In the autumn of 2018, Katarina, my partner in crime, and I started researching and experimenting with different materials, with the goal to learn something new and make useful objects that can be sold. This is a short account of our ongoing journey so far, and our first product, earring mirror stand.

Role

Responsibilities are shared, both of us were out of our comfort zone, and there was a lot of research, design, physical prototyping, branding, drilling, sawing, routing, packing, social media management, and a couple of cuts.

Will thing into existance

Before we made an earring mirror stand we had numerous failed prototypes for different kinds of products. No matter what we tried, there was some obstacle in the way. Concrete mixes were brittle, plywood would crack, edges were too crude, or it was too complex to manufacture.

After we discarded many directions, we focused on earring stand that would be both decorative and functional. We experimented with size, material, color, tilt, hole diameter and bunch of other parameters until, through trial and error, we came to two versions - small and large.

Branding through constraints

One of driving constraints for the branding was our primary sales channel - internet, namely Instagram. It informed our layouts, colors, and even photos we took.

Making photos that stand out

One of driving key factors for selling was to make good product photos. To achieve this, I made a light box from some scrap timber (pun intended), canvas and lights.

Making it perfect or public?

After all the work on prototypes, branding and other preparations, we had a choice of continuing to polish everything and spend more time and energy on making everything perfect, or a scary option of showing something to the world and seeing what happens. We chose the latter. By mid-December we started an Instagram page to test the demand, and to our surprise, we had multiple sales (from strangers) in our first week, without any paid advertising.

Instead of conclusion

This is an ongoing story. We're currently focusing on increasing sales and R&D of new products. I'm still amazed how much we have already learned in so short a time. We'll see where this path leads us!

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