Resolve to change for good

The making of our rickshaw flag. Stitched together with our core values.


This year at Rickshaw our resolution is “change for good.” Now that we’re two weeks into the new year we wanted to share our personal resolutions from everyone at team Rickshaw and tell you a little bit more about who we are and what we’re passionate about.

We hope your resolutions are well on their way and can’t wait to share change for good with you throughout the year as we grow and continue to have a lot of fun along the way.

"Bike More!" Mark showcases his human-powered-Ferrari


Mark – Founder & CEO

Bike More: I already use my bicycle as my primary mode of transportation — one of the benefits of living in a city and working close to home — but I can always bike more. I’m intent on reducing my dependence on my own personal automobile, and plan to sell my car by year-end. Also, I will be making my fourth 500-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to attend the TED conference in February, and I’m planning at least one more epic ride this year.

Waste Less: At work and at home, I’m trying to waste less. There is so much more we can do to reduce waste in our daily activities. The entire team at Rickshaw is committed to waste reduction, and “zero waste” is one of our principle product design tenants.

Teach More: I’m (finally) going to launch my personal blog, “FormFunctionFootprint”, to share my thoughts on sustainable design and manufacturing. I enjoy guest lecturing at schools and hosting tours at our sewing factory. I’m especially passionate about teaching sustainability to business and design students. It is essential that we make sustainability a core concept in our educational curriculum. I plan to use my blog to further develop my sustainability teaching platform.

Kati enjoying the California colors.


Kati – Production Manager

When I moved to San Francisco 5 years ago, I planned to go to grad school for fine art and eventually teach.  Although this was my goal I can’t say it was my passion, I just didn’t know what else to do with myself.  Luckily the high cost of living in SF brought me to the reality of having to work hard to survive here, and going to school wasn’t an option.  After a couple jobs in retail / customer service, I found myself as an intern at the San Francisco Bike Coalition, where I gained not only new connections but a community of bike enthusiasts that showed me a passion for bikes and a passion for creating a more bike friendly city.  Through the SFBC I also found my career at Rickshaw Bagworks.

Over the last two years at Rickshaw I’ve have learned so much. Not just about making bags but creating a family all dedicated to the same ideals and values.  The Passion, Craft and Quality that Mark has taught us to live by, has become more than just a company mantra, it has become a way of life for us.

My new years resolution is modeled after that PCQ.

Passion – This new year, I want to continue my passion for bikes, and making this a bike friendly city. My resolution is to be a better volunteer with the SFBC. To spend more time at Volunteer nights, to have another amazing Bike to Work Day, and to continue to build my community of cyclists.

Craft- I often use the excuse that I don’t have much time to spend on the craft aspect of my life, I have been recently inspired by friends who are artists, and craftsmen.  My resolution is to tap back into my artistic side and create images that reflect my love for the city, biking, and the outdoors.

Quality – Now this is going to have a bit of a twist.  My most important resolution is to focus on the quality of my life. I’ve been incredibly blessed over the last two years to have a loving partner and family, amazing friends, and a dedicated team of co-workers.  But I often find that I stress myself to be perfect in all aspects of my life, when I’m just a human (emotional being) who will make mistakes. This year, and all the years that follow, I want to live life to its fullest. I want to be stress-free, laid back, and joyous. I want the happiness and love I feel inside to show to everyone I meet, and to show the people in my life that they are appreciated and respected. I want to to be smiling all the way down to my molecules, and watch the energy spread.

Happy New Year! Love Kati.

Morning shot of the GG taken on Lisa's morning run.


Lisa – Sales Manager

This resolution came to me as many good ideas do: while riding my bicycle, WhitneyBobbi that I purchased at a local bike shop recently.

I was on my way home from downtown SF where holiday shopping is still vibrant. Looking at consumers absorbing the final years’ sales, I wonder, does discounted equal better purchases in terms of quality and ultimate satisfaction? Are most people aware of where their items came from as well as how they were produced? What is truly involved in making a consumer good?

