Our start-up of the week is Primovisto, a new venture based in Listowel, Co Kerry, that is creating limited-edition accessories for iPhones and iPads.
Brothers Ed and James Stack came up with the idea for the new venture in late 2011 and then set up their website Primovisto.com.
At the moment, they work with designers to create designs for Bamboo cases for the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, as well as Bamboo cases for the iPad 2 and the third and fourth-generation iPads.
"We then engrave these designs on our products using our laser engraving machine that works via CorelDRAW," explains Ed Stack.
Primovisto is also bringing out Bamboo book covers for iPads next week.
"The inspiration came from a personal liking for unique products and the need to give people an opportunity to buy a product that they know is an original," explains Stack. "The website and the idea in general is a bid to get away from mass-produced accessories."
The brothers work with around 15 designers who come up with designs. As well as Ireland, these designers hail from other countries, such as the Philippines, Australia, Brazil and Greece.
"We have three Irish designers but we made a conscious effort to source designers from other places," explains Stack. "When we are looking to create a new design we contact one of our design team.
"We’ve created a designer toolkit that we give to designers so that they know the shape and the style of the designs that we are looking for.
"Once the design is ready it is made available on the site and the artist is paid on a commission basis per case sold," he adds.
Limited-edition tracking technology
The co-founders have also created an onsite tracking technology tool to allow people to track the location of each of the cases that are sold.
"Each of our designs are limited to ‘runs’ of 50, 100, 250 and 500. So, if a product is a limited edition 100, only 100 of this design will be engraved, embossed or stitched on our products," explains Stack.
He says this tracking tool works off Google Maps by mapping where in the world each limited-edition designed case sold on Primovisto is located.
"The system is automatically updated for every limited-edition product sold on the website. This lets the customer know that they will be the only person in a particular town or city with such a product," adds Stack.
In addition, he says each Primovisto product has a ‘limited edition’ number.
People can also choose their own customised designs, but these won’t be limited edition.
So far, business is going well and sales are steady, according to Stack.
"We have had two good periods. The iPhone 5 launch was a big one for us in September and October and Christmas was good, too."
Goals for 2013
And the plan for the coming year?
Stack says Primovisto will be looking to branch out to create products for Samsung and other devices.
"There will be more designs, more designers and more limited-edition accessories."
Another aim is to get amateur designers involved with coming up with new designs for cases.
"People will be able to download our designer toolkit and upload their design into the La Galleria section of our website. The idea is to create a competition so that people will be able to vote on the best designs. The winner of the competition will get their design placed on Primovisto and a cash prize and some promotion," he explains.
The company has also obtained an Innovation Voucher under Enterprise Ireland’s scheme.
"We have ideas for new products and accessories in the works and are particularly excited about a new case that we are currently developing ourselves," says Stack.
Finally, his advice for other self-starters is to talk to as many people as possible who have knowledge of their field.
"Advice on the direction of the business and gaining as many contacts as possible are very important at the start," he adds.