What is behind the creating the brand PSí HUBÍK?
PSi Hubik? A brand that motorcyclists from all around the world wear today, began as a thought from an engineer named Libor Hubik. Who can say more about PSi then the owner and founder himself? What were all the challenges that Libor went through and what actually brought him to form PSi? We interviewed him personally so we could find out how it all began!
When and why did you think to start this business?
Libor: Since 1985 I was road racing motorcycles in the 250CC category with a Jawa “symetrakem” In those days there was a real shortage of brands for anything to do with racing, and except for a modest production of racing leather suits in the city of Most, it was only possible to find used leathers. They were non-officially imported from our Western neighbors, and the ability to choose your proper size or the colors you wanted fell into the category of unrealizable dreams. The Italian producers of racing gear back then, which I saw at the World Championships in Brno, totally fascinated me. Combining technology and design into a functional unit was magical. When the year 1989 arrived followed by the possibility of free enterprise the first thoughts to begin making these types of products, according to my own ideas, in the Czech Republic were born.
Since your first thought up to your first action to really start this kind of business… How much time did you need?
Libor: In 1990 I finished University, yet inside I was getting pulled towards having my own business; however I took on as a tool designer in a manufacturing plant of precision engineering. Running a business, if you can describe it as that, I started after work, more or less filling up my free time. Considering my minimal expertise and no financial capital (including over a year to pay off debt created from my racing), it took three years before I decided to quit my full time job to devote myself to my business.
What did you need to master before your first product was created?
Libor: Above all, find the right people, but not before learning to design clothing and clothing production technology. Even though I had education and experience as a mechanical engineer, everything was new for me.
What was your first product? And how did you sell it?
Libor: It was a kidney belt and I sold it at the local market for 50 Kcs.
Why did you decide to call your company PSi HUBIK?
Libor: Psi is from the Greek letter Y written phonetically (because I liked it) and Hubik is my surname.
When did you realize that alone you wouldn’t make it, and that you needed a team of people?
Libor: From the outset it was clear that for the given product you intend to offer, you need to create a team of real professionals.
Who were your first employees and how did you get them?
Libor: Most of the first workers were from Svit Shoe Company, but also young people that helped after school which made an impression on my plans, and they were not afraid of the new, the unknown.
Were there some “milestones” in your business that moved you forward or vice versa slowed you down?
Libor: Each hurdle that a person or company has to overcome, moves development and personality forward, it is the principal of progress. I think I’m only slowed down by my own fear and ignorance sometimes.
You are a mechanical engineer, both in education and technical thinking. Is it an advantage for PSi HUBIK?
Libor: I believe so, and a large one at that. I learned to look for the best technical solutions for constant improvement of the product. This principal applies even now. Clothing for motorcyclists is perceived as a highly technical product integrated with safety, purposefulness and design. Therefore, for me, physics, mechanics and mathematics are a necessary and great companion.
26 years of life in one company is a long time. It’s long time for development, change and balancing. How would you describe your business today?
Libor: I am pleased that we have managed to weather a period when cheap goods from Asia destroyed a lot of Czech and European companies in the clothing and footwear industries. We survived because we are not a big company. Now we are expecting another tough job to keep the tradition and pass our craft to the future generation.
The title, founder of PSi HUBIK, nobody can take away. What do you see for the future? How do you see your company in the next 10, 20, 30 years?
Libor: This is more or less my greatest wish: I would like for PSi HUBIK to always stand for the best products with comprehensive customer service and a great prestigious job for each employee.