We are Jacob Leffers and Emil Woermann, 20 and 19 years old, and are the founders of OAK25. Since 7th grade, we have been working on many digital projects in our spare time - from YouTube videos to e-commerce for streetwear fashion. Our motto: If we can't find what we're looking for, we'll do it ourselves.
Three years ago, we were looking for a book with creative ideas for digital tools. After we didn't find one, we experimented on our own and summarized our ideas in the book "Secret Book for Digital Boys", which has now been published for two years by the same publisher as "Harry Potter" (Carlsen Verlag).
Then, a year ago, we were desperately looking for a backpack with lots of functions, safety features, but also with a really good design. No results. We asked our friends. They weren't completely thrilled with their own backpacks either. So we started on our own. We wanted to combine our passions for technology, cycling and design in a product that was more important to us than anything else. Well, almost.
First, we did some homework and conducted online surveys to find out what features were missing in regular backpacks. Then we started to create a rough concept. Because cycling can be very dangerous, especially in big cities like Hamburg, we aimed to design the backpack around this problem and make cycling a bit safer. Therefore, the entire front of the backpack should be made of a highly reflective material.
We founded OAK25, talked to product designers, fashion experts and many more to learn as much as we could about backpacks and production. After four months of development, we were ready and started looking for producers. Luckily, we found a supporter, the CEO of one of the biggest bag manufacturers in Germany.
Through our Kickstarter campaign, we were able to fund the first production and raised over €20,000 in 31 days!
Of course, the Kickstarter campaign was just the beginning of our journey. With Tarek Müller, Alexander Graf and Nils Seebach we were able to gain three investors who will support us not only financially in the growth of OAK25. The Know How, which all three bring along, is gigantic and will bring us forward with all future decisions. OAK25 was consequently valued at 1 million euros. Of course, this has shown us once again that the path we are taking is the right one and at the same time motivated us to launch a second collection.
Go for it. To start the planning of our second collection right, we put a lot of emphasis on the customer feedback of the Luminant Bag and the Everyday Sling. Almost daily consultations with our producer and the drawing of countless sketches shaped our everyday life. The final result was a new backpack (Daybag), a bigger fanny pack (Carryall Sling) and an essential Organizer, with the launch of the second collection on October first, another dream of ours came true and the vision OAK25 continued to gain momentum. Thousands of people now wear a product from OAK25 in their everyday life and thus get through the city safer and smarter. This makes us incredibly proud and actually still is difficult to realize.
In addition to the incredible development, the OAK25 team has also expanded in recent months. With four more employees, we have grown to a team of six and are now also sitting in our own office near the Hamburg Schanze.
The last few months have been amazing and we are looking forward to everything that will happen in the future. With a cool team, a lot of discipline and the know-how we are far from being finished.