Eyecon Murals. They’ve been painting some of the biggest and baddest murals for over 20 years! It has been an amazing experience painting alongside such masters of their craft.

What do you like about your ESPEROS bag? 

I’m constantly carrying loads of stuff around with me. From sketchbooks to paint and brushes, tools, my lunch… you name it. The Esperos Classic Backpack can definitely handle it. It has a simple low key look that I dig, but it’s also very much capable of doing its job.  

Favorite food or hobby? 

My girlfriend has a food blog (edible-insight.com) that she obviously prepares food for and I am the certified taste tester. Anything she makes is truly phenomenal and I am seriously lucky. As for hobbies I spend a lot of time in the studio, so I cherish any and all outdoor activities with my girlfriend and our dog Zoe. I’m also way into riding my bike, playing the guitar, building stuff out of wood, and I have been known to participate in the occasional Spartan Race. 

What song has been your jam lately that we can showcase on Music Monday? 

One of my favorite songs right now is An Offering Of Grief by Pallbearer. Im not sure if theres a genre for triumphant doom metal but if there is, Pallbearer is the poster child for it. 

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Michael. We love the work you're doing and couldn't be happier to feature you today! Also a huge thanks to Michael's girlfriend, Rachel Strum, for capturing such incredible pictures of Michael and his ESPEROS bag (and Zoe, of course). We really recommend you guys check out her food blog + Instagram, this girl is talented. Thanks guys!



Written by Grace Mueller

Spring Intern 2015 

Friendly Friday: Raven + Lily

As you many of you may know already—a great number of women in our world are living in extreme poverty, mostly in developing countries. Million’s of women, which then translates into millions of families, are without. Last week we got to highlight Krochet Kids, an incredible organization operating to empower women in Uganda and Peru, and this week we are super excited to introduce Raven + Lily to you all! 

When visiting India in 2008, Kirsten Dickerson and Sophia Lin were amazed by the high level of craftsmanship and skill each woman possessed. Women made these incredible products, they just needed a market in which to sell their goods. Enter Raven + Lily. Kirsten and Sophia’s experience in marketing and design made a perfect fit with the skills of the women they met.  The partnership was born! After a few years of operating alongside a non-profit, Raven + Lily launched as an official social business in 2011. Today they work with women in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan, Guatemala, and the USA. 

Based out of Austin, TX (just a few streets over from us), Raven + Lily is doing ethical fashion and doing it well. From design to showroom, their supply chain is crystal clear and 100% of their profits are reinvested into the social mission of their company—employing marginalized women through design, launching new partnerships, and funding educational and healthcare needs in their partnership community.

On top of an running an incredibly ethical business, these Austinites can walk the fashion-walk too. Raven + Lily’s storefront is an absolute dream. Upon walking into the store for the first time, I thought to myself: there is no way that a brand this chic is doing so much social good. Well it’s true, folks! They’ve combined elegant fashion with empowering and giving life. From beautiful jewelry (actually breathtaking stuff) to clothing to purses, they really do have it all. 

Warning: visiting their website (click here now now now) will result in the purchase of something for yourself or for the lucky gal in your life. T-minus 24 hours until Valentines Day, people!!! 


Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015 Intern

Carry Hope this Valentine's Day

T-minus 3 Days until Valentine's Day, people!!

Guys: this. is. your. chance. Either you've got a girl and you want to woo her, or you've got your eye on a girl, and you have to get her! For both scenarios, Valentine's Day is a big day. In fact, statistics show that 53% of all women would end their relationship if they didn't get something on this special holiday (yikes). If what you've read thus far has pushed you into panic mode and you're suddenly paralyzed with fear because you've completely forgot how crucial this day is--keep reading! This year won't be a failure, I can promise you that (if you take my advice). 

Here's my suggestion: The Madison Everyday Tote Bag.

Its the perfect size to take to out for the day, whether that be to class or coffee or on an adventure--or all of the above! Its water and stain resistant, and has so many dang compartments for all of the things that women insist on carrying with us (you just never know!).



Girls: you've convinced your guy that you don't want anything for Valentine's Day (code for please get me something, I just don't want to have to tell you what that is), but there's still pressure on your side to get him something that he'll love as well. Clothes are tricky, a mixed CD is a little too high-school, and his wrist is starting to get a bruised from the 15 watches you've gotten him for every birthday, Christmas, and Valentine's day in the last few years. Time to mix it up, ladies. 

So, I bring to you: The Navy Laptop Case.

All of the guys in the office have agreed that a laptop case is never a bad idea. Especially if your valentine doesn't have one already! 

They come in a variety of colors, have a nifty pocket on the front flap for pens etc., and they are on sale. What could be better?

Lastly: if you find yourself without a valentine this season, I think it we all know what needs to happen. TREAT YO SELF. Girls, you don't need a man. Guys, you aren't the type to be tied down! In all seriousness, you deserve a gift even if it is self-given (those are the best gifts, am I right or am I right?). Grab your single gal pals, or your best bros, and make it a great night. 

Now---take a sigh of relief!! It's going to be okay. This will be the best Valentine's Day yet. You still have three whole days, but take a hint and don't waste anymore time!

In the midst of chocolate boxes, flowers and Hallmark cards, give a gift that lasts longer than your sweet tooth. Carry hope this Valentine's with ESPEROS



Written by Grace Mueller

Spring Intern 2015

Wildcard Wednesday: Meet the Team {Round 2!}

If you read last weeks blog post and thought our team couldn't possibly get any cooler...you are mostly right. But, at the same level of coolness, here is the rest of our team!! 

