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 don't find what we are looking for, we do it ourselves.
Three years ago we were looking for a book with creative ideas for digital tools. After we couldn't find one, we experimented ourselves and summarized our ideas in the book "Secret Book for Digital Boys", which has been published for two years now by the same publisher in Germany as "Harry Potter" (Carlsen Verlag).
One year ago we were desperately looking for a backpack with many functions, safety features, but also with a really good design. No results. We asked our friends. Even they were not completely enthusiastic about their own backpacks. So we started by ourselves. 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 are missing in normal backpacks. Then we started to create a rough concept. Because cycling can be very dangerous, especially in big cities like Hamburg, we set ourselves the goal to design a backpack around this problem and make cycling a little safer. Therefore the whole 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 possible about backpacks and production. After four months of development we were ready and could start looking for producers. Fortunately we found a supporter, the CEO of one of the biggest bag manufacturers in Germany.
Through our Kickstarter campaign we were able to finance the first production and collected 20.000 € within 31 days!
But of course this is not the end!
The Kickstarter campaign was of course just the beginning of our journey. With Tarek Müller, Alexander Graf and Nils Seebach we were able to win three investors who will support us not only financially but also in the growth of OAK25. The know-how that all three bring with them is gigantic and will help us make incredible progress, especially in future decisions. OAK25 was therefore valued at 1 million Euro. Of course, this has shown us once again that the path we are taking is the right one and at the same time motivates us to launch a second collection.
Go for it. In order to approach the planning of our second collection in the right way we have put a lot of emphasis on customer feedback from the Luminant Bag and from the Everyday Sling. Almost daily consultations with our producer and the drawing of countless sketches have shaped our everyday life. The final result was a new Backpack (Daybag) a bigger fanny pack (Carryall Sling) and a Tech Organizer, in which all charging cables and other small accessories find their place. Thus, with the launch of the second collection on 01 October, another dream of ours came true and the Vision OAK25 continued its journey. Thousands of people now wear a product of OAK25 in their everyday life and thus get through the city more safely and smarter. This makes us incredibly proud and is actually still difficult to realise.
In addition to the incredible development, the OAK25 team has also grown in recent months. With four more employees* we have grown to a team of six and now also have our own office near the Hamburg ski jump.
The last few months have been simply amazing and we are already 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 at the end of our journey.