This is an ongoing series from Norfolk Development that profiles Norfolk small businesses and entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the programs offered by the Norfolk Department of Development and their partners. This month, during Black History Month, Norfolk Development is highlighting Black businesses that have participated in these programs.
Billboards, Polyester, Vinyl Signs, Event Banners, Museum Banners, Sailboat Sails, Vintage Uniforms and Clothing. Sounds like an odd recipe for an award-winning line of bags and accessories. But it works. Beautifully. And, it’s beautifully sustainable.
In 2016, Norfolk entrepreneur Hamilton Perkins founded the independent brand, Hamilton Perkins Collection (HPC), designing and producing unique and award-winning bags and accessories from recycled materials.
“Hamilton Perkins Collection exists to create timeless limited edition bags made from recycled plastic water bottles, pineapple leaf fiber, and billboard vinyl. The result is that no two bags are ever the same.” Said Perkins.
One of their designs, the Earth Bag Premium, was created so their customers would not only carry a bag that was stylish but carry a bag they could be proud of. They surveyed more than 1, 000 of their consumers to ask what they wanted in a bag, and the Earth Bag Premium was the result, and it soon became one of their most popular designs.
Perkins has taken advantage of various programs as part of our Capital Access Program. HPC was also the winner of the Virginia Velocity Tour hosted by the Governor of Virginia, and the recipient of a HUD Community Development Block Grant. The non-profit B Lab honored Hamilton Perkins Collection as a “Best for the World Overall” B Corporation in 2017.
The brand is currently offered in nearly 100 leading department stores and specialty stores in the United States, Canada, and Europe. HPC has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Money Magazine, and The Washington Post.
Norfolk Development continues to support small businesses and entrepreneurs through our Small Business Initiatives. The program aims to provide an end-to-end business development solution that will equip business owners with a step-by-step toolkit spanning from ideation to revenue generation. As a result of this program, a diverse array of Norfolk businesses gains access to a full suite of services, incentives, talent, and expertise available to support their growth and retention.