Hi, I'm Beth and this is my partner Randy and our little dog Chachy...
... I'm the creator and owner of Speakeasy Travel Supply.
------->>> Speakeasy is the Travel Scarf Made for Travelers by Travelers!<<<-------
You may have seen our scarves on Forbes, CNN Travel, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Hello Giggles, Conde Nast, Yahoo Travel, Airfare Watchdog, Eagle Creek, SmarterTravel and other popular sites. Believe it or not, it was my day job that led me to create our Speakeasy Hidden Pocket Travel scarves - we were full time travel bloggers before we became full time makers!
I’ve always been frustrated by the lack of pockets in my clothing but it wasn’t until I started traveling full time as a travel photographer more than a decade ago that I realized how much not having pockets kept me from moving through the world freely.
Pocket inequality is exactly why the Speakeasy Pocket Scarf was born!
We saved all our money, quit our jobs, created our travel blog BeersandBeans.com over 11 years ago to travel around the world full time. In the process, Beers & Beans became our full time job (insane!) and over the years through hard work and dedication we were fortunate enough to work with amazing travel brands, magazines and destinations.
Being on the road constantly meant I always needed a secure pocket for my phone, money and passport. I refused to buy a money belt and always hated having a purse with me when I traveled. However I always traveled with at least two scarves and one day the lightbulb went off. What if my scarf had a secret pocket in it? I could stash my important items in there and no one would ever know! It would be safe, secure and dual function - the perfect travel item!
I hand stitched the first Speakeasy Travel Scarf on our living room floor. It worked! I couldn't believe it! I was in love and realized I would never travel without it again. So I made a few more and started giving them to other traveling friends who also LOVED them.
I decided to name the company Speakeasy Travel Supply because I used to stash a flask in it for fun (yes, you can also do this with yours too - kind of perfect for festivals, sporting events, etc) and the hidden pocket reminded me of a hidden speakeasy bar.
Initially I launched the new shop on Etsy and talked about my new creation on Beers & Beans. Shortly after that my scarves were featured on Buzzfeed and the rest as they say, is history. Since then they've been featured on Forbes, CNN Travel, Mashable, Hello Giggles, Conde Nast, Yahoo Travel, Airfare Watchdog, Eagle Creek, SmarterTravel, Buzzfeed 5x's, Southern Living and many more! It's been a wild and amazing ride.
Our Product - Speakeasy Travel Scarf:
Our travel scarves are created to help you travel safer and easier and look good while you do it. Each one is hand crafted in the USA in our family run studio! They're made for travelers by travelers and because we think the only thing on your mind should be enjoying new experiences we make sure that each one can stand up to the rigors of a life on the road.
Quality is of the upmost importance to us. I really cannot state this enough. Our craftsmanship, fabrics and zippers are to the highest standards.
For more info: please read about our process to learn more about our fabrics and what goes into each of our scarves to make them fit for the road!
Try one - you will love it. They make traveling a breeze (pop your boarding tickets in there and you'll cruise through the airport) and are perfect for day to day life at home too.
Where will your Speakeasy scarf take you?
We have a team of three dedicated full time sewers that hand stitch each scarf and I am still one of them!
My mother and brother-in-law round out our sewing team while Randy helps out with the marketing for our shop while also freelancing for travel publications and running his travel website. Randy's mother also works for us on a part time basis during the summer/holidays when we do a variety of different in-person fairs and events. Chachy provides the stress relief at the studio and curls up each day on his electric blanket lulled to the sleep by the hum of the machines after making his rounds to play with everyone. We now produce an insane amount of scarves in our studio, the quality is superb and we are able to provide jobs to our family members. It's been a 6 year process to get to this point but after 3 US factories and several independent seamstresses to finally have a family based team that cares about the quality of the end product has been a tremendous relief for us and it has been a win/win for everyone including our customers!
I handle all of the fabric cutting and back end work for our website and social pages. I personally source all of the fabrics we work with and each fabric is tested before we bring it online. Somehow in the middle of this I actually manage to sleep!
But kidding aside, I wake up at 5:30am each day in order to get all of this done and this year we are looking to hire additional employees to help with cutting/shipping/events so that we can continue to grow the business. If you live in the Boston/Cape Cod area and are interested please drop us a line!
