I'm Karl Wong, an industrial designer and fitness enthusiast. Karner is a lifestyle and fitness accessories brand. It just felt natural to merge the two disciplines. About three years ago, back in 2018, I was more interested in fitness and found the need to stay healthier and more physically active to maintain a good work/life balance. I usually find myself carrying my gym gear, training gear, shoes, and computer from the office to the gym.
I needed a bag designed the way I wanted it, but I could only find very technical or overly simplified bags on the market. Being a designer, I naturally thought of some ideas and hatched them out on paper to develop a few concepts. My team made prototypes to test, and the responses from some of my friends and colleagues were positive and they made some constructive criticisms for improvements.
We launched and successfully obtained funding on Kickstarter. The backers who supported us in the campaign tested a market for functional and minimalist bags at an affordable cost. Mass-producing this would be a great idea to share with many more people who simplify their lives.
As we were located in Hong Kong, it made sense to produce in China, where most of the global manufacturers are located, where it was convenient to monitor the quality and craftsmanship. When all the bags were finished after production, it dawned on us that Karner Oregon Backpack and Monarch Duffel were born that day.
We worked with a fabulous production team, Ross Yau, making shooting possible in HK's Soho area. It's always good to have very supportive friends (Timothy Skinner, Fitness Instructor/Physiotherapist, and Gillie May Fairbrother, Yoga and Wellness Instructor) to model in the video shoot.
Karner is a type of butterfly, a symbol of life, rejuvenation, transformation, hope, and the inspiration to live with a positive mindset. At Karner, we make products that make sense, bring peace of mind, and improve people's daily lives.