Founded in July of 2017 by Leo Ochoa, Dorsum is the culmination of many years and many experiences. Growing up in Hood River, OR, the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Leo always admired the beauty of nature and respected the hard physical work it takes to grow our food. Raised by farm working parents, and having friends as orchardists and farmers, he was exposed to the back breaking work of physical labor. This experience of physical labor became very real when as a wild land firefighter, he carried unsupported weight on his back and sacrificed his body to save the land.

Years later, he saw the same sacrifice in the first responders he interviewed north of Los Angeles while in design school. They willingly and heroically sacrificed their bodies for the lives of others. At the same time their excruciating stories of severe back pain crushed their passion to continue serving.

The heroic stories of sacrifice from people met along the way serve as the foundation of Dorsum. How could the passion of people doing heroic work be crushed so quickly? From the emails Leo received, he felt the need to do more and became committed to find innovative solutions to help first responders do more. Growing up watching his dad suffer from lower and upper back pain while working in the farms, fruit warehouses, he now recognized the global problem of back pain. This inspired him to respond in the best way he could…through product design.

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