As you can see we are a very hands on, integrity based company. Our customers, our employees and our product are of the utmost importance to us.
Let's Be Friends:
- Instagram ~ Plenty of fantastic travel photos, new product pics & discounts
- Facebook ~ Sneak peeks on our newest products, behind the scenes at Speakeasy and travel photos!
- Pinterest ~ Plenty of beauty to fuel your wanderlust (our travel boards have over 8 million followers combined) , plus healthy veggie recipes and home decor styles that catch my eye.
- Twitter ~ Updates and shop highlights
Only One Original:
Our Speakeasy Travel Scarf is not some cheap piece of fabric stitched together overseas like the copy cats. And if you see another hidden pocket travel scarf it is indeed a copy cat - our Speakeasy Travel Scarf is the true original.
A Speakeasy Travel Scarf is created with the customer in mind and we put a tremendous amount care and quality into it which is reflected in the design, fabrics and craftsmanship. When it's time to buy another one, it will be because you want a different pattern not because your current scarf failed you.
Lastly, please do not purchase a Speakeasy Travel Scarf from anywhere else except this website, our Etsy shop, our Amazon shop (we only have a couple available there) or one of the brick & mortar shops we have listed on our stockist page.
If you see a Speakeasy somewhere else it is likely a rip off using our name. There are other companies impersonating our brand, even using our photos and descriptions to promote their products. Also please do not buy our product if you see it listed at a very high price (I once saw ONE of our scarves for sale online for $150!) as we have discovered instances of people reselling our actual product for much higher than the original price. We ship worldwide so you do not need to purchase from someone trying to rip you off.
Let's Travel Together!
Now if you want to know the whole enchilada of who we are and how we got here...here's the full story.
Beers And Beans Days
I was a photographer by trade and Randy was a journalist by trade when we met 10 years ago in San Diego. We created BeersandBeans.com about 12 years ago to chronicle our dream of traveling the world. After a lot of penny pinching (we even lived on a sailboat and in a tent to save money!) we quit our jobs, sold our stuff and embarked upon an open ended adventure around the world. People said we were crazy.
When we started blogging it was not something anyone did for money, it was something you only did out of passion. No one took bloggers seriously, in fact Randy didn't even want to blog for the first year because he didn't want to taint his journalistic integrity - no real journalist would even consider blogging back then. When Beers & Beans was born, it was my entire world. I was 31 and at a really low point in my life so I pretty much threw all of my energy into it, it saved my sanity in return and started me down a path to a life I never could've imagined.
I had no idea it would turn into a business but after a couple of years that's exactly what happened.
Beers & Beans became ridiculously popular and won dozens of awards (I was most blown away when we were mentioned alongside Anthony Bourdain and when some of my work was published alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson) and we've had the good fortune of working with some truly amazing travel brands - Conde Nast, AFAR Magazine, Mens Journal and National Geographic to name just a few. We've been flown around the world over and over again to photograph, learn and write about unique and jaw dropping destinations. Honestly when I stop and think about it, it completely blows my mind. I still pinch myself.
Up until I created the Speakeasy Scarf, which was a tangible item, my father could not understand what we really did or how we even made money. Most people couldn't - it was too bizarre to think that traveling could actually be a job. My dad is an adventurer at heart and although he could never wrap his mind around what we had created or how it worked (the man has never had an email account), when the work load and stress of being self employed was getting to be overwhelming his advice to me was simple: Never Stop.
The thing most people don't know about professional travelers is that we work a lot. ALL THE TIME. It's the rollercoaster nature of being self employed combined with living a life on the road. It's like living in the chiaroscuro of a Caravaggio painting - intense lights and intense darks. The stunning beauty of the world punctuated by complete exhaustion. At one point I asked my dad for advice and he said, "You've managed to figure out a way to get paid to travel. You've seen more places in a couple years than most people will see in their entire lifetimes. I don't know how you did it but never stop."
So I kept going.
We took a huge risk and we followed our passion. It required a tremendous amount of work and dedication but ultimately it led us to where we are today and I couldn't be more grateful. When I decided I wanted to change my life and travel the world, I never could've imagined the adventure it would become. It's been a blessing, a pure gift. And very humbling to say the least.
