Repeating Patterns at Porcelain Rocket
Words and photos by Morgan Taylor
Spending a few hours at Porcelain Rocket’s Canadian headquarters, I got a sense of just how much Scott Felter has invested in this business – and in the culture surrounding it. Scott began stitching bags for bikes while living in Banff, at the head of the Tour Divide Route. After a few years working out of a basement in Victoria, BC, he’s been in his current shop in Calgary for three years. On this particular day, Tim was working on a production run of frame bags for Rocky Mountain Bicycles, while Scott and I perused the layers of Porcelain Rocket’s history.
On the surface I saw the possibilities of raw materials and an eclectic collection of finished products, yet it wasn’t until we dug into the shapes and patterns of what brings these products to life that I truly realized the equity Scott’s investment of time has produced. Four drawers of frame bag templates for just about any bike you can imagine. A full set of custom dies for cutting plastic inserts. Rafters filled and surfaces covered with years of connections with other makers of rad stuff for bicycles.
Bikepacking has really blown up over the past few years – and that’s been good for Porcelain Rocket. With confidence in his production processes, Scott expanded his business model earlier this year to include a second facility in Bozeman, Montana. In Bozeman, two employees with roots in the outdoor gear stitching industry work in a similar-sized shop producing the more common pieces in the line. The result is a line of production pieces and custom options, all made in North America: the payoff of Scott’s time and effort.