James Barton has learned to embrace chaos. And he loves it. His two favourite places in the world are New York City and Mumbai, especially Mumbai.
“I love India. I love the people, the culture, the chaos. And Mumbai is just crazy, it has such great energy.”
But let’s be honest, even chaos is structured. “Take the dabbawalas,” James explains, “it’s all down to routine.”
Dabbawalas are lunchbox couriers. They pick up hot lunches from Mumbai residences in the late morning, deliver them to workplaces by lunch, and return the empty lunchboxes that afternoon. “It’s an insane system, but it works, and it works really well.”
James is actually a very structured person, himself. And while he may not realise it, his constant business trips from Brazil last week to Slovakia this week, followed by a trip to Amsterdam and only then an entire precious week back home in the UK – is kind of insane. But he has the tools that allow him to do this. That is, he owns eight LAT_56 bags.
James is a Sales Performance Consultant, working with sales departments around the world to develop the connection between data and action. This means finding the best way to gain operational insight from technology tools and developing the best strategies to implement the data.
When he started travelling internationally for work and realised that travelling in a suit wasn’t practical, he decided he needed a suit-carrier. It was in online forums like FlyerTalk that he first heard about LAT_56.
“LAT_56 kept coming up again and again, so I decided to give it a go. I’ve never looked back.”
Like travelling through farmlands in Vietnam.
“Hand luggage only is the most freeing experience, especially when you’re in remote locations. It’s all about being hands-free, and all my LAT_56 bags are nice and light.”
Jame’s favourite LAT_56 bag is his first Red Eye Bag, although his newest HD_01 Holdall is becoming his go-to bag. And because he has both he can play around with their facilities, using the Holdall’s detachable wetbag in the Red Eye, for example.
He’s an avid runner so he loves the wetbag, which allows him to keep his sweaty running gear separate from his pristine business gear. Again, it’s all about the system, and the wetbag allows him to run all over the world’s capitals from Washington D.C. to Moscow without any fear of compromising his work space.
As James explains, having the right bag for the right trip also means learning how to pack correctly and utilise all available space. And he’s got this down to a T. For example, for a 1-night trip he takes only his laptop case, which fits a change of clothes, and he can fit 5 days of clothing into the RE_01. That might also seem insane, but there’s a system and it works. It’s called Roll & Stuff: rolling the shirts and stuffing the shoes.
James’ LAT_56 bags have also been accompanying him to Uganda where he helped start a charity called Care For Kuffu. “The idea is to create a sustainable community,” James says, explaining that during the reign of Idi Amin, many of the men were killed, leaving the future generation without any farming skills despite living in a country with such fertile soil. What started with twenty children and one acre of land that cost James £300 has now grown to a secure compound on 16 acres and 350 children. Now instead of fermenting banana leafs to create moonshine, young people are going to school and learning how to farm.
According to James, going between Uganda and his other life is humbling.
“When you’re always travelling business class, you can start to lose your sense of reality. People get so upset because of a delay or the security lines and I can’t help but think – Just be grateful that you’re here and that you don’t have to walk two miles to a watering hole and back just to collect water.”
The children in Uganda aren’t as interested in LAT_56 products as they are in James. “You turn up with all your gear, with your mobile phones, and they lift up your shirt to see if you’re really white underneath.”
Usually when he travels, however, his LAT_56 bags turn heads and start conversations. “They ask me if it’s a trumpet, and I’ve stopped and showed them, recommending it to many.” James is also happy that LAT_56 is so versatile, travelling from business lounges to remote villages in Uganda, at home in any location.
But the number one thing James wants to mention today is the customer service. Months ago he had inquired about the Holdall but it was out-of-stock. “Then, and this was months later, I got a personal Facebook message letting me know it was back in stock. That you would remember and think of me is just awesome. That is top quality customer service.”
And that, James, is because we too have a system.