Marvin Amberg grew up in Germany and has lived and traveled around Europe and South America. While he was in business school he met, Klaus Wegener, who would later be his partner for the start-up company, caseable. As Marvin immersed himself in investment banking and the corporate culture he soon realized a career in finance wasn’t for him. In 2009, -at the age of 25- he jetted across the Atlantic to New York to start his new business venture with Klaus.
caseable is a Brooklyn and Berlin based company, offering fully customizable protective sleeves for your laptop, iPad, Kindle, and journal. You have full control over the entire design process via our easy-to-use customization tool. With the ability to decide on details ranging from thread choice to case color, your possibilities are endless! Each case is hand-crafted in Brooklyn out of recycled neoprene, and is available in the US, Canada, and Europe.
MO: The market offering protective sleeves for mobile devices is fairly saturated. What made you think that customizable options would be so successful? Where did your inspiration come from?
Marvin: Part of our inspiration came from noticing the trend of mass customization in German companies. Another part of the inspiration also came from a business trip Klaus and I went on. We were pitching a different product and realized we wanted our company logo on our laptop cases for more exposure but couldn’t find any. Our inspiration started there, and we knew we would be successful because there’s a huge market for laptop cases, and now iPad and kindle cases.
MO: How does having two offices in two different major cities influence your design process? Do you think that it gives you an edge? And why choose Berlin?
Marvin: By having two different major cities as influences for our designs makes things cleaner. Since we’re appealing to two different demographics our designs need to be clean and appease to both populations. We work consistently with both offices and know that we need to find a balance between the two. It does give us an edge because by having influences from both Berlin and Brooklyn it makes us more marketable. We are able to be a global product and have a certain identity with two different cultures at the same time. It is more of a challenge but we’re located in two of the most hip, design, and urban cities right now. Part of the reason we chose Berlin was because of it’s influence. Berlin is an extremely creative location for artists and start-ups, and essentially the perfect place for us to be in Europe. Then we have New York which is one of the most influential cities as well. Both of these combined lets us to have a better global perspective for our demographics.
MO:You have some gorgeous designs on your site. Is it fun to still design and create or are you more based in the running of the business? Are you able to manage a growing company but still remain creative?
Marvin: I love the designs we have, but our Creative Director, David Petr, takes care of the designs. I enjoy seeing the different designs David comes up with, but I’m more focused on the business aspect of the company.
Yes, the more we grow the more we can be creative. It gives us an edge in our competition because as our company gets bigger, the creativity changes. Instead of designing for individuals, we can design more about our brand and how the world perceives our company.
MO: You launched your products in 2010. How quickly has caseable evolved and grown and what’s next?
Marvin: Our initial progress was steady, and now we’re in a more rapid growth stage. Over the summer we launched products for the tablet cases, and launched a new website. In the future, we’ll be featuring other new products, more tablet solutions, and more partnerships with a few large companies and artists that we are very excited about. You’ll have to tune in to see what comes next!
MO: How did it feel seeing your designs walking down the runway during Boston Fashion Week?
Marvin: Awesome. It was incredible to see the cases on the runway with the lighting and the models.
MO: Do you get inspired seeing what clients design for themselves? Has it influenced your creative or production process at all?
Marvin: Yes, we do get inspired by our clients because it gives us an idea of what our consumers like to order and we can gear our pre-set designs in that direction. We listen to our customers for feedback and it helps with different products like color choices and we can change it to their needs.
MO: I see that you’re partnered up with zazzle.com. How is that going to impact caseable and your ability to reach customers?
Marvin: Could we change the last question to:
MO: How will your partnerships affect your company and the outreach to your customers?
Marvin: We will be able to reach a larger audience and it can help push our products and our brand. Right now we are fortunate enough to be able to pick our partnerships that cater to our company and can help us in the long run.