Small States features small companies that design and manufacture within the United States.
Since we began writing Small States about two and half months ago, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to tell the story of many great companies in the United States. It has been an incredible journey of meeting people that are passionate about bringing old world craftsman skills back to a country that has found peace in buying things from overseas. We have met and profiled so many great proprietors of high-quality products, telling their story has been an honor for us.
Today, we highlight DODOcase, makers of beautiful goods that provide a home for your iPad, iPhone, laptops and more. With Small States, we’ve found an opportunity to highlight products that are manufactured within the United States, but with DODO it’s about so much more.
This San Francisco based company is not only manufacturing beautiful products, they are bringing back a way of life and skill that has quickly escaped our country over the last 50 years.
A little background, DODOcase made its first appearance in 2010 shortly after the launch of the original iPad. Since then, they’ve grown with the mobile technology industry and now offer a wide variety of products. Consumers can find protection for all of their iOS devices and some Android products as well, DODO is even getting into the realm of Virtual Reality.
DODOcase has put an emphasis on manufacturing products with an attention to detail that has escaped most of the accessories you’ll find in the market today. In their workshop in San Francisco, you’ll find employees with titles such as ‘woodworker’, ‘book-binder’, ‘sewer’ and ‘silk-screener’, skill sets that makes one think of times gone by.
This did not happen by accident, it was an intentional decision according to co-founder Patrick Buckley.
“We now have our own factory, a 10,000 square foot space. We have a book bindery, a sewing studio, wood shop and a silkscreening studio. We do almost all of our own manufacturing, this is not an assembly line situation, its much more of a craft workshop. Our people are skilled and they are putting it into the product and that is what makes it a quality product.”
It hasn’t been an easy process to find skilled workers however, especially living in an expensive city like San Francisco. Making the effort to build the kind of staff needed for DODO has taken time, but it has certainly proven to be worth the challenge.
“It can be hard to find people in a city like San Francisco who can work and live doing a blue-collar type job. There is a lot behind the Made in America movement, but when you get down to the brass tax of it, as a country we are pushing people to become doctors, lawyers and computer engineers. We no longer really have the appreciation of the tradesperson and what happens in a factory. We’ve lost that.”
DODOcase has been able to build a culture amongst its workers, putting customer care and quality at the top of the list. But they’ve also managed to empower their workers, giving them a sense of ownership that doesn’t just happen overnight or overseas. When you hear the employees speak about DODO, it is clear how meaningful the company is to them, take Pete who does silkscreening, for example:
“I grew up in New Hampshire and studied at the Museum for the School for Fine Arts in Boston. I made the trip across country after graduation. It was the best decision I’ve made in my life. DODOcase has invested in me at very personal level. It has been intensely empowering.”
They have something special, a small team of workers that create top-of-the-line products for the technology that we care about so much. We love our iPhones and iPads, so it only makes sense to wrap them in a beautiful product that is made with care. Having a sense of pride in not only your technology but also how it is presented should be considered next time you go and buy a case for your device.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on a number of different products from DODO, including two items from their Durables line of products. We found the hand stitching and design to be top-notch, offering the right amount of protection while painting a stylish look and feel. The iPhone 6 Durables wallet offers a nice amount of protection in a slim profile while still being able to carry enough cards for a night out at the bar. If you carry a lot of plastic it might not make sense, but if you are a wallet minimalist then we found it to be a perfect solution. The Durables sleeve for the iPad features a beautiful hand stitched design with leather highlights and a spark of color on the inside, holding your iPad in place with its leather strap and button.
Additionally, the leather & canvas phone clutch is a nice look for your wife or girlfriend. It is an all-in-one solution that carries *most* everything that a woman would need on a night out on the town. Certainly something to consider for the holiday season, fellas.
DODOcase is offering our readers an exclusive promo code for the next week, simply enter promo code 9to5Toys at the checkout to save 20% off any order of $50 or more. Trust us, this is a great deal on a high quality product that are rarely discounted.
We are also choosing three winners for our weekly giveaway, they will be able to choose any iPhone, Android or iPad case from DODO if they are selected. To enter this giveaway, follow @9to5Toys on Twitter and retweet the article. If Facebook is more your thing, Like us and share this article with your friends. Additionally, you can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment at the bottom of this article. We’ll choose three winners next Saturday. 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
- Carved – Multiple winners
- Waterfield Designs – @zrockstar
- Tinsel and Timber – Multiple winners
- Spool Dock – Multiple winners
- Tucker & Bloom – @codeyh
Special thank you to Ashley Dru Photography for the product images this week.