Side by Side Founder on Disconnecting and Finding Inspiration

As the founder and CEO of a young brand, Antoine d’Haussy is constantly juggling many different tasks. From handling production to negotiating with distributors, from designing new packaging to fulfilling orders, he could be doing all of the above on any day. How does he keep it all together without being overwhelmed? 

Here, Antoine shares with us his tips to avoiding burnout, and how he finds moments to unplug and find inspiration. 

Q.1 : You’re originally from France but have lived and worked in Hong Kong for over 9 years now. What is the best part of living in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is very organized and efficient in terms of transportation and public services, and the best part is you can always find a place to eat no matter how late you finish work. 

If you’re the work hard, play hard type, Hong Kong is great because of its easy access to the outdoors - you can reach the mountains for a quick hike or the ocean for water sports in less than 30mins from city centre. This is really unique! Almost every weekend, I’d take advantage of this convenience to be outdoors to relax and recharge.

Q.2 : Tell us about your latest product - the Side by Side Kit. What was the inspiration behind?

When I launched my first Side by Side product on Kickstarter 3 years ago, the aim was to create functional travel gear for today’s globetrotter to travel better, smarter. 

Then the pandemic hit this year and all travels have come to a halt overnight. But people still need to get on with their everyday lives - so I kept on thinking, how can we help our customers improve their daily commute under this new normal?

And that’s how the Side by Side Kit was born - an all-in-one pouch to organize and carry your protective essentials.

Q.3 : Indeed, this year a lot of us have had to cancel our travel plans and only ‘virtually travel’ via the internet or social media. Are there any Instagram accounts you’ve been inspired by lately?

Yes, Instagram can serve as a great escape sometimes. Recently I'm enjoying these accounts: 

@justindkauffman - I just love the way this photographer captures the different landscapes and wildlife of our planet.
@robbyswift - he's a pro-windsurfer from the UK, currently based in Hawaii. I was lucky to visit Hawaii last summer and his videos bring me back to those fond memories!
@heygents - they have a beautifully curated account and a great eye for nice designs.

Q.4 : As a digital nomad, what are 3 things that you always carry with you?

  • Laptop (+ charger);
  • Earphones (because music is always a great escape!)
  • Reusable bottle to carry water or refill coffee (like my Frank Green one)

Q.5 : Last question - could you tell us something that we don’t already know about yourself or Side by Side?

Well, I actually have 3 passions!

First of course is bags and pouches, that’s why I created Side by Side. 

Second is sports; I used to play in an ice hockey league but a couple years ago I got a bad shoulder injury during a game, so now I focus more on water sports such as windsurf, stand up paddle board, and surfing. 

And finally, I’m also a pastime DJ (house music), and have been playing since 1997. From time to time, I play in a couple of bars and private events in Hong Kong. It’s a great hobby to unplug my mind and at the same time connect with the local music scene.

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