Here at House of Coco we are forever scrolling Instagram and finding brands that we pretty quickly get obsessed with, iWood, inc. was one of them. They came to our attention because of their well shot imagery on their Insta feed and it made us want to purchase every single one of their products. From iPhone cases to keyboards, they have everything you need to make your STUFF look a little bit more COOL!
Here, we spent some time with one of the brand founders Peter Haddad who tells us more about where the idea came from, where they plan to take it in the future and so much more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
We started iWood, inc in November 2013. The idea came about when I realised how scratched and damaged the surface of my MacBook was. I want a case but didn’t want to add bulk or take away from it’s beautiful and sleek design. Rather than buying a case, I found a sheet of walnut wood veneer online with a sticky backing and made a skin for it. The result was a great looking MacBook with a beautiful and natural look.
We (my brother Elie and I) quickly realised the potential of this material and the effect it had on my MacBook. Elie suggested that the best way to create a skin that had an exact fit would be to use a laser machine. We then approached a friend and graphic designer, Cameron, and brought him on board to work with us on the graphic and product design side.
What’s your background?
I was a university student in my final year when we started this business. I was also running an events company at the time so my experience with marketing and sales was growing fast.
Elie has a MSc in Advanced Engineering Design from Brunel University. He has always been quite entrepreneurial and this was a great opportunity for him to exercise his knowledge in product design.
Cameron studied graphic design at the same university as me. He’d already been doing a lot of freelance work prior to his degree and to this company and he’s also got his own graphics and design company – Project Click.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
There are four people involved in this business, Myself as managing director, Elie as Product developer, Cameron as graphics and product designer and Chiara as marketing coordinator.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
I would create a stronger marketing and brand strategy before anything else. Creating a great product that people will love and share is only the first step. Creating and executing a plan to get your product out into the world is a huge challenge, especially for a small startup with very little initial funds.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Marketing. We were lucky to find Chiara recently and she’s been a huge help in creating a solid marketing strategy. From there, we’ve seen a big increase in traffic both on our website and our social media channels.
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
Everyone wants their phone to be personalised and unique and a part of their own style. This year, we want to put a lot of focus on our current product range and develop an app for our website to allow people to customise their own cases and skins.
We’ve always focused on our customer and their specific need and idea as an individual and want to keep this personal touch at the centre of the brand.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
I would say the biggest highlight to date was getting that first sale and then that first 5 star review on Etsy. It’s always great to get validation from customers.
We have been featured in Vogue February 2016, with our unique iPhone case designsfor “The Coffee House Collection”, a series of designs that we created to celebrate the coffee addict.
We’ve also had the privilege of working with some great companies such as Jagermeister, creating branded products and helping them achieve their goals.
Another major highlight has been working with a few artists in the UK to create some really unique designs. We have our featured artist, Fabia Goff, who we’re working with currently in creating her collection. We’re aiming to grow our artist program to over 10 artists in the next 12 months.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
London of course!
Three products you can’t leave the house without?
My iPhone and it’s wood case and my Macbook.
Communicate yourself in your own way. That’s why we love to customise designs.
Best thing about London to you?
The vibrant atmosphere
Best place for a coffee?
Wherever with friends.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
Fate loves the fearless
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On a boat in the middle of the ocean, no phone, no laptop
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
More artist collaborations and our own unique designs
Grow our network
Grow our team and workspace
Where can people find out more?
Chiara Guiotto – email@example.com