How Away became a billion-dollar luggage brand

Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst Jul 18, 2019
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Away co-founder Jen Rubio in Aspen, Colorado. Maria Hollenhorst/Marketplace

How Away became a billion-dollar luggage brand

Kai Ryssdal and Maria Hollenhorst Jul 18, 2019
Away co-founder Jen Rubio in Aspen, Colorado. Maria Hollenhorst/Marketplace
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Away launched four years ago after co-founders Jen Rubio and Steph Korey set out to disrupt the luggage industry. A direct-to-consumer business model and creative branding strategy helped them reach a $1.4 billion valuation in May. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal recently sat down with Rubio, Away’s chief brand officer.

“When I say we make luggage, I say that in the way that Nike just ‘made’ a running shoe, back in the day. Or that Lululemon just ‘made’ a yoga pant. But what they really made is this brand that’s cultivated a community of very, very loyal advocates — people who will talk about your brand, and your product, and really be the fuel for the growth …

… When we think about what we’re going to do over the next few years, what we’re focused on is: how do we create a community of travelers who tell us what they want? We thoughtfully design and create these things that they’re talking to us about. ”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

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