Meet Oliver Shuttlesworth,

What do you do for ESPEROS?  Well, I play a lot of solitaire. Like, a lot. When I'm not playing solitaire, I'm usually talking to retail partners, designing, helping manage the team, and traveling to trade shows across the US, Europe, and Asia.

 Describe yourself in one word: indefatigable

 If you had to swim in one flavor of ice cream, what flavor would that be: Pistachio. ALL DAY!

 What is one thing that you couldn't live without? my wife.

If ESPEROS blog readers really knew you, they would know...

I used to do a little bit of stand up comedy, I am a certified personal trainer, and I've got moves like Jagger.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'm ADD.

Which spice girl and/or NSYNC member do you feel best represents you? 

Posh. Because, c'mon. Obviously.

Did you ever have a nickname as a kid? Oli, Oli-on-da-flo', Shuttles, Shuttlesworthless y más.

What ESPEROS bag do you carry most regularly?

A one of a kind Porter Brief, the Olive Classic, and the Edinburgh Weekend Warrior.

Who is the most inspirational person in your life? My father.

What is your favorite spot (coffee/restaurant/bar) in Austin?

Caffe Medici (the original), Josephine House, and Garage Bar.

Where is the coolest place you have traveled?

Port Au Prince and Paris. At completely opposite ends of the spectrum, both are so full of life and magic.


Meet Amy Oettle,

What do you do for ESPEROS? VP Operations… a little bit of everything.

Describe yourself in one word: explorer

Which spice girl and/or NSYNC member do you feel best represents you? 

With any luck, none of the above. 

If there was a movie about your life, who would you cast for the role of you? Tina Fey, most definitely.

Amy's Self Portrait 

What ESPEROS bag do you carry most regularly?  My sweet Carob Market Tote

Do you have a favorite word? eloquence

Where is the coolest place you have traveled?

Istanbul is the current frontrunner, but I’ve got many favorites. Admittedly, I’m a travel addict. Other cities I love are London, Paris, Ravenna, Oaxaca, Sydney, and Kyoto... for now, at least.


Meet Josh Wallace, 

What do you do for ESPEROS?  I am a business development intern, and I am

currently helping to improve operations at ESPEROS.

If you had to swim in one flavor of ice cream, what flavor would that be: Coffee.

If ESPEROS blog readers really knew you, they would know...

How much I love cheese enchiladas.

What ESPEROS bag do you carry most regularly?

The espresso classic backpack.

Do you have a favorite word? Pumpernickel

What is your favorite spot (coffee/restaurant/bar) in Austin? Austin Java

Where is the coolest place you have traveled? Sicily


Meet Gina Lee, 

What do you do for ESPEROS? 

I'm doing marketing mainly, helping out the other interns and doing whatever's needed around the office!

Describe your life in one word: food

Gina's Selfie-Self Portrait

If ESPEROS blog readers really knew you, they would know…

I’m obsessed with French fries and binge watching tv shows.

What ESPEROS bag do you carry most regularly? my Caraway Market Tote!

Who is the most inspirational person in your life? ELLEN DEGENERES


And last but certainly not least...


Meet Erin Elkjer!! 

{fun fact: Erin actually wins Intern of the Week because she's just that great. You're the best, Erin!!!}

What do you do for ESPEROS? 

I’m an intern, so I pretty much do everything! I walk in every day and tackle whatever needs to get done. 

Describe yourself in one word: AWESOME...just kidding...probably dysfunctional

If you had to swim in one flavor of ice cream, what flavor would that be? 

Anything with chocolate in it!

What is one thing that you couldn't live without? Coffee

If ESPEROS blog readers really knew you, they would know... 

I drink a lot of coffee, like 6 or 7 cups a day! And I’m always late…

Which spice girl and/or NSYNC member do you feel you best represent ?

Literally cannot name a spice girl, oops.

If there were a movie about life, who would you cast for the role of you? 

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so I would definitely choose Emma Watson. 

Did you ever have a nickname as a kid? 

My last name is Elkjer so when I was growing up, everyone always called me Elkie, even my teachers.

What ESPEROS bag do you carry most regularly? 

The Classic Khaki Backpack

What is your favorite spot (coffee/restaurant/bar) in Austin? 

Vintage Heart Coffee, Mozarts, Thunderbird Coffee, Quack’s 43rd Bakery, Caffe Medici, Flightpath Coffee, Halycon (All Coffee Places!)

Where is the coolest place you have traveled? 

I’ve been to France and Germany.  This summer I will be studying abroad in Hong Kong!


...and that's all of us! Here's another wildcard for the day: we want to extend these questions to you, our readers. We can't be friends unless we know which flavor of ice-cream you'd swim in...pick your favorite three questions and answer them in the comment section below! 

(P.S. - we are taking requests for Oliver to do standup comedy again...maybe Oli-on-da-flo' will make a comeback?! Fingers crossed.)



Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015 Intern



A Look Inside Operations...

Hey friends, we have a new addition to our website! Because we value the people involved in production as much as we value our team in Austin, we created a space on our webpage just for them.

We want to be clear when we say that an ethical supply chain matters. Our factory in Shenzhen China provides free housing, full benefits and 3 free meals daily to every employee. Caring for employees means so much more than just being "ethical", it means devoting time to relationships, empowering others, and improving quality of life.  

So, head over to the operations portion of our webpage and check out exactly what we mean when we say that we care for our friends across the globe. 




Written by Grace Mueller

Spring 2015 Intern

February 09, 2015 by Oliver Shuttlesworth