Q: How did you source these premium materials?
A: The materials that we selected had to be sourced from around the world so we took time to research and determine which species of wood we wanted to use, what type of mother of pearl we wanted to use, what color we wanted to back it with, what type of a gemstone, where is the best place to mill that, and how do you repurpose that into a sheet that can fit on to a cell phone case. So we’ve really searched the globe and have managed to find some amazing materials that we were able to rework so that they can fit on to a case that would be considered a part of the accessories category.
Q: What is the biggest challenge faced when working with these unique materials?
A: Time. These cases do not come together quickly, they are very slow, and for many of these we are working with a new precious material. For example, with turquoise, not only is it delicate but it is milled here in the United States, and some of our other pieces that go on to each case come from other parts of the world, so we have to figure out how to assemble them. This takes a really long time and when things are coming from all different directions you have to figure out where they will be assembled, how they will be assembled, what’s the sequence, etc. and because of that I would say time is the most difficult challenge here.
Q: How did you choose what finishes to partner these materials with?
A: Looking at accessories, when you see turquoise earrings or a turquoise bangle you will typically see that partnered with gold or silver so we just kind of played around with different metals and different finishes that we felt, from a design aesthetic, really matched up well with these materials.
Q: Why are these details so important?
A: Details are important so that we are different than everybody else. We really pay attention to things like how you get the case on and off of your phone. Is it simple enough for a woman who just got a manicure to do it, so that she can change it to whichever case works best with her current outfit? Or even with our metal buttons, we make sure to tie the color back to the print or the material that we use on the back of the case. We really feel that differentiates us from our competitors, to have a little extra reflection of the element of design. Even down to our logo placement – we are really playing with that as more of a design element instead of just a mark on the case. So we are just trying to focus on making the whole case well designed and thought through to be opposite of what everyone else has out there.
Q: How is Case-Mate different from their competitors?
A: What separates Case-Mate from our competitors is that we take a fashion approach. We are designing as if we are designing accessories such as a bracelet, or a ring, or a wallet, or a money clip. The materials that we are using you will find in jewelry and mens accessories so we try to take a fashion approach, a luxury approach, that is different from the approach of our competitors.
Q: Tell us about the Case-Mate design team.
A: We have a diverse team of designers with many different backgrounds. For example, I have a fashion design degree, but we also have a surface designer that manages our prints and then we have industrial designers who focus on our platforms, so all together we are able to come up with such a broad assortment that is really well rounded. It’s interesting coming from my background in apparel and fashion to implement that into the tech accessories space which is a new category in fashion. You can’t walk into a store, such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, and not find tech accessories, so by adding these backgrounds of design, surface, fashion, and industrial, we are able to create cases that are different from anything else you see on the market.
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: I love jeans, I love boots, but I also love great jewelry, so I really feel that I am a mix of men and women together, a little androgynous maybe. I love wearing skirts but I also love wearing a wife beater, so I really cross all categories. I am pretty casual so it is kind of fun if you are a casual dresser to have this amazingly gorgeous case that can dress something up just a little bit.
Q: How would you like to see people wearing these cases?
A: I would think that they should pick a case that speaks to them and their individual style, and have more than one. You have more than one bracelet and you have more than one pair of earrings, so I don’t know that you should look to match them to your outfit, but it should go with your outfit, it should fit into your wardrobe so that whatever case or cases you own, it can go with multiple things in you closet.
Q: How do you like to wear and accessorize them?
A: I personally like to have a little collection of cases. I love changing them, I love the reaction I get from my friends when I have a new one on my phone, so I really just try to mix textures and mix prints, you know, do a little bit opposite of what I’m wearing just to kind of mix it up a little bit.
To explore the collections discussed in this interview, visit our online store http://bit.ly/12BuzLr