POCHI Goods Founder On The Balance Between Function & Fashion
Founder Trent E. Williams. PHOTO COURTESY OF POCHI GOODS
Trent E. Williams found the beauty in balance when launching his accessories brand, POCHI GOODS. The Los Angeles native (who has over a decade of experience as a designer for iconic footwear/athletic brands like Adidas, New Balance, and Nike Basketball West Coast) describes his signature perspective as "functional goods for the human form." The idea of POCHI came about when Williams was enjoying a day in Long Beach but realized he didn't have enough pocket space for his items.
He sewed together the first POCHI (whose name derives from "pochete"—Portuguese for "fanny pack") as an accessory solution buckled strapped around the leg. "It’s a modern and masculine twist on the traditional fanny pack,” he explains. "Typically, you either carry a backpack or stick everything in your pockets. When I was riding my bike, I couldn’t carry my
phone, keys, wallet, headphones, and everything else in my pockets. There was no bag to solve that issue. This was built around the idea that if something was strapped around your leg, you could carry everything.”
The pouches are perfect for carrying all your essentials while still looking stylish, whether you’re sporting them on a hike or for a casual lunch.
Check out our chat with the founder below.
LA definitely inspires me and my work. I feel like my brand will ultimately be an extension of my life experiences from growing up in Los Angeles told through the products I make. Take my first product, The Original Holster Pouch; This Idea came to me over ten years ago when I would ride my fixed-gear bike around the city. I rode my Bike to school, work and also in large cycling groups over the weekend. I hated that every time I would go on a leisurely ride, I'd need to empty out my backpack to throw my keys, phone, wallet and iPod inside. I created the first prototype of this idea back in 2012 and it changed my riding experience. Fast forward to 2020; the pandemic re-sparked this idea of mine. My pockets would be filled with a sanitizer, multiple masks, keys, a wallet and a bigger phone. I missed the ease of having all these daily essentials holsted on my side like it was with my first prototype. So I took that Inspo and started the POCHI brand.
How do you find the balance between your items being both functional and stylish?
I think it starts with our mission statement which is to create: functional goods for the human form. The age-old design saying is "form follows function," but we like to focus on the human body as the form we create products around. Our products should work around the uniqueness of each individual wearing or using them. With each collection I create, I also try to tell a story through the colors and materials used. The functionality is something that is never-ending, and will always evolve and be improved upon in some way. How the bag is constructed and dressed up is an expression of the brand and the people who buy into that particular look from us as a brand. Take for example the Suede Collection we just recently released. This was inspired by the backpacks with the suede bottom panel that we all carried around in the mid to late '90s. I wanted to bring that sense of nostalgia back with this collection, but give it a modern twist with the earth-toned colors used on the Nylon portion. Some of our releases to follow will look almost completely different with bolder, more color-heavy looks. But with every "stylish look," I'm always going to think about ways to improve the functionality.
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I'd like to know your perspective on the importance of sustainability when it comes to fashion/accessories.
Sustainability is very important to me. One day I really hope to have the resources needed from my brand to make a real impact in the sustainability space, but for now, we like to think of ourselves as a quality product that you never want to throw away. Or if it is time to part ways from our product down the road, you are more willing to give it a second life by recycling or donating it. A well-made product is something that has a second, third, or fourth life by being donated and enjoyed by others. When things aren't well made they are discarded and thrown in landfills. We want to strive to avoid making things that end up being tossed away.
What are your favorite hobbies to do where the pouch is used?
I'd first have to say riding my bike, because that's where the idea was born, but I also enjoy hiking, thrifting, traveling, and just adding one to complete my look for the day. The more we've grown as a brand, the more uses I've seen others have for their POCHI. One of my best friends is an Urban Farmer, and he literally wears his bag daily to carry all the tools he needs to do what he loves. Whether he is testing the Ph balance of the soil, or harvesting fruits, everything he needs is right by his side. Not only that but he still looks hip and youthful while wearing his bag.
Are there any upcoming releases or projects you can share with us?
We have a lot coming down the pipeline in 2023. First, we have a fully transparent version of our bags which is perfect for music festivals and sporting events coming in the Spring. We also are launching a small clothing capsule with tees, Hoodies, hats and more. We are also working on different types of bags that aren't just our Holster bag. I am really excited about our premium luxury cross-body bag though. It is the perfect blend of fashion and function.