How We Started
Code10 was founded by two friends and designers, Charlie (from the UK) and Chris (from Switzerland). We met whilst working in Shenzhen, one of the world’s fastest growing megacities and a hub for entrepreneurs, creative types and makers.
Despite being from countries that aren’t exactly know for surfing, we’re both committed surfers and take any opportunity we can to escape the city and get on the road. As we’re based in Hong Kong, a lot of the time that means travelling to countries in Asia like Indonesia and the Philippines.
Whilst we love these trips and the people we meet there, and have generally felt nothing but safe and welcomed when travelling, there’s been quite a few occasions when our belongings haven’t felt that secure. We spend a lot of time in Backpacker hostels, crowded beaches and local transport – all of which can be good opportunities for pickpockets and thieves.
It was on a trip to Bali in 2016 that we first discussed the idea of making a bag suitable for our lifestyles – stylish and functional enough to be used in the city when we’re meeting with clients or other designers, and with the security and protection that we need when travelling. Six months of design, testing and preparation, and we launched our first Kickstarter campaign.
Our Design Process
Designing the original Code10 was quite a lengthy process – both of us were juggling full-time jobs and family life, and we therefore spent a lot of our weekends and evening sitting in coffee shops looking at different fabric samples, zippers, buckles etc etc etc! We went through a lot of different samples and iterations before coming up with the final designs.
Testing the bags was also a major part of our process. We wanted to make sure that our bags would really stand up to real life conditions, so rather than spending our time in testing facilities, we took our bags on the road. We’re really fortunate that having quite a few friends from the design community, we were able to share our bags with highly skilled testers and were able to get really good feedback.
Making our videos
Probably the most enjoyable part of getting our new products ready is shooting the photos and videos. We’re really fortunate to work with a good friend and fellow surfer, who has worked tirelessly over the past year to tell our story.
As travelers and surfers, it’s great to be able to take our products on the road and film them in the locations that we’d really use them in. During the making of our videos, we’ve traveled all over Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia – some amazing locations with beautiful scenery and people.
Check out our videos here
We find it really beneficial to have a good relationship with our potential suppliers and unlike the majority of early startups, we’re fortunate enough to be able to travel to our suppliers and spend time getting to know them and how they work. This has proved invaluable as we’ve learned how to make products that not only look great, but can be sure that the manufacturing processes used will ensure our bags are made to last.