By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4)– From inside their small Denver apartment, self-described “married millennials” Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandstrom are designing backpacks inspired by their travels abroad.
“Our backpack is minimalist Scandinavian style,” Kelly said.
The couple often travels to Europe to visit Matilda’s home country of Sweden.
“When we travel, we want to pack as light as possible,” she said. “We want that style of backpack that looks good and holds up with you’re traveling.”
One summer, the couple used their backpacks to gather food to give to the hungry. They’d go to a local supermarket for groceries, make individual meals, and give them to those in need.
“Obviously handing out one meal to a person in need isn’t going to solve any huge problems, but we just wanted to spread some kindness and do what we could to help out,” Kelly said.
That’s how the couple came up with their company Adventurist Backpacks– minimalist style with maximum impact.
“Giving back was implemented right away when we started the company,” Kelly explained.
For every backpack the Denver couple sells, they provide 25 meals to families in need. Through Feeding America, the company provided meals for more than 200 food banks in the U.S., including Food Bank of the Rockies.
“We both have been so lucky in life. We come from great homes and great families, and we just want to be able to do what we love and give back at the same time,” Matilda said.
In just one year as a lean start-up company, Adventurist Backpacks has provided nearly 20,000 meals to people in need. Kelly and Matilda said their goal is to at least double that by this time next year.
“We just felt like it was our duty as travelers to do what we could to spread some kindness.”
Each Adventurists Backpack retails for $65. The company also has other items for purchase.
LINK: Adventurists Backpacks
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.