Inspired by our commitment to sustainable practices as well as learning about where our materials, machinery and tools come from, I, Lisa Taylor, Sales at Rickshaw, resolve to purchase items that have a solid history that I support, a history that honors the environment as well as the people involved in creating the item, and afterthought as to what will happen with this product when I am through with it. I challenge myself to learn about where the items I depend on (bicycle accessories, clothing, makeup, food, toiletries) are made and further select items that support sustainable practices – one of Rickshaw’s values, as well as my own. I feel that I am an informed consumer and do my best to support the local economy. I purchased my handcrafted bike at Mission Bicycle, a local shop that designed a customizable frame and built the bike in their San Francisco workshop.  I use resources, like SFMade, to find vendors that are right in my neighborhood. However, I would like to do more.

That’s where this next step comes in. The secondary part of this resolution is to purchase only necessities. In our effort to ultimately be at “Zero” waste in our products, and our supply chain, I am inspired to eliminate waste in my life; I commit to purchasing food, gifts, clothing that are less wasteful- only things that I need.

Looking forward to sharing this adventure with you, leaning about our local community, and further feeding the unique bay area culture by supporting those that have created it.

Streaking down the street in a bike lane during the rain in SF.


Chris – Marketing Manager

Hi. I’m Chris and there are three things that are important to me: change, growth, and community. I try to live my life in a way that inspires and allows me to have all three exist. I wake up every day wondering who I’ll meet today and connecting with people who share the city’s streets.

I like the concept of “change for good.” It implies there will be challenge and growth but the end result will be awesome. In 2010 I found a new passion of riding my bike around the city, formed a new family at Rickshaw, and experienced some unexpected changes. Like most change, it came with some discomfort but also opened me up to a feeling of love and optimism for the future.

So my resolution for this year? Put a longstanding passion back into my life: music. I’m going to rejoin a bay area chorus (I’m open to suggestions and I’m a baritone if you were wondering!) Start a new tradition: yoga. I’m tall, inflexible and know it will do me a world of good. Continue a current tradition: urban travel by bike. I’d like to up the ante and take a few longer trips this year outside of my daily commute.

For me, “good” comes from community. In a larger city like San Francisco it can be easy to not build a sense of community so for 2011 I challenge each of you to enact a resolution success I had years ago: Say hi to strangers and smile at people who pass on the street. Together those little moments make up community. Here’s to change for good in the new year!

HD Mirror Filter on Toyko Skyline


Joe – Media Assistant

Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Joe Montana and I work with Chris on marketing and design at Rickshaw. One of the most exciting parts of working at Rickshaw is how much of an impact design has on all of our work. Here at Rickshaw we live by the mantra, Form Function Footprint and here is my personal version of that brand ethos:

Form: Is the design appealing, clean, simple, elegant? Function: How does design effect the usability or user experience? Footprint: How many resources go into making the design, and are they sustainable?

Therefore, for my New Years resolution I am honing our drive for Making (designing) Things Better and spending a week in Tokyo and Kyoto to study:

  • Graphic design and photography
  • Modes of transportation (specifically biking)
  • Proxemics (the study of set, measurable distances between people as they interact).

Here are some interesting clips that have inspired my interest for this trip:

Photography: Mirror filters and the Tokyo skyline 

There is a great deal of viral video floating around cyber space right now, with this cool effect of mounting a mirror filter to an HD video camera. The results are really neat. With a plethora of design and photography museums in Tokyo, I hope to come back with many more ideas for unique footage of our bags!

Biking: Underground bike parking to utilize minimal space

Biking is such a huge part of the culture in Japan. In fact, if you didn’t already know, Rickshaw gets its name from the Japanese word, Jin Riki Shaw or Human Powered Vehicle. Beyond just hopping on a Rickshaw while I am there, I’d love to investigate how their culture is transporting their stuff while commuting on bike, so that we may be able to incorporate it into our designs in SF.

Proxemics: Squished on a subway train, yet still having to carry all your stuff

One of the most fascinating subjects I studied while in college was Proxemics, or how cultures identify acceptable spacial relations. In Tokyo during rush hour, it is totally acceptable to be pushed by train conductors into the subway so that the doors can shut and the train can leave the station. At one time or another, we’ve all been in a similar situation as an urban commuter. However, I wonder can we create a better bag for situations like this?

In my travels I hope to gain insight for Rickshaw, as well as my own imagination, so that everyday I am inspired to Change for Good!

Christy hosting this year's street sweep at the Rickshaw factory tour.


