Sell This Product

Totes and duffels from SailorBags.

Q. Please give us some company background.

A. SailorBags was founded in New England by a lifelong sailor, who came up with the idea to make bags from the same material used to make yacht sails. Our headquarters are now in upstate New York, between Lake Ontario and the spectacular Finger Lakes, so we’re surrounded by nautical inspiration. Our growing line includes tote bags, duffels, insulated wine and picnic bags, tech cases, messengers, even home décor items. What started as a bag for boaters is now a diverse collection of products appealing to a much broader market.

Q. Which products are hot sellers right now?

A. Our day-in, day-out staples are tote bags and duffels, but we’re seeing really exciting growth in new categories like insulated cooler bags. We have a half-dozen of them to choose from, ranging from a two-bottle wine tote to a bag that can hold up to 24 beverage cans. They work really well and are fantastic promotional items that people will use for years. We’re also seeing lots of interest in new exterior treatments, like the three-color geometric blocking in our new Tri-Sail collection.

Q. What are some of the top markets for your products?

A. As you can imagine, we get lots of business from beach, boating, cruise and resort companies. Similarly, we get picked for promotions and events with a nautical theme (see Toyota case study below). But interestingly, some of our strongest segments are financial services and professional firms. They are typically looking for better-quality products that aren’t “aesthetically generic,” to coin a phrase. Companies like that have responded very well to both the substance and style of SailorBags.

Q. What makes these products unique?

A. Our sailcloth is custom made for us without the stiff coatings applied to the fabric sailmakers use. So our bags are soft and supple, yet super tough and, of course, incredibly water-resistant. The result is a bag that’s uniquely suited to any environment, from office to offshore. We stay true to our nautical heritage down to the last detail, like marine-grade metal hardware and our signature zig-zag sailmaker’s stitching.

Q. What features should sales reps note when pitching your products to clients?

A. Everything noted above, plus the important fact that the nautical theme is always in fashion, so a SailorBag never has to be put in a closet because it’s out of style. It’s one of the reasons promotional product buyers are drawn to us – they want a bag that will be carried as a brand ambassador for years, rather than being so trendy that it has a short life. We’re in the sweet spot of being stylish yet timeless. And in addition to standard logo application, we can “mass personalize” bags with individual employee names or initials.

Case Studies & Great Ideas

Cardinal Health asked us to make a custom version of our multi-purpose StowBag to use as a room drop, to be filled with snacks and water for attendees of a large conference. They liked the clean, white look of the bag – it resonates with the health-care audience – and we added a “Cardinal-red” cinch top to the bag, along with an embroidered logo. We also added a shoulder strap, so recipients could use it as a beach bag, carrying Cardinal’s brand long after the event.


Toyota was hosting a beach-themed incentive trip for its President’s Club honorees, held at a high-end Caribbean resort. The company wanted an exclusive, upscale recognition gift that suited the island setting and selected one of our insulated bags. We added Toyota’s logo to our 12-can soft cooler and shipped the bags to the event site. The response we got from Toyota and the recipients was great.