The inception of NIID came in 2014. While in New York City, Jason Li and Harris Haynie noticed that most of the business professionals were using backpacks that had very little style and even less functionality. After months and months of back and forth, they (along with Vinson Sieh) created the first prototypes of a pack that was designed to be both stylish and have the functions that would suit a variety of consumers. The first release of backpacks in 2015 was called Decode, an innovative pack designed specifically for business professionals. The program, enlisted through Amazon Exclusives, sold out quickly and received many positive reviews, comments and suggestions for the next lines of backpacks.
We owe a great deal of our success to our sourcing and product development team, who have taken difficult concepts and helped make them into reality.
In 2016, NIID launched UNO in China, our first crowd-funded project. This was our first interchangeable, everyday backpack for a wider range of consumers. The project was supported by over 20,000 backers. Many terrific, creative ideas emerged from both our team and the consumers of UNO. We have incorporated many of those into UNO II, which we present to you today.
Harris Haynie, one of the three primary founders of NIID, is an avid outdoors enthusiast. When he has time, Harris is often found on many class V whitewater rivers in the United States – running large waterfalls and challenging rapids. Harris has bee featured in advertisements and magazine covers, including Patagonia. For over 10 years, Harris competed in regional competitions for squirt kayaking, and won the majority of the titles for that period.
Harris continues his love for both physical and mental exercise. Then not found on the river, he can be found on competing at tennis, squash, volleyball, basketball and a host of other activities. He enjoys the challenge of creating new designs and products with Jason Li and finding new markets for those products.
Harris’ family includes three sons and his wife Heather, an entrepreneur, former all-American lacrosse player and Dartmouth graduate. Heather’s background in marketing is a strong influence in his business.
Jason Li, man behind the brand. Former management trainee of Fortune 500 company, quit his job nearly 10 year ago to pursuit his love for art. His first project was to help a start up chocolatier William Dean Chocolate to create an unique packaging identity, which won “The Best Packaging Award” at “San Francisco International Chocolate Salon” the very same year. Now his work can still be found in some of the prestigious coin collection issued by the most renowned Mints around the world.
Vinson Sieh, born and raised in a local construction contractor’s family, enrolled to the most renowned art school in Canton China, graduated with double major in architectural design and fashion design, but finally find his passion in backpack. The man that turns all the cool concept into a real product.