STATEBags: Giving Kids the Tools For Success

In 2009 Scot Tatelman and his wife Jacqueline started a nonprofit summer camp called Camp Power for hundreds of kids growing up in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Seven years in, they put on a big program for 175 kids to give them the gift of going to summer camp. Camp is an incredible experience for a child. It’s a chance to get out of the city, to be introduced to the kind of role models they may have never been exposed to. Kids get to try new things and broaden their minds.

“This ended up becoming a much bigger movement than we ever imagined,” Tatelman said. “We got really ingrained in the lives of these kids, started spending a lot of times in their neighborhoods.”

Scot and Jacqueline started noticing a recurring theme of the kids showing up to camp with their belongings stuffed into trash bags.

That inspired the Tatelmans to become more involved in these kids’ lives beyond camp.

“We wanted to find kids in similar communities around the country and create similar experience to what we do at camp. We bring in role models, motivational speakers, and give these kids a chance to have fun and act their age,” Scot said.

That’s how STATE Bags was born. For every STATE bag purchased, STATE hand-delivers a backpack — packed with essential tools for success — to an American child in need.

STATE doesn’t just deliver the backpacks to children. “We know that giving children something about of a box isn’t going to change their life.” Instead, STATE plans and hosts amazing events called bag drops which are basically part pep rally, part dance party, with an educational program thrown in.

Experienced child development specialists called PACKMEN and PACKWOMEN who are from at-risk neighborhoods themselves talk to the kids about growing up in rough neighborhoods. They talk about good choices and bad choices and serve as role models and mentors who deliver a profound message to these kids.

“The common theme is that a lot of these kids just lack those figures who tell them ‘look at me, I grew up in the same community as you and I graduated from college and run my own business now and you can do that too,’” Tatelman said.

Creating a Brand That Gives Back

The Tatelman’s are a true husband-wife duo. Jacqueline Tatelman has been working in fashion ever since she was born. She grew up surrounded by it, hanging around her mom’s clothing store in Westchester, New York. When she graduated she started working for diferent fashion brands like Bendel and Sacks Fifth Avenue, accumulating deep knowledge of fashion and product development. Scot handles the all of the mission and charitable side of the business.

“A lot of these buy-one-give-one companies are serving kids overseas, but few are focusing on kids here in the states, and we saw that need first hand,” he said.

STATE Bags is really proud of being an American-based company focusing on giving back to kids here in the states. They’ve expanded their partnerships and are now working with partners like American Eagle, JCrew, Urban Outfitters and Nordstroms.

Brooklyn based and born, STATE started looking to support kids across the entire country. This summer they’ll be donating 30,000 bags during back to school time.

Now a truly national brand, STATE does bag drops in states all along the East Coast. They even did a partnership with Beyonce‘s philanthropy BeyGood Global Charity Campaign for a massive back to school initiative.

Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.

-John F. Kennedy