North St. Bags Lean Manufacturing Workshop

Take a peek at one of our internal improvement processes! We held a shop project workshop, running through a guided format, asking each other questions, mapping out our priorities, and honing in on the most important long-term projects to focus on in the coming months.

Most of our time is focused on production - cutting, sewing, hardware, shipping, new product development. But sometimes the best thing to do is to pause, get together and look at the forest for the trees - what’s working, what’s not working, what’s next?

Ranked choice voting (those little dots on some of the notes) helps steer us to consensus on the real focal points of our concerns. Surprisingly, the note “pinball machine for the breakroom” didn’t make the top 5 - such a responsible team!

North St. Bags Lean Manufacturing Workshop

One of the principles that drives North St. is the goal of continuous improvement. We huddle daily to keep everyone updated on upcoming projects, talk over pain points, and see if anyone needs an extra hand in their department for the day. In line with the Lean principles that Curtis adapted to build the company, every operator is empowered to bring issues and offer solutions from their point of expertise.

We’re not aiming for “perfection” - that’s not really a thing that happens in manufacturing (or, arguably, reality). It’s the idea that we’re capable of doing better - we just can’t let that go. It’s what keeps us making sustainable backpacks and recycled bike bags, refining our processes to balance crafting the bags we want to make and our own well being.

You’ll see it in our end product - the yearly updates and tweaks to our designs and line. Here you can see it in action to support our crew! We’re making sure that we’re ready for what comes next and addressing outstanding questions.

This year, we’re looking forward to a potential shop move (we’ll keep you updated!), refining our product line, powering forward on more upcycling projects, and (always) improving our ergonomics and efficiency.

We came out of this exercise with tired brains, lots of great ideas to make our lives better, and a realistic action plan with next steps on the most important projects.

Stay tuned for more from your local bike bag makers! Travel Well & Adventure Right!

-The North St. Bags Team


Highly water resistant, 100% recycled EcoPak fabric. Backpacks and bike pannier bags designed, cut, and sewn in-house in Portland, OR.

North St. Bags
2134 N Flint Ave
Portland, OR 97227
(503) 419-6230


Made in the USA

Curtis Williams