For as long as I can remember, I have been traveling. For the first part of my life, I moved to America with my parents at the age of 8. It wasn't just one city. It ended up being several cities in 10 years.
I wouldn't say I caught the traveling bug but somehow, travel and moving were always a huge part of my life, even now. After my graduation from Art school, I had to move due to my work. From starting off as a professional Fine Artist working towards being an Architectural Designer, this started from Miami then back to Baltimore and then finally, New York. As I started to realize that New York was the first city where I felt right at home, and so began my Holistic Marketing journey.
Having called New York home for 7 years, I was suddenly transferred to Asia by Ogilvy to head up a team that would continue the work I started in architecture. This was a stroke of luck and I am extremely grateful for that opportunity as it jumpstart my career that would gradually shift into technology and ultimately bringing all together my past experiences in fine art for a holistic approach into marketing and branding.
As the work started to get more intense, so did the traveling. I was really enjoying the work I was doing in the region but the constant work travel just meant that I had to somehow make my travels easier in conjunction with work. I just didn't have the right travel gear to make my trip safer, smoother and more comfortable. As I traveled more and more, it was on one of the trips that triggered an idea. In 2012, during my research into the world of innovation, I stumbled onto something called Kickstarter. In its infancy stage, not many people understood or thought it would last but I saw it as an opportunity to fulfill my lack of comfort in my travel needs.
If I was able to create a brand from nothing that leverages through a crowdsourcing platform, I knew I was able to get an experience from the brand's point of view. In the traditional world of advertising, a brand has to get it's product out there in the saturated marketplace in which consumers are bombarded with ads all day long. My plan was to create a brand that would give me a solution for the perfect briefcase, the perfect jacket, and perfect luggage for my never-ending travels. As my interest in digital e-commerce also grew, I wanted to better understand the nuances of e-commerce and its engagement points to consumers, such as developing innovative content to drive through all social and digital platforms and linking that to my off-line activation experience.
In a nutshell, I would be able to kill several birds with one stone because to be honest, I understood the demands of constant last minute traveling and knew if I could solve my problem, I could perhaps solve the problems of many more avid travelers and businessmen.I knew this wouldn't be easy as I had to juggle between my full-time job, my family with my then 2 year old daughter, lest build a brand from scratch but I persevered. To be honest, I was at an advantage as my 15 years of marketing experience helped then. From learning how to design products, creating a reliable logistic chain, creating engaging content at nickel and dime budget were just some of the things that I had to learn and needed to do from the ground up.
In 2013, after much research on what was one of the everyday common problems for Men that needed a solution, I came up with The Rib - A hyper-designed holster bag built for daily convenience and travel. Customized for the essentials, like your specific phone model. - and launched it on Kickstarter.
It was a leap of faith as well as a time of much-needed education in the world of creating a product from scratch. AvidUnion is now entering it's 6th year and I am constantly coming up with ideas and bringing new products to life. With my learning adventures and continuous quest in improving upon my designs and creating new products for a better travel experience, I would like to continue to share my stories of my "education" and thoughts on AvidUnion.
Do follow me on this journey and share your ideas! I am always going to create the next perfect travel gear for you but AvidUnion wouldn't be possible without you and your support.
Steven Yu | Founder and Executive Creative Director | AvidUnion