Adam has launched a company that manufactures and sells high-quality American-made luggage. Blue Claw Co. bags are sold in retail outlets across the USA and internationally, in Japan, Australia, and Singapore.
His American-made luggage is proving just as popular as the tasty crustacean it’s named for.
What was the impetus for starting up Blue Claw Co.?
For as long as I can remember, I have always enjoyed a good bag. A bag is an essential element to any journey. Right after graduation, I was traveling through Argentina with Bobby Hewitt ’10 when I realized not only did my bag not embody the timeless and classic look that I enjoy, but it was also bursting at the seams. Upon returning to the USA I knew that I wanted to create a bag that worked for me. I was fortunate that my grandfather was a factory owner in NYC during the heyday and had maintained his contacts. Within a few weeks of returning Stateside, I was on the factory floor with my Old Man.
What’s the ideal piece of luggage?
The ideal bag is timeless, elegant, and of heirloom quality. It has to stand the test of time. A quality bag is much like Italian food. There are not many ingredients but the ingredients are the finest available. Plus, our bags are made in America. A seventh-generation family mill is making the waxed canvas that we use.
How’s your company doing?
Blue Claw has exceeded all of our internal metrics. The recession has had little to no impact, if anything, it’s been a positive as it forces us to control inventory and stay lean. We have brick and mortar accounts across the USA and we are sold in Japan, Australia, and Singapore. Our 2013 plan revolves around entering more traditional retailers.
Did you imagine you’d be running your own company at 24?
Blue Claw is not my first business, but I am humbled to be the captain of the Claw at age 24. I love the art of the deal and always knew I wanted to be doing something business-related, so I double-majored in economics and business.
What’s the most rewarding part of running Blue Claw Co?
The most rewarding part is to be a part of the American Made movement. We are really bringing it back. This was more luck than skill; I did not realize the movement existed when I made the commitment to manufacture in the USA. It is exciting to see domestic factories running at capacity and knowing you are a part of it.
How do you give back to your alma mater?
I have regular Skype sessions with WAC business students. I’d like to see the College offer more opportunities for students to engage with business professionals.
What important takeaways did Washington College impart?
Push yourself, try new things, and do things that are out of your comfort zone. Senior year I took an art history class given by Dr. McColl. I must have been the laughingstock of the class with my non-existent art knowledge. Our culminating project was on a specific type of art, and students were doing hyper-focused presentations such as Baroque art from 1615-1620. Mine was on… street art. I learned a lot and the class pushed me to think differently. I struggled, but it was worth it.