I have always said that we are not building a company, we are making art. Of course we have to run the company based upon the platform of business. Even a non-profit organization or a school still runs based on the principles of business. At the end of the day you need to make more money than you spend and you do this through having a good sales team, providing excellent customer service, keeping cost down, etc…
However, in many ways we don’t run The/Studio as a business. My philosophy is that we need to do things to make our product perfect, our processes perfect, and to have fun doing them, and sometimes that clashes with the short term goal of making a lot of money. However, I believe in the long run its the only way to build a sustainable business, and its the only way to truly enjoy what you are doing. The company has used the same packaging now for over a year. I can guarantee that the packaging that we use is far superior to what our competitors are using. However, its never been our goal to be better than our competitors. Rather our goal is to continually challenge ourselves to be better, which inherently means we will naturally better than our competitors. We are absolutely never content.
Coffee as an Inspiration
I commissioned a designer to redo our packaging, and we just couldn’t come up with a good solution. I went to a website for design for inspiration, and the packaging for a company that made organic coffee caught my eye. As a true coffee lover, I thought what better way to display our products. I thought it would be great to associate our product with coffee. Coffee is what people drink when they are inspired, coffee is what inspires many of our customers to make awesome custom products, and I know it inspires me early in the morning and late at night, when I’m working on The/Studio.
I decided that we would put our patches in a coffee bag. The great thing about coffee bags, is that it is not an obvious reference to coffee, because these type of bags are used in a lot of different food and non-food packaging. However, the customer will subtly understand the connection. In addition coffee bags are perfect for our products because they are light, and malleable, yet they are sturdy, and will lock in the freshness of our product.
Our Custom Products Coming to you In a Coffee Bag
Once we designed the packaging for The/Studio we decided that we wanted to write a story about the brand on the back of the bag. After literally three months of working on the copy of the coffee bags, this is what we finally came up with. The bags are now in production and customers will start receiving our bags with their custom products in March 2015.
This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
The/Studio: a Vision Becomes a Reality
About 10 years ago, I met someone who changed my life. They owned an embroidery factory that produced custom patches. I didn’t know anything about embroidery, but I was drawn to the combination of creativity, artistry, and craftsmanship that went into each patch. These were unique canvasses that defined groups, organizations, and people.
Seeing my enthusiasm for the process and product, the owner of the factory suggested that I find customers who wanted to buy patches. With that, The/Studio was born.
Slowly, we started getting orders, and every morning I would look at the products that our customers, YOU, produced. I was absolutely enchanted by what you had created. Before shipping out your order from my apartment, I kept your patches in the quality control area for one final inspection. (It was “the quality control area” during the day and my dining table at night.)
In one morning, I might examine a patch for a sports team, biker group, airsoft team, military unit, fashion brand, police department, religious group, government agency, cheerleading team, and various other designs for groups that I couldn’t quite define. Almost a decade later, I still do the same thing. Every morning, I inspect the fruits of your imagination.
Some things have changed since The/Studio was founded in 2006. Our office is no longer situated in my apartment, my dining table no longer serves as “the quality control area,” and I’m no longer the only employee. Now we are a team of over 60 people, and we own our own factory. But the passion for creating custom products hasn’t changed. In fact, it has grown greater.
Every month without fail, in order to better serve your imagination and meet your needs, we launch new custom product categories and special options. We are never going to stop doing that. In fact, it is our goal to one-day launch a new custom product everyday. That’s a bold idea. But to be creative you need bold ideas. You see, our passion is defined by breathing life into products.
You are inspiring. Everyday you come up with amazing ideas that are generated by the people in your organization. You are motivated to create, and towards that end, you place an order with The/Studio. That is why we say “You Imagine. We Create.” You are the artist, and you are the designer. We simply make it easy for you to have your ideas become magnificent custom products.
Enclosed in this package is your idea, your creation. Open this package with a sense of accomplishment. You took your uniqueness, the special qualities that define your group, and made something special.
Now that you’ve received your items don’t be a stranger. Please contact your creative specialist at The/Studio at any time. Your input is a vital part of our continuing dedication to serve you for years to come.
Thank you for choosing The/Studio. It has been a pleasure to work with you, and we hope that our team can continue to collaborate with you, helping to define what makes you and those in your group singularly exceptional.
CEO & Founder of The/Studio