Photography Ben Ritter
With a vase of white peonies here and a sleek brass dining table there, Simon Huck’s tastefully restrained West Village apartment is hardly an environment where one might expect to find a fluorescent, safety orange–colored plastic box. That? That’s JUDY, the ready-kit for natural disasters and home emergencies. And with a stamp of approval from celebrity pals like Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, emergency preparedness has never looked so cool. While Covid-19 presents its own challenges, having an emergency kit at home is always a necessity.
Huck’s rolodex runs deep with famous supporters, Jenners and Kardashians among them. After first cutting his teeth as a publicist with Lizzie Grubman, he struck out on his own to become the principal owner of Command Entertainment Group where the likes of Katie Holmes, Carmelo and La La Anthony and Chrissy Teigen frequented his airspace. Today they—along with many, many more—remain close confidantes and stead-fast supporters of Huck-led projects including “live storytelling brand” Society of Spectacle and A.Human, an “immersive theatrical experience showcasing body modifications from the future.” Now, enter JUDY, his next act.
"We have Marie Kondo–fied the emergency kit,” Huck quips while sitting down to unpack and explore the three variations of JUDY. There’s the “Starter” fanny pack made for the young, urban millennial, the “Mover” backpack for couples, and the“Safe” box for families: all waterproof, fire resistant and packed with precision to include items like a hand-cranked radio and matches.
And just who is Judy? “We needed a name that you will never forget,” Huck explains of the company’s development, which took over six months. “We surveyed hundreds of people, and everyone felt like they had a Judy in their life: someone who was a dependable, type-A parent figure.”
The result is a single-purchase solution that fits seamlessly in to any home, a resource that Huck discovered his friends lacked after several of them had found themselves in frightening emergency situations like the California wildfires. “There were signs all over and all of them said the same thing,” Huck recalls. “They were vastly underprepared for the emergency, and when they went to go look for a helpful product or service after the fact, there was nothing.
"What’s more, JUDY takes a uniquely modern stance, with each kit connecting digitally to users via the JUDY mobile app. “We tapped all of the best and brightest people in emergency prepared-ness and learned that the act of buying the kit is not enough,” he tells us before demonstrating a text message exchange aided by artificial intelligence.
Even in a world where minimalist branding, a frictionlesss hopping experience and mobile functionality seems be the norm for even the most mundane household items, JUDY is indeed disruptive on all fronts given the fact that the latest in preparedness likely consists of antiquated first aid kits under your kitchen sink, making us wonder why JUDY wasn’t welcomed into our homes sooner. “We don’t just want you to buy JUDY,” says Huck. “You need to get into a relationship with JUDY"