There has been so much creativity lately surrounding the use of composite hockey sticks. Some people are choosing to create BBQ tools, chairs/benches, bottle openers, and now cell phone cases....
Some of our customers have been asking us about these products, so we caught up with Terry Johnson of Detroit -- the founder of Original Stix (creates custom cell phone cases) to learn about the product and his inspiration:
Where did you get the idea?
Terry: Original Stix actually came from a number of experiences growing up and playing hockey in the Detroit area. When I was at Michigan State, one of my friends built a table out of old sticks. I always thought it was interesting to repurpose something designed for an entirely different reason, and got me thinking about other products built with authentic materials. There is a company in Detroit that builds belts out of seat belt buckles. Another makes sunglasses made out of reclaimed wood from Detroit’s abandoned buildings. Those experiences all stuck with me, until one day I was reading an article about how often people are using smartphones. The average person reaches for their phone over 100x per day. At that point, the idea just clicked. I thought, “Why does everybody have nearly identical phone cases, when everybody is so different?” I shared the idea with some close friends and family, who all encouraged me to go after it.
Who makes up the Original Stix roster?
Terry: The Co-Founders of Original Stix are AJ Mestdagh, Mario DiMercurio, Evan Dremluk, and Mike Dremluk, who are the same friends I originally shared my idea with. They’re each responsible for running a different part of the business based on their background and field of study. Lisa Koss is our latest addition to the team, and she manages our inventory and order fulfillment.
How long before this dream became reality?
Terry: We were several months getting the product, business plan, logos, etc. all together. After almost 2 years of planning we finally released our first phone cases (I-Phone 5) in the summer of 2014. We wanted to make sure that we got it right so that the concept would take off.
So almost a year into it,how have you guys made out?
Terry: In less than a year we’ve shipped over 5,000 cases to customers around the globe, expanded to new devices, and even did a custom order for the New York Rangers!
Where do you see things going from here?
Terry: In addition to releasing new phone cases, we’ve also launched an apparel collection that has become very popular. There’s a lot of competition on the apparel side, so we decided to take a different approach to our apparel line. We really focus on the quality of the material and classic designs that will look great - and last - for years to come. Looking forward, we hope to expand to even more devices, get our products in more stores, and expand to other unique, authentically made products. The small dings and chips from the stick being used in a game, in addition to our interchangeable stick design, make each Original Stix case unique. Additionally, everything is done right here in Detroit. The area has been going through some tough times in recent years, so creating jobs and bringing manufacturing back to the area is something that our fans have really gotten behind, regardless of what team they follow.
We've been seeing it everywhere, thought it was a pretty cool concept so why not help spread the word! In addition for a limited time we will be offering a package deal (with the purchase of a stick).