Customer: Tom Frazier
Company: Smirkabout (www.smirkabout.com)
Tell Us A Little Bit About What Your Company Does And What Services You Provide:
SmirkAbout makes ultra thin & ultra tough skins for mobile devices. Our skins are made to fit more than 500 of the most popular devices, from phones to laptops, netbooks to iPads, gaming controllers and more. We’ve teamed up with artists from around the world to put the best photo-quality designs on the most popular devices to really make your electronics personal again.
How Did You Get Started:
Andrew, the other co-founder, and I have very different and complimentary backgrounds. Andrew came from investment banking and my background is in Fortune 50 telecommunications. Both of us were looking to build a company built around personalization. We found that skins weren’t readily available outside of America and after countless hours of research we saw that it was a real market opportunity. We spent about a year building a backend technology platform that allows us to sell in 10 different regions of the world in multiple currencies with a full on-demand distributed manufacturing capability.
How Long Have You Been In Business And How Many Employees Do You Currently Have:
We have been in business for about a year and a half but only publicly launched our product line 9 months ago. Our office here in Sydney has just under 10 people but we have another 4 or 5 contract software developers in the UK and Egypt.
What Is Your Target Audience:
Anybody with a phone, iPad or laptop… Primarily we are targeting countries with a high ‘mobile electronics per capita’ which are primarily in Asia Pacific. We are quite popular in the US, the UK, Germany and Canada although we do minimal advertising in those markets.
How Does Your Company Stay Connected With Clients And Your Business Community:
With a global customer base comes the need for 24×7 global communications. The tools that we use on a daily basis include Skype, HootSuite, MailChimp, Zendesk, Basecamp, Google Docs and of course the wonderful BatchBook.
Can You Offer Any Advice For Anyone Else Looking To Start Their Own Company:
Starting a non-hobby business is like having a baby. Regardless of how big or small the idea, a startup requires constant hour by hour care for the first few years of its life. I can’t imagine doing it alone or with somebody that I didn’t absolutely trust.
Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Add:
In addition to our consumer range, SmirkAbout creates skins for special events, product launches and corporate branding. If you sit down in front of a customer and flip open your laptop why should Dell, HP or Apple get free advertising? SmirkAbout allows you to better leverage your brand on devices your employees carry around.