Located in San Francisco, California, humangear was founded in 2007 with a mission to develop "real gear for real humans."
At humangear, we spend a lot of time with people -- listening to their feedback, watching them use products, trying to understand their needs, and getting a deep appreciation for the experience at hand. We also spend a lot of time getting our hands dirty. We think if a picture is worth a thousand words, a prototype is worth many thousand pictures.
humangear is passionate about creating remarkable and responsible products that, at least in some small way, make the world a better place.
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 torture anyone nearby with my guitar playing. 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, coordinating shipments with our warehouse, preparing documents for our CPA, 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. I'm not the first person to love balance sheets and literature, although I wouldn't call my file cabinet "my providence" like T.S. Eliot did. 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 GoTote and GoBites webpages.
My husband and I live in the Outer Richmond, and I can often be spotted on the 5R Muni line 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.
Danielle Schroeder, Customer Service and Support
Hi, I'm Danielle. I handle all of the customer service at humangear. That means if you have a product question or a problem, I'm your gal. It actually means a lot to me that you love your humangear products and that you get the answers to your questions. I've even been known to ride my bike to a customer's doorstep to make things right.
I'm originally from Cleveland. I ended up on the west coast in a story line usually reserved for rom-coms. You could say I left my heart in San Francisco. In my spare time, I do illustration work and I love hiking, backpacking, and cycling. I recently rode 2,000 miles of the Pacific Coast. You could also say I'm a glutton for punishment.
Tom Zipprian, Design Engineer
Hi, I'm Tom. I work with Chris to develop our ever-growing product line. This usually entails the design and CAD work, countless rounds of prototypes, testing and validation, and then finally preparing the production documents for our suppliers. I've also starred in some of humangear's marketing videos--you might recognize me from my role as "irritated camping husband" in the GoBites promo video.
As the most recent addition to the humangear family, I'm also a fairly new transplant to San Francisco. Most recently I lived in Milwaukee designing motorcycle parts for America's only sportbike manufacturer, but I spent most of my life prior to that in Baltimore (and no, it's not like The Wire...all the time). I love to travel; I've visited more than 15 countries and driven cross-country on more than one occasion.