Tuesday, August 1, 2006

A line of camera bags you’ll probably never buy


By David Gewirtz

Sometimes I love my job, especially when I discover a new company with great new products and I get to be the person who tells you about it. I really enjoy giving those companies a push to success, bringing them new customers and helping our readers find great new resources. It's the ideal marriage of innovation and enterprise, and it's a rare treat.

Sometimes though, my job can be something of a bummer. That's the case with the products I'm going to present to you today.

Don't get me wrong. These products are worthy of a 4-star review. It's just that you're probably never going to buy them, even though you should. Sadly, while you and I live in 2006, the company selling these products is pretty much stuck back in 1986.

The thing is, that could be ok, especially when you're talking about camera bags. After all, when you're buying fine bags, you want that old-world construction, attention to detail, and focus on quality. The bags shown in Figure A have all that.


This is likely to be the only time you'll see these bags. (click for larger image)

Unfortunately, you're not likely to be able to buy them.

When we when to the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) show in Orlando, back in January, we met the nice folks from Werner Hollingworth Photoware, makers of the camera bags above. The company had just created a fine line of camera bags. They were so excited about getting press coverage that they loaded down Managing Editor Denise Amrich with a pile of bags, right on the show floor.

We like showcasing new companies, so we were happy to lug the bags back to the Connected Photographer offices and scheduled them for review.

The time for review came around and I realized I didn't have pricing information for the bags. No problem. That's what the Web is for. I'd just visit their site and get the information.

Sadly, their Web site is shown, in its entirety, in Figure B.


Werner Hollingsworth's Web site is this simple page. (click for larger image)

Hmmm... there had to be more. So I called the number on the Web site. There was no answer. "Wow," I thought, "I hope they're not out of business already."

Unfortunately, given our heavy publication schedule, I had to table the review and write something else up for my next deadline. A few months later, when I wasn't on a deadline, I tried calling again, again getting no answer. I asked Denise to see if she could dig up a business card for these folks and she did. On the card was an email address.

I sent an email to that address asking if someone would call me back, if the company was still in business, and if the company had a more complete Web site.