Small States features small companies that design and manufacture within the United States.
Update (10/11): We have chosen all of the giveaway winners and they have been contacted. Good luck next week!
The phone case market is an ultra competitive area, with companies from all over the world vying to protect your device. When you go to the mall, your opportunities are nearly endless when it comes to wrapping up your iPhone. From leather cases at the Apple Store to knock off plastic cases from China, you’ll find something.
Indiana based case maker Carved is working hard to find its place in that area of the market. With a unique take on design and a simple mission at its core, Carved is creating high quality cases that focus on protection at a fair price.
“There are other companies out there that make beautiful cases,” CEO John Weber says of the competition “the reality is that I just didn’t want to pay that much, I wanted the wood styling without paying upwards of $200.”
We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit the factory and take a tour of where Carved gives birth to their creations. Immediately when you walk into the factory, you are greeted by a desk covered in the latest from Carved. Solid wooden cases and slim bumpers that feature wood from a sunken ship cover the desk, giving you the first glimpse of what you’re in store for. The atmosphere is upbeat, with around 10 employees Carved has made this an exciting place to work. Everyone seemed to be moving quickly, focused and executing their job with precision.
“We’ve got the shipping, web, all of that done – so when we added the custom UV printing, all we had to do was buy the machine. We can change and grow quickly because we’ve got all the other stuff figured out.”
John was on-hand to take us through the factory, detailing the process from start to finish for a variety of their cases. We showed up the week following the iPhone 6 release and clearly that was the topic of discussion.
Carved bet heavily on the iPhone 6 specs that they received from a source overseas, so they were prepared to take orders shortly after the Keynote address in California. Luckily, the dimensions were right on and they were off to the races.
“We were ready to go right when the keynote finished, and when they first became available, we rushed it over to the Apple store to make sure it fit. When it did we started shipping them out right away.”
The factory is very simple and well organized, allowing each step of the case-making process to be completed as efficiently as possible. We were able to check out the wood in all stages of its journey, the precision that goes into making a wooden case is a sight to behold. Carved’s Instagram account often features scenes from the factory, showcasing the atmosphere that helps make the company what it is.
Carved has been able to find their place in the case world by focusing on doing two things well: creating affordable cases while also offering cutting edge design. We talked to John about the freedom that having a small shop affords the company.
“Having a web team from my other company, having skilled people in all areas, it really allows us to offer a high level of customization.” Customization, whether it be the puzzle cases or custom engravings, is really a key piece of Carved’s imprint on the case world. “You go to a mall and get a case, but to get your name engraved, it really allows us to stand out. The web team we have allows us to offer a high level of customization.”
As we’ve noted, every case need can be fulfilled by someone in the marketplace. Creating something with style and innovation is becoming more and more challenging each day for anyone in this product category.
My personal favorite part of the tour was seeing recycled skateboards become solid wood cases. This is not a strip of wood claimed to be from a skate park, these are actual skateboards that have been broken and found in dumpsters across America. When you get a recycled skateboard case from Carved, it is truly a one-of-a-kind item hand crafted from skate park to you. These things have a story to tell and look good doing it.
Carved is pushing the boundaries even further with their new ‘Live Edge’ series. These beautiful handmade solid wood cases are hand selected from reclaimed timber in Northern Indiana, and filled with a special resin. Lined with suede and highlighted by solid brass power and volume buttons, each case is only made once. Carved offers a gallery on the website of these cases, allowing users to see current and past models that are only available for purchase once. The level of craftsmanship on these are incredible.
With so many options available in the marketplace, it is about finding something that works for you. Carved has a lot of great options for iPhone and Android devices, from skins to slim cases, all the way to customized solid wood enclosures. We highly encourage you to go take a look at what they have offer, while you are there put in coupon code 9to5Toys at the shopping cart page and save an extra 15%. Not only will you be getting a beautiful case, but also supporting a great group of people.
We were lucky enough to see some of the latest and greatest from Carved, some products that have not been announced. While we aren’t able to share those with you today, we look forward to checking back in with them in the future. Trust us, the best is still to come from Carved, you’ll see them in a whole new light.
“Right now, cases are going great for us. But it’s such a crowded marketplace. You’ve got cheap cases coming from everywhere, $3 wooden cases from China. I fully recognize that as we evolve our interests may be different in two, three, four years.”
This week we’ve got a multi-winner giveaway, Wednesday-Friday we will choose one person to win an iPhone or Android case with wood backing. On Saturday we will choose a grand prize winner that will receive a solid wood iPhone 5 or 6 case of their choosing. All you have to do is follow @9to5Toys on twitter and retweet this article to your followers. If Facebook is your thing, like 9to5Toys and share this article with your friends. We will contact the winners each day. Good luck!
- Grado Headphones – @omar_cruz
- This is Ground – @chrismachian
- Myro:Air – @strikeux
- Grovemade – @morganrhc
- Jamstik MIDI guitar – @EGHSPrincipalRI
- PUC MIDI hub (x2) – @broni / @phillsea
- Owen & Fred – @kenjancef