Since our inception in 2007, humangear has been hard at work in San Francisco, California, designing simple products that turn ordinary moments into extraordinary ones. We think the details count — how something feels in your hands, how two parts click together, how a product can elegantly and artfully achieve a desired function and nothing more. Everything we make is designed to last a lifetime and help people lead more re-useable, as opposed to disposable, lifestyles. We think great design comes out of really understanding and empathizing with users. And we also think great design comes from getting our hands dirty. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth many thousand pictures.
humangear is passionate about creating evolved products to help people live their lives and help the planet, too. Civilized gear for humans, for life.
The Humans at the Company
Chris Miksovsky, Chief Executive Human
Hi, I'm Chris. I'm the Chief Executive Human here at humangear. When I'm not coming up with clever titles for myself, I like to spend time designing humangear's products. I have a Masters in Engineering - Product Design from Stanford and worked for several years at IDEO before starting humangear in 2007.
Our design process starts with me looking up and out my desk window, putting a hand lightly to my chin, and thinking: "What if? What if the world had a better travel tube? What if we could revolutionize the portable utensil category? What if I had an even catchier title?" Then after a short while a brilliant idea pops into my head, I scribble it onto a napkin, and tell our amazing team to call me when it's on the shelf. When that method doesn't work, we spend countless hours obsessing over every millimeter of a product. We strive to make products that are simple, useful, considered, and hopefully even a bit delightful. Basically we try to give a damn about the things we make. I feel lucky to be at humangear and hope they never fire me.
I'm also a firm believer that there's more to life than work. In my free time I like to mountain bike, motorbike, go backpacking, and design small combat robots. My favorite candy bar is a Reese's peanut butter cup. I wish they sold them in three packs called "Threese's." Call me when it's on the shelf.
Katrin Ward, Head of Administration and Accounting
Hi, I'm Katrin. I handle humangear's administration and accounting — meaning that on any given day I may be working on our website, preparing financial documents, working on forecasts, or replenishing our coffee funds drawer. I drink a lot of coffee. I started working for humangear in 2011 when I moved to San Francisco to earn a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Since graduating, I’ve published stories in a number of literary magazines. In addition to my work at humangear and writing short stories, I have another profession — I'm one of humangear's hand models. You can see my hands in action on the GoBites webpage.
My husband and I live in the Haight Ashbury with our cat, Marlowe. I can often be spotted on the 7 bus with my thermos (did I say I drink a lot of coffee) and a book. I collect vinyl rock n' roll albums from the 1970s and Teddy Ruxpin books from my childhood — yes, that eerie but lovable talking bear still has a hold on me.
Jordan Hurder, Head of Operations and Sales
Hi, I'm Jordan. I handle humangear's sales and operations — stuff like keeping products in stock, figuring out how to better serve our retail and distribution partners, and making sure the office doesn't burn down. I usually have my face buried in a spreadsheet or ten, occasionally taking a break to name new coffee drinks ("Americarbo" = espresso shot + carbonated water). I live across the bay from San Francisco with my wife Justine and my bratty Siberian husky Neko (my coworkers are tired of me showing them photos of Neko on a daily basis). In my spare time, Justine and I run a small publishing company called "Chance Press," where we print and bind books by hand. I can also be found playing in a rock n' roll band or wandering around with Neko in the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Bay Area scenery (current favorite spot: Pine Mountain in Marin County).
I'm into my second decade in the outdoor/travel goods industry, which means I haven't worn a tie to work since, well, ever. I joined humangear in 2012, enticed by the strict "NO TIES" policy and the fact that Charles Bukowski's birthday is a company holiday. I really like it here, so I don't think the wrist cuff shackling me to my desk is necessary.
Scott Cook, Design Engineer
Hi, I’m Scott. I’m a design engineer at humangear, meaning I’m tasked with turning our CEH’s napkin scribbles into real-life products. With one hand on a glue gun, the other firmly clamped in a vice, I’m working tirelessly to bring you fine people the best damn travel/outdoor/storage products out there. Need a ‘tubb for your next Coinstar payday? Gotcha. How about a ‘toob for your foot cream? No judgments here. Does your dog want to destroy a FlexiBowl?! They love those things!
My tinkering career came from humble beginnings, with such inventions as an automatic soup cooler (stirs AND blows,) a humane mousetrap (turns out they can chew through plastic,) and a heated ice cream scooper (someone beat me to it…). After the crushing of my childhood dreams, I joined the adults and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I’ve helped make telescopes, infrared cameras, high-impact helmets, even ice cream machines (OK, I guess some childhood dreams live on).
Once I figured out how to release my hand from that stupid vice, I made a nice life for myself outside of humangear. My partner and I have settled down in our beloved town of Oakland, where we keep busy strolling Lake Merritt and hunting down the best tacos.
Olivia Hoedt, Customer Service
Hi, I’m Olivia. I manage humangear’s customer service inquiries, which means I’m your go-to girl if you need a replacement spoon for your GoBites Trio; if you’re curious on whether or not you can put peanut butter in your GoToob+ (yes, yes you can); or if you just want to give a shoutout to your favorite brand about how much you love our products. I like connecting with customers from all over the world to answer any and all inquiries, and I can often be found in our shipping room sending out warranty replacements. My favorite humangear product is the capCAP+ as I, too, have often found myself driving and drinking out of my wide-mouth Nalgene water bottle when traffic comes to an abrupt stop, spilling the entire 32 ounces of water in my lap (but not anymore, thanks capCAP+).
When I’m not chatting with our customers, I’m fantasizing about the next time I can travel to Italy and find the perfect bowl of Cacio e Pepe. Spoiler alert: every bowl of Cacio e Pepe is perfect. If the Cacio e Pepe search gets boring, I’ll switch to my other favorite — Nutella gelato. I’m technically a 5th generation San Franciscan currently living in Cow Hollow where I like to spend my time smothering my dog with love, hiking up on Skyline, cooking for my family, and drinking a spicy margarita on the rocks.