TH: Can you give a short breakdown about DSPTCH? What prompted you to start the company and how did you get to that point of starting your own thing?
RICHARD LIU: DSPTCH started as a design and manufacturing company with the purpose of finding better methods of carrying gear around both in daily routines and during travel. Our first product was the camera sling strap which was born out of a need to have a more suitable strap for travel. The timing was favorable as well since, at the time, a new breed of cameras featuring a smaller body size (known as micro 4/3rds or mirrorless) had begun to gain traction in the marketplace and our strap was one of the few that was suitable for them. I had originally designed the camera strap for my own personal use but after some time, decided to try it out in the marketplace and discovered there were many out there that wanted a similar solution. This helped get our start and four years later, here we are.
Let's talk about the straps. What made you want to start with something like straps? Why not bags straight away?
When I designed the first camera strap, the intent was really for my own personal use and I didn't have immediate plans to try and sell them to others. It was only from encouragement from others that it seemed like a good idea to try out with minimal risk. Because it was a simple item, I didn't have to deal with large order quantities and needing a full scale sewing contractor to handle sophisticated sewing and fabrication. This helped me overcome the barrier of needing a large sum of money to get started early on, which is definitely something you need if you want to start a bag company (unless you have the skill to construct samples and sew it yourself). We had a very natural early growth stage which ultimately led to us to expansion into more complex products (like bags) after building experience with a simple product.
To read more of the interview with Richard, check out The Hundreds blog HERE