Jennie: The company began as the original case makers of Instagram and that’s how Casetify was born 3 years ago. It soon expanded into customizing cell phone cases with any picture that you like, personal pictures, graphic design. This is pretty much a blank canvas and then you can draw anything on it!
Jennie : Here’s a case, you can see it has a shine- through effect so you can actually see your phone. We do have a bulkier case that’s coming out soon. It’s supposed to look more like a luxury-end item. Stay tuned for that. But basically, what was known as a custom platform has turned more into pre-designed cell phone cases because they’re actually , personally, I think they’re gorgeous. Some of the artists that put their stuff out there are just so gorgeous.
Sasha: How do the artist-curated collections work?
Jennie: Well, we want to consider ourselves like an Etsy for phone cases. We exclusively invite artists to come on board with us. We go through their portfolio, and they get invited on and they use our platform to sell their artwork as phone cases and now tablet cases, too, and they get a revenue share of every case sold.
Sasha: What’s your background, how did you get involved with this?
Steph: I just graduated in June in Sociology, BA from UCLA. It’s very random that I’m in marketing right now, but I love it and I’m learning a lot.
Jennie: For me there was a huge pivot in my life. My background is in recruiting and HR, a very black and white world, working for corporations. I knew that at some point in my life I wanted to work for a start-up, and I was in Hong Kong for a few months. I knew there was a small start-up hub out there so I just started reaching out to a couple of co-founders. The founder of Casetify, Wes on boarded me for few months, and by the time I was coming back there were a couple of deals, including Snoop Dogg and Gilt that are based out in LA, so he asked if I could help finish the project. Two and half years fast-forward, here I am! And Steph joined, almost three months ago. Casetify is now 25+ employees between HK and LA.
Sasha: How did you guys end up at Opodz?
Jennie: I came out here to support a friend that was doing one of your events and we were looking for a co-working space at the time, so it just all worked out beautifully. The location was perf, it was a growing community, and can’t complain about the food around us.
Sasha: Why did you want to be in the co-working environment?
Jennie: Several reasons, I wanted to get out of my house, first of all. I was jumping around different coffee shops and I was like, all right, I need an official space where I can have my computer set up all the time, not working off a laptop. And I also wanted to talk to other start-ups. I have, so far, I’ve met so many different people from so many different backgrounds. I think one of the main reasons I like Opodz is that it’s not just one type of group here. I feel like I can learn better, they might know something I don’t know or that our company doesn’t know because we don’t specialize in that. There are lawyers, graphic designers, recruiting firms and other e-commerce out here. It’s a very colorful community.
Steph: I like the people and I like that it’s a pretty nurturing space outside of work, there are friendships established here, it’s not just business all the time. I value personal relationships. I like that everyone goes out to happy hour and they enjoy it. It seems like they like each other, they go on Boba runs!