The Lettershop Grand Opening

The young entrepreneurs of Jacksonville’s very own Burro Bags are making news once again. Coinciding with the May Art Walk, the messenger bag makers will celebrate the grand opening of their new location and retail store.
Burro Bags began when Matt Bort and Chris Williams teamed up to create a durable but affordable solution to their daily bicycle commute from Springfield to UNF. In the early days they made messenger bags for friends out of their house but soon needed more space. After hooking up with a benevolent landlord, they found a new home on Main Street, at what came to be known as the BBB Complex. The converted auto lot became a collective of sorts, a cultural oasis shared by Royal Treatment, a consignment record shop and Zombie Bikes. Over the the next two years Burro Bags grew in popularity not only locally but internationally. Somewhere along the way John O’Brian, Josh Dunn and Jack Twachtman joined the team with the hopes that one day they might actually get paid for helping out their friends.
Sales were rising and things were looking up until February, when they learned they would have to vacate the BBB by the end of the month. Time being of the essence, they quickly set out to secure a new location for their business.
Enter Downtown Vision, Inc. and their Off the Grid program. Under the suggestion of local artist Jim Draper, DVI has been instrumental in pairing artists with Downtown property owners to fill vacant spaces by untraditional means. Although not artists in the traditional sense, the organization felt Burro Bags fit the bill and put them in contact with Rich Trendel of Petra Management, Inc. who helped them find their new digs.
Burro Bags now occupies the Lettershop building at 228 E. Forsyth. The new location provides the company with enough room to house their operation as well as a street-level retail space to showcase their wares as well as those of other local independent designers. In addition to the boutique, the building will also house a record shop co-run by Ian Ranne of Royal Treatment Records and Cash Carter of Moon Colony Razorblade. With Shaun Thurston as the resident artist, the new location is set to be an exciting addition to the renaissance of activity Downtown has seen of late.
For their grand opening party, the Lettershop team is pulling no punches. New murals painted by Thurston will be on display set to the tunes of DJ TriclopsI. Free beer will flow and good times will be had by all.