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About Us

“SCOUT is about celebrating the everyday. Our products bring imagination to the ordinary. We want everything about our line to make you smile, down to the names of products and patterns.”

—DEB JOHNS, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER OF SCOUT

The first SCOUT bag, circa 2004

The first SCOUT bag, circa 2004.

The SCOUT Story

Everyone has stuff, SCOUT gives you a place to put it. SCOUT is a family-owned, Washington, DC-based brand known for colorful bags that mix both function and fashion using original patterns and versatile designs.

It began with an ah-ha moment.

In the early 2000s, our Chief Creative Officer, Deb Waterman Johns, spotted a (very expensive) chic carryall bag in the window of a high-fashion store in Milan. She realized there was a need for stylish, functional tote bags at an affordable price point, accessible to all women, and she could be the one to fill it.

Designed with you in mind...

We’re committed to making lives easier, one bag (or two, or three) at a time. You have places to go, things to see, and stuff to carry—that’s where we come in. Our versatile products are designed to complement any lifestyle.

We celebrate life’s colorful adventures.

If our brand is one thing, it’s fun. We know how to celebrate our stuff and have fun with life’s adventures—those we look for and those that find us. A Maryland customer once called her SCOUT tote a “conquer-the-world bag,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Meet the Team

Click on the team members below to learn more about us!

Behind the Designs

Under the direction of Deb, our Chief Creative Officer, our talented pattern designers, Mark and Joe, create hundreds of original designs each year. The designs are then edited down to a cohesive collection of patterns per season.

The SCOUT team then holds a “naming day” at our offices in DC, where we brainstorm names for the entire season. We have fun with the names, and hope you do, too!

Were' often asked why every bag doesn't come in every pattern. With so many products, pattern selection is strategic. Best-selling forms come in the most patterns, while more specialized products often come in patterns designed just for them (like gift bags).

Each limited-edition pattern is exclusive to SCOUT and produced only once, and more than 1,000 original SCOUT patterns have been created since 2004.

Deb Waterman Johns organizes images, objects, and textiles that she collected for pattern inspiration during her trips around the US and abroad.

Deb Waterman Johns organizes images, objects, and textiles that she collected for pattern inspiration during her trips around the US and abroad.

Many of our original patterns are hand drawn by Joe McLain of Polytone Design
Many of our original patterns are hand drawn by Joe McLain of Polytone Design
Many of our original patterns are hand drawn by Joe McLain of Polytone Design
 

Giving Back

Deb and Ben Johns, the co-owners of SCOUT, have always maintained that giving back should remain a top priority on life's to-do list, and it's easy to find non-profits that need our help. The Johns family and the SCOUT team bring the Georgetown and DC/MD/VA community together annually to raise money for their Go Bo Fund, which benefits families who are balancing medical expenses for pediatric cancer with the day-to-day expenses of raising those children.

  • Go Bo is an annual theme party hosted by the Johns family to raise money to help families affected by childhood cancer.
  • Breat Cancer Fundraiser
  • In 2012, a group of philanthropic mothers began an effort at Webb-Wheatley Elementary School in honor of Mother's Day and hard-working students at the school.
  • Get Dressed and SAKS Fifth Avenue held fashion forums for seasonal dressing that benefited Breast Cancer Cares, DC4BC, and the Go Bo Fund.
  • Deb worked with a Secret Santa program during her days in NYC, and she brought the holiday gift concept to families in need in DC the December she moved.
 

Community

An essential element to our brand’s growth is the sense of community amongst SCOUT fans.

We have only you to thank for the continued buzz around the brand—particularly on the East Coast, where it’s elevated to cult status. No one better understands the SCOUT obsession than another SCOUT fan who can often list off the many different styles and patterns they've owned over the years. We love seeing SCOUT bags old and new—and we love when you share your pictures! Be sure to check out our gallery and submit your own pictures to be featured on the site.