When I was first turned on to Mantrastyle I was stoked on both how cool the case was, how much it reflected the Yogi Tunes aesthetic. The magic behind these cases is SF based artisan/entrepreneur Grace Tai. Grace has created a cool niche and is indeed graceful in her approach to business.
What first inspired you to start making the cases?
I wanted to create a business that was a fusion of two things that I love: fashion and technology. I am absolutely obsessed with my iPhone and have never been able to find a case for it that I felt really reflected my personality. I wanted something that made a statement and bamboo not only does that but it's eco-friendly and incredibly sustainable to boot!
How are the cases made?
The cases are CNC milled for great precision and detail - people are always surprised at how thin and light the cases are! We get the awesome engravings on the back by using a laser machine that shoots millions of tiny little lasers into the wood to create awesome and intricate designs.
Did you have a specific background that helped you create your business?
Some sales, some marketing, and a lot of passion!
Do you face any particular challenges in spreading the word about your creation?
Absolutely - the Internet is a big place! One thing I have noticed is that it's one of those products that once someone sees it, they absolutely love it. I've had complete stranger stop to tell me how much they like my case. It's just a matter of getting the word out!
You seem to have an underlying message that comes through what you've created… if so, could you talk about that?
Well, I wanted to create something that wasn't just cool, but also something that helped make the world a better place. One of my favorite things about Mantrastyle is we get to donate a % of our cases to Freedom House, a shelter that provides safety and rehabilitation for formerly trafficked women who have been rescued. Human trafficking has always been an issue very near and dear to my heart and it's been a dream of mine to create a business that was able to incorporate this very important issue. What a great feeling to be making beautiful products for an equally beautiful cause!
I noticed you were selling your cases on scoutmob.com - can you talk a little bit about them? They seem like they have a really cool concept.
Scoutmob is one of our awesome partner sites - they feature an awesome array of products created by locals. You can search your city and buy stuff from people who walk the same streets as you - how cool is that? It's one of the great things about locally made products - not only are you contributing to your local economy, you are making an impact on the lives of real people, not huge corporations.
Do you have any plans to branch out into other products, or perhaps other phones?
Absolutely; check out our site, we are already testing some new products out!