Stallard to sell specialised travel belt
Globetrotting photographer Scott Stallard has designed a new travel belt — inspired by travel to some of world’s most remote regions.
Mr Stallard, who has been on photoshoots ranging from the North Pole to Papua New Guinea in the south-western Pacific, drew on his years of experience to come up with a handy waist-worn holdall designed to keep valuable documents, bank cards and cash safe and accessible.
Now he hopes to see his SixtyFour West brand take off in the global market.
Mr Stallard, whose work has been published in top magazines like Time and People, said: “It was born out of a practical need and it just went from there.
“I do go to places where it would be very easy to lose things or have things taken from you and it was too much worry have things in a bag.
“You can fill it with your passport, cash, all the bits and pieces and it’s very flat. If you’re walking around in Rio de Janeiro, where I’ve been and where there’s a high risk of pickpockets, nobody can see it — it’s not like a fanny pack.
“Necessity is the mother of invention — you don’t want to go all the way to Mongolia, lose your passport and ruin a trip you’ve planned for a year.”
Mr Stallard said: “I had one made for me by a seamstress years ago so I could carry everything on me in one place instead of having my passport in my top pocket and cards and money in my wallet.
“Other guys shooting abroad asked me where I got it because they wanted one.”
And he took the plunge to produce them commercially after he met a National Geographic magazine underwater photographer at the home of renowned underwater explorer Teddy Tucker, who said he would take several right away if they were available.
Mr Stallard, the former owner of The Olympic Club, which merged with The Athletic Club in 2014, said the sale of the business left him with time on his hands to devote to producing a commercial version of his own travel belt.
He said: “I like to stay busy so I found a place in Florida, a commercial sewing factory called Armor Products. I showed them the original belts and they made some samples. From there it blossomed into more and more of a business idea.”
The five pocket belts are made of tough, water resistant urethane coated nylon with sturdy all Velcro closures with car seatbelt strength fasteners.
They come in either black or tan in small, medium, large and extra large sizes.
Now he has contacted famous outdoor-themed outlets National Geographic, the Explorers’ Club, Outside magazine and health, safety and travel risk management members-only group Global Rescue, as well as other top safari and travel firms and retailers like Patagonia and North Face with a view to selling the belts through them.
Mr Stallard said: “Most of the travel belts I’ve seen consist of one or two pockets with a cord around the waist — they’re not very practical and not very strong — I’ve carried three passports, thousands of dollars and boarding passes, all in one belt.”
He added: “For the new year, we’ll be hitting the UK market and we’re looking at the military market now as well.
“There’s no metal in it so you can go through airports with it, but if you do have to take it off it’s a quick and easy Velcro fastening.”
The belts are available in Bermuda at the AS Cooper men’s store and the Bermuda Underwater Institute, as well as through sixtyfourwestbelts.com.
Mr Stallard said: “I’ve sold dozens already, but I’m not trying really trying to sell them myself at this point, I’m putting it out to the big companies.
“If I can get them with big companies, airport shops and travel, camping and adventure sites, that would be great.”
The company is Bermuda-based with Mr Stallard’s son Kade running a US distribution arm.
Mr Stallard said: “The aim is to sell to the rest of the world and that requires a distribution centre.”
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