Pin-Up Live! Nights:
A couple years after the creation of Beers & Beans I created Pin-Up Live! which was a live travel chat on Pinterest. If you're into travel and Pinterest then there's a good chance you've been to one of our live chats!
I started Pin-Up Live! to give travelers a great way to chat directly with amazing destinations and travel brands all while providing great travel tips/advice and a stunning amount of eye candy to help plan your next trip. The whole chat is visual and took place on Pinterest and was always a lot of fun. We no longer host Pin-Up Live chats.
We've since partnered with AFAR Magazine on our PUL chats and have hosted brands such as Kate Spade, REI, Paul Gauguin Cruises, ExOfficio, Skype, New Belgium Brewing and destinations like Tourism Australia, Telluride and St. Vincent & The Grenadines on our chats. Not only did you get a serious dose of wanderlust during our live chats but additionally all of our hosts give away a gift at each chat and given the brands I mentioned, these gifts were pretty awesome. It's always made me so excited that we were able to bring travelers and travel brands together to chat live all about travel on such a fun platform like Pinterest.
I wouldn't have been able to create Pin-Up Live! without the help of my sister Bridgette (creator of Earmark Social Goods) who is a crazy talented designer and huge Pinterest fanatic. She handles all the design and branding for the chats and has over 1.6M followers on Pinterest which means that all of our chats were really fun and full of new and returning faces.
We used to host the chat each Wed. at 7pm EST but since Speakeasy was created we've scaled back a bit and no longer host them.
Speakeasy - The Wild Child Takes Over
A couple of years after creating Pin-Up Live! I founded Speakeasy Travel Supply. As the saying goes - Invention Is the Mother Of Necessity - and that couldn't have been more true in this case. Traveling full time with everything you own on your back has one big set back - security. I am kind of crazy about keeping my valuables safe on the road. At any given time we would have about 10k worth of equipment with us when traveling - laptops, cameras, lenses, hard drives, etc.
If we had a hotel room it was easy to lock up our goods with our PacSafe bag but what if we were camping or staying in a hostel? Believe it or not, we had to carry it all with us. It was just part of the job - a necessary evil. Carrying equipment is one thing but carrying your passport, phone and money is another. These are things you need at the ready, not stuffed and hidden away in a bag but they still need to be safe and secure. And ladies, you know how much the pocket situation sucks in women's clothing and let's face it, long travel days call for yoga pants - no pockets in sight!
Every time I traveled there was always two constants - I always had a need for a secure pocket to stash my passport, phone and money and I always traveled with at least 2 scarves. Scarves are probably one of the most useful items you can have on the road - they warm you up in airports, cover you up when you want to show less skin, dress up your travel outfits, hide food stains on the clothes you never wash enough on the road and cover up the few pounds you gained guzzling beer at Oktoberfest. Scarves for everything!
I couldn't stand the idea of a money belt and through all of my travels I never purchased one. I just couldn't allow myself to go down that road. Instead I would sew pockets into the interior of my pants, which was safe yet super inconvenient and often times uncomfortable. One day I realized that my scarf would be the perfect place for a secret pocket. Even if you fall asleep on a train in a foreign country no one will ever suspect you have anything IN your scarf! Thus Speakeasy was born.
I made my first Speakeasy scarf by piecing it together on the floor of my sister's living room (remember, I had no real home of my own) and I hand sewed the entire thing, even the zipper (took forever and looked atrocious)! And after fiddling with the design and testing out my scarves on the road, I realized they were the most amazing thing I had ever traveled with. They solved all my problems! So I decided to start selling them on Etsy so other travelers could use them as well.
Speakeasy Travel Supply was born out of necessity and our scarves became hugely popular after being featured on Buzzfeed a couple months after I opened our Etsy shop. From there the snowball kept on rolling and it's been a mind-blowing 6 years since we've launched our scarves. We've been featured on Buzzfeed (5 times & counting) Mashable, Hello Giggles, Conde Nast, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Airfare Watchdog, Eagle Creek, SmarterTravel and more.
