American Made Since 2010

Tielor McBride

Brooklyn, New York
A designer of American-made accessories focused on the standards from a golden age of craftsmanship that made the products of yesterday last.

Tell us about your business.

Craftsmanship runs in the family of TM1985 founder Tielor McBride. McBride's great-great-grandfather Christen Hansen, who immigrated to the States from Denmark, owned his own horse tack and boot shop in 1922. Eighty years later, McBride, born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, took his Midwestern roots to New York. He worked as a window designer at Polo Ralph Lauren, in charge of retail development and visual merchandising. Looking for more creative independence and an opportunity to create products with integrity, McBride started TM1985. He made the first roll-top backpack in 2010 and bag production led to wallets, travel accessories and more. In the future, TM1985 will grow to incorporate outerwear denim, and, later, furniture and lighting, to complete the full vision of a lifestyle brand.

What makes your business stand out?

Utility and functionality are the prime motivators. Every bag we carry came from something I’ve made for myself. Different activities have different needs and call for something specialized: hiking trips in Nicaragua, schlepping fabric around the Garment District, trips to the farmers’ market. I love problem solving, and this is the most tangible way to do it. I see TM1985 becoming a strong leader in the renewal of American manufacturing and resurgence of quality-made dry goods. Producing locally not only supports the economy, it makes logistical sense. I’m a practical man, I need to hold something in my hand to know it’s good. I like being able to visit the family-owned factory to chat with the owner and witness every part of the process - it's gratifying. As we've grown, we have kept our integrity by producing locally. I see TM1985 as a pioneer in scaling up the cottage "maker" industry to be sustainable, strengthening local manufacturers and creating lasting jobs.

What's the best business advice you've received?

My approach to design and selling accessories with integrity stems from something I read a long time ago: it's not what you're selling, it's why you're selling it. I don't sell just bags: I make things to help people get around. Bags help you get places and allow you to carry more than you can hold in your hands. They say the hand axe was man’s oldest tool, which it might be, but how did he carry it in on his way home? Probably a bag… I think both about the product I sell and how it will be useful to someone who buys it. But at the end of the day, it's the "why" more than than the "what" -- that's always stuck with me.

Comments (0)


Mark Your Calendar

    Jun. 17, 2015

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Learn about American Made
    Sep. 21, 2015

    Vote for your favorite makers.

    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets available July 2015.

More Nominees

  • 2015 Design Finalist

    Adirondack Guideboat

    Justin and Ian Martin
    Handcrafted cedar & Kevlar guideboats, boat kits, sailing boats, and accessories for open water rowing and sailing. Made with pride in Vermont.
    Design, Garden & Outdoor Living
  • Gourmet cookie dough. Individually frozen. Ready to bake. Always real eggs & butter. Never any artificial ingredients. And it tastes really good.
    Food, Sweets & Baked Goods
  • PegandRail

    Ed Hazel
    High quality American made solid wood products. Coats racks, Picture ledges, Shelf all constructed from solid Oak, Cherry and Maple.
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories
  • Summer Kate Studio

    Kathleen Farrell
    I digitally illustrate my original photos with a fine-point stylus on my tablet, resulting in a completely transformed, layered piece of art.
    Crafts, Paper Crafts