Backpacks made in Slovakia: Minimalism breeds magic

Hana Komanová and Kerim Hudson made a unique backpack business from a grandmother’s canvas and Esperanto.

PAKTA Studio functions as a store and workshop.PAKTA Studio functions as a store and workshop. (Source: PAKTA Studio)

In a small studio, tucked away on one of the side-streets in downtown Bratislava, minimalism seems to breed magic at the hands of two humble artists.

Hana Komanova and Kerim Hudson have based their business on their ability to create a great deal with very little.

The small workshop and store, which produces backpacks and bags made of environmentally-friendly materials, was founded in 2017 by Slovak Hana Komanová and Englishman Kerim Hudson. The multicultural couple is well-traveled but also committed to supporting local manufacturers and products. Their bags are made of materials sourced from Slovakia and neighboring countries with the exception of the linen lining, which comes from Lithuania.

“Sourcing locally is our priority because it allows you to know the manufacturers better. You’re more confident in where it’s coming from,” said Komanová, a Bratislava native.“If you’re not getting it straight from the manufacturer, they can’t really tell you what it’s made of.”

Komanová studied fashion design in London, which is where she met Hudson, who has experience working as a freelance printmaker. The couple, who have been together for a number of years, travelled to Bratislava every now and then to visit family and friends.

In 2017, they decided to make a permanent move to the Slovak capital.

“We never thought we would have a business together. We kind of just fell into it,” said Hudson.

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