There were two men – Ebby Salmon and Clarence Rainford. They were international businessmen. Global travellers. People who had a multicultural outlook on life. One was born in the late 1880s and the other in early 1900s. Their stories would become an inspiration for a woman in 2012, who will create a unique and stylish product in Canada.
Her name is Sonja Salmon, and she is their granddaughter. A senior executive in the banking and finance industry for 15 years, Salmon had a deep love for travel too, but there was one challenge – she could never find a suitable suitcase while embarking on another business or leisure adventure.
“There was nothing refined, sophisticated and timeless,” she says. “Every time someone said, ‘Here is a women’s collection,’ it had polka dots or was pink.”
Salmon believes that invention is the mother of necessity, and that’s truly the tagline of how her company Ebby Rane came to light.
“I simply could not find anything on the market that could handle my very extensive assortment of accessories,” she remembers. “When travelling for business, I needed shoes, jewelry, silk scarves, cosmetics. After some research, I realized there was an enormous gap in the market. Over the years, the luggage industry has not changed: it’s primarily a masculine product – the majority of it designed by men, for men.
“All suitcases are essentially the same – an empty box.”
Salmon wanted to bring the love that women have for their accessories to her brand, and merge that emotion with the functionality and utility of luggage. Her wish list was simple: everything had to be matching and orderly. The brand also had to reflect the global love she inherited from her grandfathers, so she combined their names into Ebby Rane.
And so the Ebby Rane Quartermaster was created – a suitcase that Salmon calls “an organized and efficient travel companion.”
“There is a moment of zen when a woman opens her Quartermaster,” she adds. “Its Carryalls also guide your packing system.”
The 10 Carryalls are neatly placed inside the suitcase and they are: a laundry bag, a knickers bag, two shoe sleeves (for two pairs), a bath beach bag (waterproof lined bag for swimwear or soiled gym clothes), a vanity case, a jewels case, a cosmetics case (with waterproof lining as well), a tech case, a liquid case and a dust cover.
“You actually won’t forget things anymore. For example, your charger won’t be left behind in the kitchen, because the tech case will remind you about it,” says Salmon.
Her wish list also included a clutch since, like many women, Salmon was notorious for forgetting hers at home. As a result, The 1887 clutch (named after the year Ebby Salmon was born) is included in the Quartermaster.
The company’s popularity has been growing quickly across Toronto, and Salmon has had a very clear vision from the start to expand it globally.
“We are putting all the building blocks in place to really allow the acceleration of Ebby Rane,” she explains. “I designed the interior of the Quartermaster with the help of a talented global team and we have a patented interior packing system, with over 28 patents secured on that design and additional patents pending. I also trademarked my company’s name and logos, even before we went into production.”
This global vision is present in all aspects of Ebby Rane, as its team is located in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.
Next year, Salmon plans to look into partnering with select retailers, who would expand on drawing the appropriate consumer for her product. She will also have an online boutique and plans to grow Ebby Rane this way. In addition, an Ebby Rane postcard functions as a sophisticated newsletter, with a personalized touch, allowing her customers to get notified of the latest offers. Salmon is also seeking to expand her strategic partnerships and collaborations in 2014.
“My objective is to elevate the travel experience for women,” she concludes. “In the Quartermaster, everything has a place and there is a place for everything.”
A moment with Ebby Rane