Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Power of Two: Judith and Soeren

I have a special place in my heart for couples who dream big and then work together to make those dreams come to fruition.

Remember when I wrote about Krista and Steve who had the dream to buy a Volkswagen Westfalia and drive across the U.S. and Canada for three months? (By the way, I actually got to meet them!)

And of course there's John and Sherry of Young House Love who work together every day.

Well, two of my good friends--Judith and Soeren--have designed a "flexible, individual and colorful solution for storage" and I offered to use my blog to help them conduct a bit of market research. It's the least I can do to support their dream!

So, here's what they need from you: Your Honest Opinion.

Each cube is 12 x 12 x 12". All sizes fit into each other, so that cubes can be flipped, stacked and individually rearranged. They are made of 1/2" baltic plywood and finished with matte laminate, that they would offer in eight colors (see picture). It's even possible to change the color of just one side within a cube.

What a playful way to find your personal colorful piece of furniture, e.g., bookshelves, coffee table, sideboards...

What do you think? Could they find a market for this idea? They are considering $25 per cube. Please be honest in the comments section. They don't want to invest too much in this idea unless it really could work.

Thank you!

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Anonymous said...

I think it's a really great idea. The style recalls that ever-popular Ikea functionality. The versatility is great, and I think people will love being able to do a mini room makeover simply by rearranging their storage. The price point is right. Students could afford to buy a couple, and then add to their set from time to time as they can. At one point in time they can serve as the coffee table (love that photo!), and can later be less focal as office furniture or even closet storage. They will be useful across the lifespan.

One comment I have is that the colour palate is rather limited. If they are offering a selection of 8 colours, perhaps 4 whites/greys and 2 blues is not the best way to go. Maybe swap some out for some other traditional colours? Black? Brown? Something warm but still neutral?

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic, what a great way to fill in the nooks and crannies in small apartments. This could really help people use small spaces more efficiently. I agree with the previous commenter that offering 4 white/grey options may not be tapping the decorative potential of these cubes. At a price of $25/cube, that'd even work on my grad student budget, and since it is so modular, I could build my collection slowly!

Jessy@FairytaleFrosting said...

Love this idea as well! The coffee table is brilliant. I also think this would be great for crafters (like myself) the 12x12 size should fit some of my scrapbooking papers, which I have a tough time getting organized...as well as other supplies.
I do agree with one of the posters about the limited color palette though. Thats the only real drawback I see.
Great idea guys!

Who? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Who? said...

As a student, I MIGHT pay $25 for a small bookshelf or a couple plastic drawers, but there is no way I would pay that for a SINGLE cube!

Having colors to select from helps, but I think the colors selection here is lacking.

Black cubes are DEFINITELY necessary. I think purple/violet cubes would sell well, since that color seems to be trendy right now. And dark brown seems like a good fit for a home decor item.

I think there is no reason to have 2 shades of white, 2 shades of gray and 2 shades of blue. These can easily be replaced by black, brown and purple. (or maybe black brown and teal... because i looove teal :) )

Carly @ {IN}Design said...

I will echo what others are saying that you definitely need more color options. What about patterns?

Also, I would want to know the quality of these cubes. They look like the same thing you can get at Target for a lot cheaper. I think $19.99 would be a better price- maybe $25 if they're really solid and not Ikea/Target quality.

Anonymous said...

It's a good idea, but it's already been done quite a bit. I don't know how these are better/different than anything I could find at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ikea, etc.

Heather said...

I also think that it might be nice to have a broader variety of colors to choose from, even throwing in maybe a bright red or blue with the blacks, greys, browns, and whites. I really like the idea and have seen similar products, but $25 is a little more than I would want to spend on one cube, but I could see how others might.

Hillary Schuster said...

I think the price point is high. To do anything, you'd need about four of them and then it'd be $100 for a very small, youthful looking product. Target's itso configurable squares are a heavy plastic (so not as nice) but only $9. I think $15 would be great, but $20 might be okay.

Do they stay together based only on gravity? If so, you wouldn't be able to stack them very high/narrowly. Do they slip at all stacked?

I have the IKEA shelving system that is squares (not individual pieces, the one big square-based shelve system). Their holes, I believe, are 13x13 and fit the bins that Target sells for the itso shelving systems. You might want to research these different systems so that you could build a platform-based product - one that works with the bins and baskets, etc. that these other companies are putting out.

That said, the styling and design of your product, doesn't really look as mass-market as these and doesn't seem like you are trying to do what they do (with all their different bins and doors and trays, etc.). It seems more like the kind of furniture I see locally from designers. In that sense, it seems a bit un-differentiated.

I think you really need to focus on who your customer would be, why they would buy this over it's various substitutes, how they would use it, where they would buy it, etc. Right now, for me, assuming that I'd buy this on etsy or something, there's nothing that stands out enough for me to pull the trigger.

I hope that's helpful and not just discouraging. I do think they are attractive pieces, I just think you'd need the right sell...

Who? said...

Oh, and you should totally sell baskets for these! I would be much more interested if I had baskets I could swap in and out.

seashell said...

I think the price point is a little high. I would go more for the $10-$15 range. It is a fantastic idea - but I really think you need more colors and definately patterns.

Kate said...

The rough edges really drive me batty. Otherwise I like the idea, but think IKEA does it better.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the visible rough edges as well at the fact that $25 adds up fast to $120 for that table of 6. Is there an option to get a back piece or are they all just open like the one pictured next to the computer? I'd be afraid to have things fall out the back something was pushed in too far.

Anonymous said...

I like it, but would not pay anywhere near $25- that is way to overpriced for a bit of plywood.

Emily said...

Expanding on an earlier comment about 12x12 storage for scrapbooking: Is the cube itself 12x12x12 or is the opening 12x12x12? If the opening was a smidgen bigger than 12x12x12 that might open up a lot of areas for scrapbook and craft storage.

More color options would be great, definitely need some warm colors. But grey is a hot color right now so props for having two shades! I love the coffee table layout but I don't see a color available that would go in my living room.

As someone viewing these online I'd wonder about stability, if they don't have a back piece do they wobble to a fro? I've put together a few plywood pieces from target and they always seem to wobble till you nail that back piece in place.

I'd wonder if they hit the below $20 price point that maybe they'd be able to compete in products that are already out there, especially for scrapbook storage.

Can't wait to hear more about Judith and Soeren's journey with this idea!

Good luck!

Jackie said...

I love this idea. It is very versatile and functional. I can think of several ways to use them in my kids room. I am not sure I would be able to pay $25 a cube though. By the time you pull together 4 to six cubes the price is getting to be a bit much for our budget.

Meena said...

I think its very cute. I do have concerns that it might have already been done by others. I would offer some patterns in addition to the solid colors for those who like a bolder style. The price point might be a tad high. Perhaps $20 each with deals for bundle packages. I would love $15. I would definitely purchase this for $15. Me and my boyfriend are currently looking for options to store our many books and this would be ideal. But $25 is not in our budget. Good luck with your venture!

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