Catalyst is a lifestyle accessories brand founded by Josh Wright and June Lai after they saw that there was nothing that fit their needs in the market.
"Josh and I were climbing partners and spent most of our free time outside exploring the beaches, waterfalls and jungles of Hong Kong. In about 2010 our iPhones started to become the point and shoot camera of choice, but still too fragile to bring out with us on our adventures. We looked but there was nothing on the market that existed to enable us to use our iPhones in the inevitably hazardous locations of our lifestyle. (Plastic baggies were not going to cut it....) In 2011 we started Catalyst to create fully functional waterproof smartphone cases and were one of the first to market." - June Lai / Co-Founder / CEO
Josh is an award-winning industrial designer who graduated from the Art Center College of Design, a school that is famous for producing many of the best designers in the world. Josh has designed products for high profile brands including Tumi, Ecko Unltd, Gravis, Burton, Sims, Teva, Keen, Microsoft, Reef, Pacsafe and the Coleman company.
June is the research and development and business person at Catalyst. Her first degree was a BSc in Biochemistry, and she worked as a scientist and then went on to study finance, accounting and general business management with degrees/designations: MBA, CFA, CPA and CMA. June worked in investment banking, strategy and mergers and acquisitions for multinationals managing cross functional teams.
Catalyst is a design and development company founded on the idea of creating iconic products that enable people to explore and share their world. In developing our products, we have performed a significant amount of R&D and developed technical expertise, know-how and an IP portfolio that previously did not exist in the market. This is one of the reasons why several case companies approached us to do a partnership. We chose to partner with Griffin Technology and announced our partnership at CES 2013 and launched the co-branded Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof case which we designed and developed using our IP and know how and which has been really well received in the industry and received many great reviews. Griffin sells our products in retailers such as Best Buy, FNAC, Media Saturn, JB Hifi and Yodobashi.
Evolution of the brand
At the end of 2013, we decided to end our partnership with Griffin to grow independently. This year, we set out to design and develop our own portfolio of products using our proprietary technology and also to independently build our global distribution network. Since then, we have created 19 new SKUs in the next newest generation of best-in-class products and grown our distribution to cover more than 70 countries around the world. We are proud to have created a totally new line of ultra slim waterproof sleeves and a new case line that is slim, iconic in design, fully functional and at 5m waterproof, offers the highest level of performance and the best price to our customers.