“Roncy Packs” was born when Lyli Vuong’s three-year-old son had a request for his grandmother, seamstress Kim Nguyen, to make him a fanny pack. They then quickly realized how convenient it is to have just the essentials within reach.
Why the name? Nguyen’s family lives in Roncesvalles, and the community is extremely supportive of small businesses. In June 2020, the family began hawking a few on their local buy-and-sell groups and on Instagram, and within three months, they opened an online store to keep up with demand.
The fanny packs are crafted from locally repurposed remnants, so each one is unique and often has its own backstory. Some fanny packs might include discarded swatches, or damaged leather coats and bags. To give broken umbrellas, jackets, and backpacks a second life, Nguyen meticulously dismantles them.
Roncy Packs also keeps its packaging minimal and eco-friendly by reusing community-donated mailers. Every month, a percentage of the revenues is donated to a different community initiative by the family.
The entire family works together, “Roncy Packs is one way we connect with each other,” said Le Ching, Nguyen’s other daughter. The sisters’ brother, Quang Vuong, assists with product and event photography. Le Ching’s partner, John Niravong, helps with deliveries and inventory pickups. Her father, on the other hand, ensures that everyone is well-fed and cooks them some delicious food.