The Story Behind Maram and the Mesa 57 Kickstarter Campaign

The Story Behind Maram and the Mesa 57 Kickstarter Campaign

Kickstarter Story

Kickstarter Story

The Story Behind Maram and the Mesa 57 Kickstarter Campaign

Jobin Jose

Jobin Jose

Co-Founder

Maram

We design and create furniture that better integrates with our devices. 

🇦🇺 Based in Melbourne, Australia

📅 Founded August 2017

🏆 2 Founders

💵 Monthly Revenue = NA

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Who are you and what business did you start?

We are Chris and Jobin, the engineers and carpenters behind Maram. We love woodworking and loathe cable clutter, leading to our first venture, Mesa 57, a desk with fully integrated cable management that plugs in. A desk designed for the devices we use on them, minimizing cable visibility, without compromising on materials and aesthetics. 

​Our principles for our furniture are simple:

Updated. – We create furniture for humans and their devices

Make it last, in design and form – Our desk table tops and legs are made from solid hardwood, when maintained properly, it can last a lifetime.

Use sustainable materials – The lumber we use is 100% sourced from regrowth forests. Learn more here.

Minimize production waste – Off-cuts get their 2nd chances

Walk us through the process of creating your product.

We found inspiration by looking at our own cable clutter. Seeing the lack of integrated solutions and limited choices in solid wood furniture, we realized the potential for an updated desk design. 

We built this desk from the ground up, combing through every detail, building 5 prototypes along the way. Starting from sketches, CAD drawings, scale models, prototypes through to the pre-production models.

Once we finalized our desk’s design details, we needed to improve our efficiencies in manufacturing them. This is where the need for upgraded tools and building desks in scaled quantities come in. 

How did you launch the Kickstarter campaign?

In our case we had 2 launches, our initial launch had a high funding goal set due to the capital costs associated with setting up a new factory space for optimized large scale production. We did have a good start but within a week it was evident we most likely would not hit the funding goal. Thus we decided to utilize our existing workshop area, upgrade a few tools and start on a smaller scale, of course this meant extra elbow grease from our end but we were more than happy to put that in. We relaunched with a smaller funding goal, hit it in 2 days and are ecstatic!

Prior to launching our campaigns we:

  • Setup our own website through Wix builder
  • Started running targeted Facebook ads asking to register interest for our desk. This commenced 6 weeks prior to launch
  • Sent informative email updates to our subscribers
  • Started building our social media presence through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Collaborated with Gadget Flow

What apps and tools are most important to your business?

  • Mail Chimp: Works great for all our subscriber email needs
  • Wix: We chose to go with Wix initially as our website builder and as for that it is great but for E-commerce purposes Shopify may be better. We will be looking to make a transition soon.
  • Google Analytics: Numbers don’t lie but don’t necessarily give you all the info either. Great for getting an understanding of traffic movement on your website or Kickstarter page.
  • Facebook, YouTube ads: For marketing on a budget these might be your best options.

What’s been the biggest business challenge you’ve overcome?

As a start-up venture, every new step seems like your biggest hurdle. Of course once you overcome many of these seemingly difficult hurdles, they tend to look easier. 

Logistics is one of the many challenges we are tackling and pushing to improve on. Freighting and exporting heavy solid wood furniture can be difficult and costly, especially when it comes to Business to Consumer freight. We knew this from an early stage and thus started liaising with numerous logistics partners, comparing options and setting up contingencies should a freight carrier or method not work at the time.

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs?

In hindsight we may have launched our first campaign with a smaller funding goal and implemented stretch goals. That being said we were openly aiming for the skies when we launched and had shown detailed accounts for the utilization of funds. This being our first Kickstarter campaign, it has certainly taught us a lot about setting appropriate goals for first time crowdfunding.

Fortunately in our situation we had a fall back of still making the desk in-house without compromising on the quality and features but most of all we had the fortune of having enthusiastic backers, without whom we would not be here. Explaining the need to cancel an existing campaign and restarting with a lower funding goal is never easy but we ensured to stay transparent and to the point.    

How are things today and what are your plans for the future?

As of today we are pleased to say our Kickstarter campaign is successfully funded and proceeding well. With less than 2 weeks left we are hoping to close on a high and commence production of the desks by late November.

Stretch goals will be something we will be pushing for via an add-on floating shelf we are developing for the desk.

In the future we will be expanding our product range covering wider furniture types.

Where can we learn more?

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