California products ready to go – into the trunk!

It all started back in 1991, when Alden dropped out of college to start a BMX Bicycle Company.   Was that young, ambitious kid really going to drive around the western U.S. selling bikes, stickers, and t-shirts out of his trunk?  Well that wasn't the plan but yes that's exactly what happened. 

Homestead Bicycles Sonoma Index Trib.jpg

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That kid was me.  Cars would change but selling things out of my trunk would continue.  First it was bikes, then t-shirts, clothing and stickers, then photography, then notecards and glass magnets, and finally my first illustrated children's book The Story of Elmer in Yosemite.

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The cards and designs now selling have their history during my grade school years.  Nearsighted and imaginative, my assignments and homework often contained complete storylines along the margins featuring various characters, lighthearted monsters, and of course kids on bikes.  

Before the internet (yes life existed) I began drawing maps to share with friends of favorite spots or to direct them to visit me in faraway cities like Los Angeles or Santa Cruz.  These maps many times contained extensive details, iconic spots, radio stations to check out while visiting, even personal history – "here was where my first kiss happened, overlooking a beautiful grove of redwoods..."

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Fast forward past 25 years and 14 trunks and my little hand-drawn maps – and local photography – sell in over 100 locations in Northern and Southern California,  and cities like Seattle, Chicago, Scottsdale, and Nashville.  I still enjoy the blank sheet of paper and the fresh inspiration to showcase a region's geography, iconic architecture, and cherished spots, to both local and tourists alike.

Alden and Chrysler Santa Rosa Welding Rte 66.jpg

And yes if you see me on the road, it's possible I can still sell you something 'out of the trunk!'

–Alden Olmsted


P.S. - I also have a couple of books that I've written or illustrated - check them out!