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 Lower Nob Hill with our cat, Marlowe. I can often be spotted on the N 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.
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 childhoods 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.