Graft Concepts builds simple phone cases that are at the same time functional and elegant. The case’s interchangeable backplate allows users to switch the look of their phone with a new photo, design or brand’s logo -- as often like they change their outfits. And, it’s a phone case that Apple’s already snapped on for size.
Scattered with apps that represent users’ interests ranging from news to music to time-wasters, the iPhone screen has become this proverbial window to the soul. So shouldn’t it make sense that the curtains do the same?
The phone case, that is.
And that’s exactly what the founders of Graft Concepts are doing with their covers that marry the idea of personalized software and customized hardware with sleek design and an interchangeable backplate ready-made for anything from personal photos to a brand’s logo.
The team of co-founders Danny Wen, Anthony Ko and Peter Szucs, who had software backgrounds, fittingly met at a video game party in Los Angeles. They immediately discussed the gap in the market and realized there was an unfulfilled niche in the mass customization space when it came to iPhone hardware.
"In terms of mobile devices, this is a form of self expression. People have their devices out all the time and already do what they can to customize their cases and covers," Wen said. "It's a different extension of one's self on the hardware. We have this marketplace of apps -- why don't we have that with hardware, too?"
The Team Makes The Switch From Software To Hardware
Co-founders Wen, Ko and Szucs had backgrounds in creating software as well as industrial design and manufacturing before turning to hardware design.
"We wanted to do something we could feel. We had a whole lot more satisfaction with something more tangible, that you could actually touch and see," Wen said.
The team set off in 2011 by creating their sketches, refining their design and creating 3-D printouts, all while searching for engineers to manufacture the product.
The industrial design of the mechanical features and metal accents means the Graft Concepts cases looks sharp. And its unparalleled durability stems from its design as a two-piece device that has a bumper and interchangeable backplate, with a metal clasp that makes for easy removal.
Ultimately, the value lies in serving as a surface for branding -- be it a Nike Swoosh or the YouTube logo.
"We want to put the billboard on the dining room table," Wen said. "We want companies to have visible real estate."
Now, already having secured selling space in the Apple store from May 2012 through April 2013, the team has a promise from Apple to sell its next-generation designs as well.
Graft Concepts had an existing relationship with Apple and ultimately envisioned the product for iPhone users.
“The Apple relationship was a pivotal moment in business. We designed it with Apple in mind and iPhone in mind,” Wen said.
The team also recently announced a partnership with Zazzle, an online platform that allows users to customize their own products.
What's new about what you're making? How is it different?
We've designed and developed a quick release mechanism that allows for interchangeable backplates. It gives consumers an infinite amount of customization options and it gives brands access to one of the most visible and sought after pieces of real estate in a person's life.
How big is the market?
Who are your competitors? How are you different?
Incase, Otterbox, and Speck to name a few. We're different because we've created a highly customizable ecosystem of products and interchangeable backplates through only one form factor.
How will you make money?
Every user is a paid customer. They pay to receive our frames and backplates.
How do you acquire customers?
We're currently acquiring customers organically, through paid search, channel partners, and custom branded collaborations (artists, athletes, brands, celebrities, musicians, corporations, notable media).
How will you use the funds raised to accelerate growth?
Funds raised will go towards key hires and new product expansion.
How high are your margins?
How many backs do most users purchase?
We're seeing 22% of customers who have bought from us before come back to purchase other backplates.
Do you plan to offer any other products?
Yes, products for iPad/iPad Mini, Android, and new form factors for iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s.
Graft Concepts is conducting a Regulation D offering via Wefunder Advisors LLC. CRD Number: #167803.
Graft Concepts can't seem to keep enough of these in stock, so expect to wait for yours and you'll be glad you did. If you're looking for that different case that's slim, does enough justice to the iPhone's high end design and feels extraordinary to hold, the Leverage is the one to look out for.
The Leverage iPhone 4 case is the latest offering from designer Graft Concepts which provides not only elegant design, but also good lightweight protection for your Apple device with an ease of installation not found in many super-thin polycarbonate cases.
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