New Generation Of Bankers Embraces The “Deal Bag”


October 25, 2013 - Two decades after Scarborough & Tweed launched its canvas duffle bag, dubbed the “deal bag,” investment bankers, brokers and fund managers continue to carry the satchel, which has become a badge of honor on Wall Street.

The Scarborough & Tweed duffle bag has endured for more than 20 years because it embodies style and taste in a modest, unpretentious package. Launched in 1992, the year after a recession, the bag represented the perfect antithesis to the extravagant attaché cases characteristic of the 1980s. Today, the Scarborough & Tweed duffle bag is ubiquitous throughout the corporate world because it’s durable, practical and affordable, an attractive combination for budget-conscious companies of all sizes. Aside from the deal bag, it's also known as the Wall Street bag and the bankers bag.  

Another plus: the bags are made in the USA. Scarborough & Tweed operates its own manufacturing facility in New York, which allows the company to accommodate custom requests, offer a fast turn-around time, and contain costs. The bags feature Scarborough & Tweed’s signature woven ribbon, which bears the customer’s logo.

Lisa McCullagh launched Scarborough & Tweed 21 years ago from the basement of her modest, two-bedroom home in a New York suburb, three months after her first child was born. “I was feeding the baby with one hand and taking orders with the other,” she says.

The duffle bag’s instant popularity catapulted McCullagh’s small, one-woman shop to profitability in its inaugural year. Now Scarborough & Tweed offers thousands of custom and brand name promotional products, has offices in the United States and Europe, and serves clients all over the world. The “deal bag” has spawned countless iterations over the years, with the company designing bags in a multitude of fabrics and styles, such as tote bags, saddle bags, pitch bags and more.

McCullagh attributes her company’s success to her intense focus on customer service. “We go to great lengths to fulfill every customer request, no matter how challenging,” she says. “We never say no to a client because nothing is impossible. You just have to use a little imagination.” Her ability to identify and seize opportunities has also fostered the company’s success. Capitalizing on the growing trend toward online shopping, several years ago Scarborough & Tweed began to develop and administer private e-commerce websites for clients, enabling them to quickly and conveniently order their logo merchandise online.

Scarborough & Tweed’s prosperity has enabled McCullagh to support causes she champions, such as education, child welfare, and the arts. Over the years Scarborough & Tweed has donated more than $1 million in merchandise to humanitarian relief efforts that provide food, medical supplies, and other resources to children struggling with poverty worldwide. McCullagh serves on the board of the Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival, which organizes an annual music and dance event in the Pocono Mountains and offers local music students the opportunity to work with professional artists.

The popularity of Scarborough & Tweed’s duffle bag in the corporate world prompted the company to bring the product to the college market. Scarborough & Tweed has designed bags for such schools as Yale, Wharton, Columbia, New York University and Boston College. The move introduces the duffle bag to a new generation, which joins the throngs of Scarborough & Tweed customers who have enjoyed the bag for the past 21 years. 

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