In the fall of 2005, Drew and I were inspired to create a line of artist-designed covers to protect our iPods (iPods!). We called them GelaSkins. We’d never created a product before, much less an entire business, but we were instantly hooked. We knew we were onto something awesome after we began getting feedback from some of our favorite artists. We didn’t yet have a website or even a final prototype of the product, but their enthusiasm for the idea was really motivating.
We launched GelaSkins in early 2006 and things grew pretty steadily. The blogs loved us, Drew’s grandmother bought a dozen copies of the Playboy magazine we were featured in, and we were the artsy darlings of CES and Macworld. We spent loads of time on the road – often hitting half a dozen or more trade shows each year. The travel was great because we got to meet many of our customers face to face and get to know artists in San Francisco, LA and NYC – many of whom we now consider good friends.
We launched open edition giclée prints as another affordable way for art lovers to get great art. It felt good to remind people that the art we had been putting on tech accessories was capable of standing on its own; in a gallery or on your wall. More recently, we expanded that line into a proper in-house framing shop – in keeping with our goal to continue designing and manufacturing our own products here in Toronto.
It’s very important to us to present a curated experience for our customers and be available to support each of our artists. Consequently, we grew our collection very slowly and methodically and received far more applications from interested artists than we could handle. Despite the aesthetic, practical and logistical reasons for limiting the size of our collection, it was painful turning talented artists away.
With Nuvango, we’ve grown our team and built technology to address those limitations and we’re ecstatic to finally open our doors to all artists. We’ve been working hard for over two years to create a sustainable platform and continue to be a partner that artists can trust with their masterpieces. Artists have more choices than ever for selling their work and I’d be lying if I said that we don’t sometimes feel that we’re a little late to the table. However, if we hadn’t taken the time to do it right, we wouldn’t have clarified our mission and created a roadmap that sets us apart. What you see today is just the beginning. We have some really exciting things in the works to help artists get discovered and earn a living.
So, whether you’re an artist, an appreciator or you’ve just stumbled aimlessly onto our site, we welcome you and hope you love what you’ll find here. We are incredibly proud of and continually humbled by the ridiculously-talented people we’ve brought together on this mission. Ok, that’s enough reading for now. Go look at some art.