"We were always outdoors," says Tony Richardson of his childhood, "moving around from place to place, and I was always fascinated by the gear." With an interest in outdoor gear, Richardson eventually became an industrial designer, cutting his teeth at Arc'teryx for eight years before setting out on his own.
Richardson kept up with his outdoors lifestyle, and eventually ran into entrepreneurs and fellow outdoorspeople Andre Charland and Jamie Bond. The trio discovered they all craved the same type of outdoor product, but were dissatisfied with what the market offered. What they felt would be ideal was "something [we] could pack faster than a duffel, store gear in better than a Rubbermaid bin, haul around like a tote or backpack, and make disappear when [we] didn't need it."
With input from Charland and Bond, Richardson hit the studio to design and prototype.
The end result is the Rux: A simple, durable, flexible (in more ways than one) gear container that's as convenient as a tote, but is soft-sided and breaks down flat.
A simple system of rail-like ribs, spring steel and straps make the Rux a versatile carry object. In this video Richardson goes over the design of the system, and demonstrates some optional components you can use to further get things organized:
Enter a caption (optional)
The trio formed a company to commercialize the product; this year marks their fourth in business.
I can't call Richardson lucky—it takes a lot of hard work, not just luck, to launch a new product in a competitive space—but I will say he's living the dream. How many designers get to independently design and produce something, and use that something for their primary hobby?