A mechanic, insurer and traveler at heart, Christophe Hutzli had several lives before embarking on the Nine June adventure. Creative and independent, he then took on the challenge of creating his own backpack, for his personal use. Today, more than 800 bags have already found buyers among a clientele of adventurers and festival-goers but also among an increasingly urban public. With Nine June, the birth date of its founder, Swiss Design has a new member in its family.
From adventurer to startuper
After touring Australia in a van and exploring the world for several years, Christophe returns to the country definitively with the feeling of having come full circle. At the end of 2016, at the age of 44, he created his first backpack: “ I wanted a new backpack, but I didn't want to buy one. Having always loved sewing and crafting, I had time on my hands, and I decided to create it myself. Usually I can't buy something without customizing it. I spent three weeks creating my backpack which quickly pleased those around me. My friends were my first customers and that’s where the story started .”
During a period, Christophe went from insurer to startup founder, then surrounded himself with a marketing agency to develop his business. At the end of 2017, the prototype was ready. “ I had the choice between remaining an insurer or investing in my project. One night, I made the decision to devote myself entirely to Nine June .”
Teasing and crowdfunding
The first five months of 2018 were dedicated to creating a community on Facebook to announce the launch of the brand. During this period, Christophe lent his prototypes to travelers to test them and give their opinion on the improvements to be made. “We were able to finalize the prototypes, and at the beginning of May 2018, we launched a crowdfunding campaign, sold 140 bags and raised 37,000 francs in the first month.” Throughout the summer, Christophe visits events, mainly in the field of sports such as paddle or paragliding, to sell his bags. Sales channels intensified and in more than a year, 800 bags were sold. Today, Christophe sells one bag per day on his site. Three sizes are available in white or black and it is possible to personalize certain parts. As for accessories to personalize his bag, Christophe imagined a solar panel to slip into the transparent front pocket to find the battery of his smartphone. An option that particularly appeals to connected nomads.
The tailor-made trend
“ You should never rest on your achievements but you must believe in what you do. To succeed, you have to be self-sacrificing .” Christophe knows that his offer will expand in the future but he feels that the trend is towards tailor-made. “ I am creating a specific bag for the Scientific Police of the canton of Fribourg, it is an incredible project for which I am accompanied by a designer ”.
Christophe's increasingly marked presence in the press and on the web contributes to the notoriety of his brand. “ I now need to find ambassadors to convey the image of Nine June .”
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