In the case of Rachel Rheingold and Michael Berick from Brooklyn, they created Maptote - a line of products with maps of their locales on them. What prompted their business idea? In 2006, their trip to Germany yielded the perfect inspiration: tote bags with each city's design. They bought several, shared them with friends, and came home with the idea to replicate with a Brooklyn tote. Thus, Maptote was born!
Maptote sources their fabric, then cuts, sews and prints it in Brooklyn, NY. All their totes are made with US cotton. They are fully involved in the entire manufacturing process, even when it becomes complex. This close connection to their products allows them to create various styles of tote bags and other items, such as wine totes, zip pouches, note cards, posters, and baby one-pieces.
Initially, they only created designs featuring cities and locations they had lived in, cherished, or visited. Now they receive requests to design new destinations. Before creating a design, they research each new place and speak to locals in order to acquire insider knowledge. Additionally, they strive for a whimsical design; it's about the ambiance of the city and a local's point of view, as opposed to being a precise, technical map. Moreover, their work is enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. For instance, when a person from Brooklyn wears one of their Brooklyn-related products, they know they have succeeded.