Christy – Retail Associate

Wassup!  This is Christy, and at Rickshaw, we work and live by our PCQ’s- passion, craft, and quality.  Every day that I open the store at Rickshaw, I am inspired by the workings of our customer interactions.  The occupations, lifestyles, crafts, hobbies, entrepreneurial visionaries, and personalities that come through our factory doors are limitless, and it is this passion for life that will lead my change for good in 2011.

At the beginning of December, I assisted in hosting the after party for the annual Supermarket Street Sweep, a city-wide bike race to raise food and money for the San Francisco Food Bank.  Our factory was filled with nearly 500 cyclists who had just spent 4 hours lugging around hundreds of pounds of food on their backs,  trailers, and anywhere else they could fit just one more can of beans.  During this time, I met the organizers of the race who told me the story of how a simple idea came to fruition and how they had organized so many cyclists and sponsors to participate in this event year after year- a truly exhilarating and remarkable display of passion, craft, and quality.

In 2011 and beyond, I look forward to meeting more PCQ enthusiasts to share ideas to make them real life changes for good!

Lisa shredding the mountain, Sawtooth Mountains, ID


Lisa B – PR Specialist

This is Lisa Burnes, PR maven for Rickshaw Bagworks.  I moved to the Bay Area from Jackson Hole in spring of 2009.  It was a big change to go from living in a small, recreationally driven mountain town for 10 years to the big and diverse community that is San Francisco.  In Jackson Hole I found that working in an industry that I was passionate about resulted in my finding really great work that I found stimulating and challenging.  Being the communications manager and spokesperson for a world class resort was the culmination of a decade of hard work and a lot of skiing!

When asked to join the Rickshaw team I was flattered, as they are a group who are inspiring to work with and very passionate about what they do.  Every time I leave the office I feel a little boost of energy that comes from being around a group of people who have a clear mission to make change for good!

In 2011, I hope to spend more time with the Rickshaw team, and focus my energy on getting the word out to as many outlets and peers as possible about the ethos of Rickshaw and all of the fantastic products we design and produce. And, get in a few more ski days…

Thanks! Lisa

Justin says, "Oh goodness. Talk about up-cycling."


Justin – Office Assistant

In the last four months I’ve had a great deal of change and thus far it’s been good. My boyfriend and I moved from Minneapolis to San Francisco in a 16 foot rental truck, making stops to explore and visit friends and family in Kansas City, Denver, Santa Fe, and Flagstaff before arriving in this Emerald-like City.  Although the cross-country trip meant creating a significant new distance between great friends, family, and the familiar, it’s been a great success. I’ve already met some incredible people, located delicious vegetarian eateries, and started to get to know the Bay Area.  And of course, I started working at Rickshaw!

My Change for Good in 2011 is to break in my new Rickshaw Zero, which is to say, break in San Francisco and make it my own!  I don’t mean to say “stabilize” or get into some sort of rut; I want to continue to explore all that San Francisco and the Bay Area offer, because there is so much. I’m already loving the ability to bike to work in the middle of winter without worry of frostbite, but meeting new people that are passionate about their work and becoming a part of a company that truly cares about the externalities. It seriously feels good to find a place that focuses on the margin not only by reducing scraps, but making something from the scraps that are created. I’m not just talking about Roundtrip Shippers, I am excited to become a part of a community that re-purposes freeways to spaces like the Hayes Valley Farm, re-news areas like the Dogpatch, and focuses on sustainability with city wide composting.

I’m excited to find new niches and to continue to push myself into those initially-uncomfortable situations that often lead to hilarious stories and, occasionally, strong connections with people that’ll last a lot longer than a resolution.

3 Responses to “Resolve to change for good”
  1. Davey Moyers says:

    I was catching up on my blog reading and caught up with this Wonderful post. I feel like I know you guys. This is so cool and very typical of what I’ve come to expect from Rickshaw…the untypical. I’m an “old guy” now at 52, but still working hard daily at staying fit. It is inspiring to read each of your stories and how you are weaving this all together for the betterment of self, venue, and environment. So I wish each and everyone of my Rickshaw sisters and brothers the best in 2011. That your hearts will be full, that your minds will be strong, that your days are filled with love and adventure. You are all WONDERFUL people.

  2. Davey Moyers says:

    What happen to my post?

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] encourage positive change in your life and the world. This is a part of my personal vision and my New Year’s resolution.  Ultimately, I’d like to know where and how everything I have purchased is created. Along […]

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