Meet the Maker: Kendal Jackson, KJ Bags

KJ bags image -1Nestled in the flatlands of western Florida, you may find the unlikely maker of some of the finest rock climbing chalk bags: Kendal Jackson.

His beginnings were humble, starting on a home sewing machine that his mom taught him how to use at just 12 years old. “Kendal Jackson bags started before I began climbing,” Kendal explains. “I have always been interested in making my own things; at first I started making messenger bags for myself and then for my friends.”

But, shortly thereafter Kendal caught a bug … climbing. While still in middle school, chalk bags were a natural progression of his messenger bags. Contrary to many on the market which were “boring and monotonous,” Kendal emphasizes his passion for new and experimental patterns.

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Supplementing his development as a chalk bag creator, Kendal also grew as a climber during his early teenage years. Unable to find great climbing in the crag-less Floridian landscapes, Kendal recalls some of his best experiences as being trips with his buddies to the southern crags of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Describing what drew him toward these experiences as a kid, he reflects on, “the ability to venture out on road trips with friends, without supervision.” The freedom of such adventures continued with him into college, where he studied anthropology and dived into the world of trad climbing. He now finds it difficult to go back to other styles, taking a love for the freedom provided by the traditional style.

Currently 23 years old, Kendal prepares to continue his studies as an archeology master’s student at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Meanwhile, he will continue to expand his collection of chalk bags, messenger bags, and even yoga mat bags too.

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