Knomo was founded in December 2004. While I am originally from South Africa, I had been working as a lawyer and later as a banker in different cities on four continents around the world, and then stopped to do an MBA. I moved to the UK and accepted a role at a large FMCG company (famously making toilet paper and many other sexy products).
The company was based outside London which meant a 1-hour commute each way to get to the office. When I finally got to my desk, it was a total anti-climax. Nothing happened. The environment was stuffy (with lots of cubicles, which probably explains my hatred for the damn things) and was generally an un-inspiring place to be. It didn’t make sense the be spending 20% of my day commuting. It was soul destroying. The most crushing part of all of this was the monotony. It was like Groundhog Day, every day This was life.
The same journey to the office. Sitting in the same place all day, doing similar activities. Followed by the same hour journey home. What really got me was how un-memorable every part was, I could barely tell one day from another.
The lightbulb moment came about when I was given a standard issue, ugly black laptop bag from my company with my new (chunky) laptop inside. My girlfriend – now wife – had started a new role at a bank at the same time and was also gifted a good old black laptop bag.
We laughed about how ugly these bags were but didn’t give it much further thought.
Shortly afterwards, I went on a trip to the Middle East. I was at airport security waiting for my bag to reappear from the x-ray machine. I saw it emerge and started walking towards it when another traveller, also dressed in a suit, picked it up from the conveyor belt and started walking away. Easy mistake; he had mistaken my bag for his because it looked identical.
I looked around and realised just about everyone was carrying laptops in the same standard-issue black bags. Surely, we could do better than this.
The idea for Knomo quickly emerged: to create the perfect everyday bag that looked great and fit in any situation. From carrying your laptop and work gear to city-break holidays with the family. The secret would be to design bags that looked professional yet stylish from the outside – and perfectly organised your life inside.
We wanted to create a bag that liberated you from having to be in an office every day so that people could do anything, anywhere.
Knomo was founded out of a personal desire to explore and seek out new experiences. If life becomes monotonous, we quickly become bored. Routines become a rut and can affect everything from our creativity to our energy levels.
We believe that the world would be a better place if people if people broke free from routine and chose the less ordinary path, every time.
Whether that’s a different route to work, a new genre of podcast you’d normally shy away from, or a signing up to a free Meetup to pursue a new interest.
Our mission at Knomo is to help our customers get more from every day - wherever, whenever, however. We design our bags to help on the journey to a Life Less Ordinary.
We hope you love using your Knomo, and would love to hear where you get to together.