CarveOn:With the Christmas gift buying season in full swing, brothers Alan and Gary McCormack are hoping for bumper festive sales of their recently launched wood and leather hand crafted iPhone and iPad covers.
Their company, CarveOn, was established in November 2011 with an investment of €20,000 and their first products began selling online this summer.
Cynics might take the view that trying to manufacture this type of product in Ireland is naive because of the cost base. In addition there is the possibility of cheap copies being made elsewhere. But Alan McCormack is sanguine.
“What has interested people, such as the Crafts Council of Ireland as well as personal customers, is that this is an Irish-made product and we will be exhibiting it to 9,000 potential overseas buyers at next year’s Showcase creative expo event at the RDS in January,” he says.
The McCormack brothers grew up in an entrepreneurial household. Their late father ran his own successful engineering business and was a strong believer in Irish manufacturing. His sons share this belief.
“All of our branding, product design, manufacturing and marketing is done in-house. As the business grows we will expand our in-house capabilities rather than outsourcing. We hope to be taking on our first employee(s) in January which will allow us to focus on business development,” Alan McCormack says.
“Our aim is to run the business as efficiently as possible,” he adds. “We have optimised our systems and workflow to keep overheads and delivery times down. We use multiple cloud-based services that allow us to communicate with customers and access and edit centrally stored files when one of us is away from the workshop.”
The CarveOn site offers both off-the-shelf designs and the option for buyers to have their own design, text or logo engraved on the cover. This has struck a chord with corporate customers who have been buying the covers for staff and as corporate gifts.
So far product has shipped to the UK, US, Europe and the Middle East. Alan McCormack says keeping prices reasonable was a priority. Prices for iPhone covers start from €19 with iPad covers costing from €29 depending on the materials chosen.
“What also makes us quite unusual in our space is that we are an environmentally responsible company,” McCormack says.
“We are fully committed to ethical, sustainable sourcing and only use recycled materials for our packaging. This search for quality materials took us quite a long time as we want our products to be as natural as possible. We don’t use any chemicals in our leather covers and our adhesives are ‘green’. We started with Apple accessories because both of us are big Apple fans but other makes are on the to-do list.”