One product, one story. Concrete stand for mobile devices
In January 2016 I was working as a freelance graphic and web designer, after a failed first attempt to launch my own products (Oitenta 1.0). I had been working this way for two years in which I learned a lot working with entrepreneurs, agencies and sharing a coworking space with other freelancers. Everything was fine, even though I am not made to work without my appreciated creative freedom.
I was earning enough to start thinking of personal projects and casually, someone told me about Etsy as a place to sell handmade objects. I already knew that marketplace, but I’d always thought that it was a platform for other types of products. But I decided it was time to try again, and try hard.
I’d never before thought of making objects by hand since I had no expertise or technical means, but I was willing to do my best.
I decided to start designing new objects that should reflect my way of understanding design and, at the same time, that I myself should be able to craft.
I don’t remember why exactly I decided to make a smartphone stand but it has something to do with the fact that I love to redesign objects that already seem to have no more twist.
My first goal was to make a universal stand, adaptable for different devices, tablets and smartphones. That was the twist I was looking for. I needed a very specific geometry to solve that in a small object ( I am a fan of two universal concepts in design: “Less is more” and “Form follows function”) So I spend many hours drawing, sketching and making paper models.
Since I had a very specific conditioning regarding technical means and craftsmanship expertise, I conceived the stand to be made in wood, but I quickly discarded the idea because I wasn’t going to be able to make it. I needed an easier and more accessible material and I thought about concrete. I had already seen Youtube videos about how to make concrete pots. The decision was made. I ordered a 3d printed mold (the one I still use after 3 years and more than 200 stands made) and I made a few prototypes.
This was my first object as a designer & maker. It was fully handmade and homemade since my kitchen was my workshop for a long time!
I was instantly in love with it but never thought it was going to be so successful, because it looked weird. I made a few homemade photos with a white background and natural light and I uploaded it to my empty Etsy shop. It was my first sale, it went to Vancouver (Canada) on March 20th 2016. That day I decided that I was ready to try even harder.
Since then I made a lot of concrete stands and it’s by far my best selling object. I received many custom orders asking me to stamp a logotype in it, to paint it in copper, to combine different concrete types to make a marble like finishing.. and it helped me to learn a lot about the material and the pouring technique.
Every special object has its own story.
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