Photo Credit: TN
Cincha: The BIPOC-Owned Travel Belt You Need
Rolling luggage, duffle bag, handbag, and coat. These are all a part of the burdensome load of items travelers must haul around the airport during their trips. Carrying all of this baggage, how will one free up a hand to take out their passport or wallet while on the move? Ash and James, co-founders of Cincha, created their innovative Travel Belt as a solution to this everyday travel problem.
“Travel Belts secure your personal bag to your luggage and help keep a heavy bag off one’s shoulders,” said Ash. “They provide an extra hand, and one less worry while traveling. The Travel Belt is that ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ accessory for travelers, over-packers, and light travelers alike.”
Both natives of the Bay Area, Ash is the Marketing Director for a consumer packaged goods brand and James is a civil rights lawyer. The couple launched Cincha in 2019 out of a desire to make travel a little more comfortable and accessible, and to help others who could not afford leisure travel.
“We thought about how to make our ‘air-porting’ (last-minute rushes through security, finding the gates, lugging too much stuff, etc.) a little less chaotic and unpleasant. We soon realized that others had the same problem. And, given our humble backgrounds, it was crucial for us that Cincha be a vehicle to help others who could not yet afford to indulge their travel bugs. This led to us partnering with Miles4Migrants.”
Miles4Migrants is a non-profit organization that uses donated frequent flier miles to provide free flights to reunite refugees and asylum-seekers with their families. Cincha is proud to have raised over 500,000 frequent flier miles for Miles4Migrants since last year, which have translated to real domestic and international flights for families separated by tragedy or loss.
As minorities, Ash and James are acutely aware of the inherent privilege and luxury of pleasure travel, especially by plane. Having grown up in and out of homelessness, James’ first flight came only after a prospective college paid for his airfare. He did not travel out of the country until he became a lawyer. Ash could enjoy air travel growing up only because her dad works as a mechanic for an airline and could fly stand-by.
“Leisure travel can be such an incredible experience, yet so few can afford it, even when they need to travel. Hence, our partnership with Miles4Migrants. Creating a vehicle that allows us to meaningfully help others on a larger scale is honestly one of the most rewarding parts of entrepreneurship, and has defined what Cincha seeks to be about. We cannot wait to double, triple, quadruple those miles in the future.”
In addition to its Travel Belts, Cincha has created Stowaway Pockets, cute pouches that hold your favorite travel accessories and smaller items in one neat place. The Stowaway Pockets just launched this year, along with a Spring Collection of four new Travel Belts, and a Mini version of the Travel Belts in three colors.
Cincha also offers monogramming on its Travel Belts: hand-painted initials (up to three letters) or debossed initials (up to two letters). All hand-painting is done by a Bay Area based artist.
“Every month or so we try to launch a new hand-painted icon or graphic (imagine a star or heart or plane) for a limited time. For large orders, we also offer additional personalization options, such as hand-painted or screen printed logos and custom packaging, which we recently did for NBA on TNT.”
However, Cincha is just getting started. The company is looking forward to expanding its product line, and will be releasing exciting new products around fall.
“We also look forward to soon collaborating with diverse graphic designers and brands to create some amazing new products and designs. Any talented artists out there exploring brand partnerships should reach out!”