Going Her Own Way: How Our Founder Got Rolling
Sara flanked by her Cream Diplomat Stowaway, Diplomat Vanity, and Sweetheart Vanity, on set in Lamu, Kenya

Travel makes Sara Banks happy. You, who have made your way to our website, doubtless know what she means. For the nomadic soul, geographical changes release endorphins, vitally positive emotions that seem one part the destination, and the other, the journey itself—the simple act of going places.


From a young age, Sara dreamed of seeing the world, envying her father’s business trips that transported him from the icy tip of Lake Superior to places warm and wondrous far away. An early year spent in Kenilworth, England, marked Sara's memories with another culture, an impression that stayed with her through the formative imagination of youth.

 

SteamLine Luggage founder Sara Banks with her Orange Anthropologist Stowaway, during her time in Lamu, Kenya
Sara with her Orange Anthropologist Stowaway, during her time in Lamu, Kenya

Sara’s own adventures took off when she attended a college famous for study abroad, a move that allowed her to begin exploring the world on a journey that has never stopped. It all came together—a way to travel for life—when in 2005 Sara founded SteamLine Luggage, a range of colourful suitcases designed to return travel to its glamorous roots as one of the great privileges and luxuries of life.

The Correspondent, one of Sara's original designs, launched SteamLine with an eye to traveling professions and their characters—fitting for someone with a background in theatre and love of the world's stage.
The Correspondent, one of Sara's original designs, launched SteamLine with an eye to traveling professions and their characters—fitting for someone with a background in theatre and love of the world's stage.

With the creation of SteamLine, Sara used luggage to express her cultural and aesthetic values through a brand that says something a little different and deeper about its users. She wanted to serve those of us who see travel as a gift, who have a healthy desire to stand out, and who want to immerse themselves and embrace others wherever they roam. She wanted a brand that celebrates the inherent possibilities of travel, and which inspires people to get up and go. It seems she got it. For anyone who owns a SteamLine knows that the adventure begins with the first step into an airport, train station, or port. You never quite know what—or who—is next, and your luggage helps part the way.

 

Sara's then-youngest son, two-year-old Benji, with Jonathan, a new Kenyan friend.
Sara's then-youngest son, two-year-old Benji, with Jonathan, a new Kenyan friend.

Today Sara’s intuitive approach to travel is fearlessness with a measure of faith. She has motorbiked around India, covered Sri Lanka by Tuk-Tuk—once before children and again with three little boys!—and taken a precipitous speedboat through the roaring waters between mainland Kenya and Lamu. Sara avoids the roads more traveled in the belief that she has the most to learn in less-trafficked corners of the world, where people’s lives look the least like her own. She takes vacation not to escape but to engage. Her experiences have been astounding and she wants the same for you. 

 

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