Partner Spotlight: Charles Ng, Orbitkey Co-Founder on EDC, Design and the GP collaboration

At Gear Patrol, we're constantly focused on products that improve our lives and yours. And one of those products is Orbitkey's Key Organizer. Launched in 2013, the Australian brand's flagship product is a tidy and compact way to carry your keys.

We sat down with Charles Ng, Orbitkey's Co-Founder and Design Director to talk about EDC, Design and the Gear Patrol collaboration.

What inspired you to start Orbitkey? What do you enjoy most about it?

It started in 2013 when Rex, my business partner and I grew frustrated with the distracting key jingles, and the problem of the keys damaging personal belongings. Being natural problem solvers, we decided to tackle the issues with traditional keychains head on.

Fast forward 9 months later, after countless hours of development and numbers of prototypes, decided to launch it on a crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. By the end of the 30-day campaign, we gratefully had 5,000 people believe in our vision – to help everyone carry keys better.

Having pushed the idea of the Key Organiser for a few years, we start to realise that at the core, we believe that when your life is more organised, it is easier and better – and that has been our north-star ever since. In short, our vision is to help as many people as possible by creating clever organisation solutions.

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.

With EDC products being such an important part of our daily routines. What goes into creating a brand and a product that encourages someone to use it every day? How do you think about design and the user experience?

Being a product design-led brand, it is very important to us that we have products that are uniquely Orbitkey.

The fact that a lot of the team are in similar demographics as our main audience also helps a great deal. A good sign of a great product is when most of the team members are excited about it.

We try to create something that adds value and we would use ourselves – Something with a great balance of quality, aesthetic and function. Products that feature a very clean aesthetic with minimal branding, resulting in understated elegance that you can carry everywhere confidently.

We take great care and pride in what we do and we want our customers to feel the same way using our product.

We’re really excited about our collaboration on the limited edition Orbitkey. What inspired the collaboration with Gear Patrol? How has the process been working with our Store team?

So are we, and a lot of our customers – they have gone really well since we launched it last week.

Being a long term reader of Gear Patrol, we knew there was a strong alignment between the two brands and we were really excited to be given the opportunity to work together on this special project in a very collaborative manner.

With the breadth of knowledge in products and culture, the Gear Patrol team led us to explore the use of new materials such as Saffiano leather on our range for the very first time. We haven’t looked back since. It is one of the main reasons why we love collaborations.

Outside of your professional life, any fun projects or hobbies that have been keeping you occupied in our new normal?

We love our food and coffee here in Melbourne. Having been in lock-down for a few months now in Melbourne, Australia – it has been pretty challenging to dine out and enjoy meals at our favourite restaurants.

So how do you get around that? Almost by accident and necessity, I rediscovered my love for cooking and I’ve been experimenting with re-creation of some of my favourite restaurant meals. It’s not perfect but it’s as good as we can get right now! :)

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