StudioProper, dubs itself “Australia’s first home-grown tech accessory design studio”.
The newly-formed business is behind popular iPad accessories The Wallee – which allows users to fit their iPad or iPad 2 against the wall – and Pix and Stix, a set of special drumsticks that are used to “play” the drums on the Apple tablet.
Alon Tamir, the entrepreneurial and design brains behind the business, says: “The technology accessory industry is currently a bland copy-cat game, with success usually judged by how quickly a company can get a new case out for the latest iPhone or iPad.”
“There is very little innovation happening. StudioProper brings something different to the table.”
“We’re not in the rat race. We create beautiful accessories that are fun and something genuinely different from anything you’ll see on the market.”
Tamir talks to StartupSmart about the progress of the business.
What were you doing prior to starting up?
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I was working in web development for a long time and I was getting a bit bored with it. It was a bit two dimensional and I wasn’t feeling very fulfilled.
I was in New York when the iPad was launched I was very inspired by the reaction it. The iPad was initially quite hefty and uncomfortable to use in certain positions. I realised I could do something based on the iPad, so I just dived right in and jumped on a plan to China.
How did you fund the business?
I used a crowd funding model. I let people know about the concept and asked for funds for the development. I raised $20,000, which was very successful. It speaks to what happens when people like a brand a lot.
I am open to being approached by an investor, but I’ve been thankful that I’ve been self-sufficient up until now. It has ensured that we’ve been successful while being in control of the development.
What did you do next?
I had an idea what functionality I wanted to have with the accessories, so I consulted an industrial designer to finesse the product.
We were very aggressive with our plans from the get-go. I realised that we’d have to get the product our quickly as everyone would be looking to launch iPad-based businesses. The market would be saturated.
Within a month and a half from being in a café in New York thinking up the idea, I was back in Melbourne getting the product off the ground.
Competition was still pretty fierce – there’s one business in the US and one in Europe that is similar to us.
How did you go about getting it made?
I had no background in that kind of thing – I just didn’t know the language, of manufacturing or Chinese!
Once I got on the ground in China, I realised there was no way I could do it all remotely, but it was very challenging. Eventually, I managed to get to the right manufacturer.