If I'm being honest, it's been INSANE. I had no idea these scarves would take off like they have and it's been a tremendous blessing for us and our family in so many ways. For the first couple of years we were running on 1-2 month back order since I personally sewed 99.9% of the scarves we sold. The next two years we partnered with a creative and quality driven small run sewing company in Florida - what started out great slowly turned into a nightmare as the quality went downhill dramatically. The last year of working with them I was resewing about 85% of their product along with sewing my own. It was so stressful and exhausting. In 2018 we decided to bring all the work back into our studio and we hired my mother and brother-in-law full time to sew for us. Training everyone and getting them up to speed was both excillerating and exhausting but it has been worth it. We now produce an insane amount of scarves in our home studio, the quality is superb and we were able to provide jobs to our family members that needed them. So it has been a win/win for everyone. It's been a 6 year process to get to this point but after 3 factories and several independent seamstresses to finally have a family based team that cares about the quality of the end product has been a tremendous relief for us.
It's also enabled us to grow - over the past two years I've been forced into turning down some amazing opportunities because I simply could not fulfill the orders on my own. Like the time I had to turn down a slot on The View because they wanted 3,000 - 5,000 scarves - that hurt! I also have a serious case of carpel tunnel due to the excessive 60+ hours/week of sewing and I wake up with numb hands every day. So the help is something that we desperately needed.
With their help I now have time to do other things to grow our business - taking our customer service to the next level, creating partnerships with stores, bloggers and travel brands, finishing our website and manning our social media accounts, selling at gift shows around the country and hopefully even a little traveling! In 2018 we were so busy that we were unable to travel for work and/or fun. We plan to change that in 2019 by hiring additional help.
I like to say I have four kids: Chachy (my furry baby), Beers & Beans, Pin Up Live! and now Speakeasy Travel Supply is my fourth, most wild child of them all.
Travel changes everything. It has the power to change your viewpoints and the path of your life entirely. It's shown me a world I only dreamt about and put me in the path of amazing people and experiences that have shifted the core of my being. It's given me everything and I couldn't have imagined any of this when I started writing my first post for Beers & Beans so many years ago. It's truly mind blowing.
Part of being a good traveler is being a stewart for those to come and doing what you can to create something better for those around you. Some of my favorite places in the world are among the poorest. It's always been my intent to use Speakeasy as a fuel to help make a small dent in this big, wide globe we call home.
Some of our upcoming goals:
1. Source locally crafted fabrics from developing countries.
This is in progress, we have recently purchased an amazing array of handwoven fabrics from a women's cooperative in Guatemala, a country we dearly love. They are gorgeous! I can't wait to launch them over the summer and I hope you all love them as much as I do so I can continue working with them. I also have a small batch of fabric from Jordan that I purchased when I was there a couple of years ago and a very limited supply of fabric from Thailand a blogger friend bought me when she was there a few months ago.
2. Give back.
I want Speakeasy to be like Tom's shoes and provide for people less fortunate. I'm not sure people in need would be as excited as you or me to receive a scarf with a hidden pocket in it but I'm thinking of partnering with other companies as a way to give back - perhaps a meal for someone in need for every scarf that is purchased. Do you have a charity that inspires you? Drop us a line and let us know! I'm also thinking of doing a new charity each month.
3. Create more useful travel products.
As much as I love our Speakeasy scarf I know there are more travel items we can create to make the lives of travelers easier. I've been working on an RFID blocking passport wallet and hope to bring it to market next month. It's made of sustainable cork, has enough room for two passports and tons of pockets for cards, money, receipts and transportation cards. It also has a slot for a pen- no more borrowing a pesky pen from the flight attendant to fill out your customs forms! And it's fully lined in silver to protect all your data from thieves! I've got other ideas too - in particular a head scarf style Speakeasy for Middle Eastern travels. This design has been difficult to bring to fruition due to the amount of fabric needed and the warm climates it will be worn in.
4. Launch a Globetrotter At Home line.
I love textiles and so many times when we traveled I saw things I wanted to buy but never did because I didn't have anywhere to put them. Now that I'm home more than on the road I still want that same sense of adventure. I hope to bring wanderlust inspired pillows, blankets and home goods to our shop.
Thank you so much for reading this. You clearly have the patience of a saint and your reward is 5% off your order. Just use this code at check out: IHEARTSPEAKEASY5
Want to learn more? Drop us a line! In Boston or Cape Cod? Let's meet up for coffee and travel chat. We'd love to meet you and thank you in person for checking out our website and products.