What is the background story of your business? When/how was it created?
Prior to starting this business, I was operating a business called Krunchworks (Design+Build). I have a studio in Bounce Hub Innovation that I’ve been operating out of for about 3 years. Many projects included lighting such as the Angel Falls Coffee Co. sign, the sidewalk lamps along High St. and even movie poster frames for Nightlight Cinema. Lighting is something I always wanted to produce commercially.
At the beginning of the year, I felt that I had an opportunity to do that. As quarantine started, I was able to take a pause on other projects and focus on developing a lamp design I have always wanted to develop. I used the Krunchworks build studio and design resources to develop the product. I then had it tested for commercial use. GloLyte is still currently a side hustle, but I’m working now on developing it into an e-commerce product for the home décor and hospitality markets.
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
At first, it put a lot of things on hold. I had projects in the works, but I was able to quarantine in my studio and focus on the lamps. The pandemic and quarantine brought the ability to focus a lot of time on the design development.
What are some resources you have taken advantage of?
Most resources I use are from my other business Krunchworks. I utilize the space and the tools that I use for those projects. The facility and space gave me the ability to build out the equipment and tools necessary to make the GloLytes. During quarantine, I stayed in the studio often. Once things started to lighten up, that’s when I applied to the MORTAR program. It was very convenient that it’s right downstairs. I feel very lucky that it was a great fit. After being in a bubble for so long, it was really great to hear feedback and to get other people to look at the product.
How has the Greater Akron region played a role in the evolution of your company/career?
Once I started to take on public space projects and working with the City of Akron, that’s when things really changed for me. I’ve been able to network with the city and grow that part of my business as opposed to private homes. Once I moved into Bounce, it was great to be in a place where there were other things happening and resources available. It’s such a professional environment. Those little things can make a big difference
Do you have any advice for growing a business in Akron?
Don’t be afraid to start small. A lot can come from starting small and working yourself up incrementally. Don’t put your eggs in one basket and make sure to be flexible!
How can someone find you?