Q&A WITH REX KUO
Was there a particular moment, person, or need that inspired the Orbitkey?
In 2012, Charles was training for a half-marathon run and he hated the sound of jingling keys in his pocket during morning runs. Sick of having to detach the house key from his keyrings every single time, he made a quick prototype using simple bolt and nut to stop the keys from jingling. When he showed me the design I got excited and explained my own frustration of keys scratching his phone and wallet whenever I put them in my pocket or bag together. This was when we decided to take the idea further and the Orbitkey Key Organiser was introduced to the Kickstarter community in 2013.
What first steps did you take to turn your business idea into a reality? Was it difficult, or did everything come naturally?
It was a natural and somewhat easy decision for us. Back then, Kickstarter was becoming increasingly popular for start-ups and individuals with little to no capital to launch ideas. Having worked on the idea for so long, naturally we grew fond of our design. However, we didn’t know if others would like it too. This was also a driving factor in us deciding to launch the idea on Kickstarter. In a way, It allowed us to test the market.
It was not all smooth-sailing. There were quite a few challenges in the design, especially when designing a screw-mechanism that is secure and will not loosen over time. Fast forward 9 months later – after many long nights and more than 10 different design iterations – we had refined the idea further into something we really believe in.
Tell us three things that make your product stand out.
Being a product design-led brand, it is very important that we have products that are uniquely Orbitkey. In essence, our products aim to have the perfect balance of quality, aesthetic and function. They feature very clean aesthetic with minimal branding, resulting in understated elegance that you can carry everywhere confidently. We blend traditional craft with a modern production process, to create something that’s uniquely elegant and functional. At the same time, when we design our products, we always aim to be conscious of what to include / take out. The last thing we want to create is a product packed with features that no one actually appreciates or needs.
Tell us three things that excite you about doing what you do.
Being design led, we are always excited about coming up with a unique solution to a problem. It’s hard work but the excitement when we finally land to a solution and seeing it in real life – it’s a feeling that gets us, everytime!
Creating things that impact someone’s lives positively, even in the smallest way possible – and hearing this from that person, first hand through emails, social media or public events like a design market. It’s an amazing thing that inspires us to do even better.
We’re also lucky to have a great team onboard. Being able to work with people you enjoy being around with is a bonus!
What energises and inspires you, generally?
Just to list a few – learning new things by reading, listening to audio books and also sharing experiences with other business owners/designers. Seeing cleverly designed products that solve real problems – especially those widely-accepted problems which no one thought could be solved.