While having the unexpected pleasure of traveling to Italy, I discovered the need for a lightweight, crossover travel bag that would fit under the airplane seat. The majority of travelers had back packs, and I noticed how uncomfortable they seemed while waiting in the security line at the airport. Every time they wanted to get in their back pack they had to take it off, or they had to hold their passport, phone, ID, and boarding pass for hours. Backpacks are great for hiking or carrying school books, but they are cumbersome for traveling.
I wanted a lightweight, durable, water resistant bag. I did not want a bag that was too large, and I also did not want to carry or pull something around all day that looked like a piece of luggage.
This is what inspired me to design a crossover travel bag that I could easily get my phone and passport out without taking the bag off. In addition, I wanted the bag to fit under the airplane seat with specific and strategically placed pockets in the front so I could reach in it to get my glasses, medicine, headphones, etc…without pulling the bag out and disrupting those next to me. Further while traveling, I wanted a bag that held only the necessities needed for the day such as a small purse, water bottle, and a sweater or raincoat. I wanted the bag to be lightweight and hold all of the items mentioned so my hands could be free at all times. Unable to find a bag that met my criteria and style, I designed my own, and soon William Ross Travel Bags was born.
I named William Ross travel bags after both my maternal and paternal grandparents.
My grandfather’s grandmother was born on the trail of tears. The infant was terribly sick, so her parents made the painful decision to leave their daughter behind so she would live. They had planned on coming back for her, but the Native Americans were not allowed to leave Oklahoma after their coercion out west.
Ross was my grandfather on my maternal side. I can still remember his hunting gear as well as my great grandfathers. Back in those days they waxed the material themselves. That’s what attracted me so closely with the wax cotton fabric.
For me, the bold leather William Ross label and its simple arrow icon signals my brand's focus on "strength and forward direction of travel," a testament to my grandparents and their own stories of trials and travel.
Founder and CEO