In south eastern area of The Netherlands there’s a startup named Mujjo making products for your iDevice lifestyle. The initial offering was a pair of gloves for the cold weather that allow you to interact with your touch screen device. The word on the street is that they work quite well at both keeping your hands warm and at allowing you to interact with your iGadget.
We recently had the chance to ask the Robin Nagelmaeker at Mujjo a few things about what gets them going. Here’s what they had to say:
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
I think you would expect a different answer then the one I will give you now. In the “.com” world we’re living in now we found it very important, but also quite hard to find a short, catchy name. We eventually found on a domain name selling site “Mujjo.com” to be available for only 15 USD and there it was, the birth of Mujjo, haha! We instantly liked the name and so do many of our clients.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We started with the 3 founders: my brother Remy Nagelmaeker, Tom Canters and me. Currently we work with 5 people, after having worked with 6 full timers and a few part timers. Instead of getting more employees we learned about working more efficiently with less people. When we started hiring more people, we tended to lose focus on our core-business and spent more time on keeping our employees busy, rather then spending time on ourselves.
Who or what inspires YOU?
Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris haha… No seriously, I get inspiration from many things like blogs or websites I visit daily, things being shared on Twitter/Facebook, movies (preferably not too commercial), photography, walking on the streets, fashion brands, reading books, going on holiday trips far from here and many more. I’m always looking for beautiful, interesting, inspirational stuff. A very handy daily digital inspiration source for me is Fancy.
Also, I love Italian food and Italian music like that of Paolo Conte.
My interest for business started when I was really young. I dreamed about starting my own car brand, together with my brother. Later, at the age of 16/17 I read the book, Rich dad, Poor dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, which inspired me a lot. Although a lot of the content might be a bit ‘naive’, this book taught me a lot about money and how to deal with it.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded?
We did it by crowd-funding (people who pre-ordered our first product (Mujjo touchscreen gloves). With this money we were able to pay the first production. For US based people this is actually quite easy nowadays, using websites like Kickstarter.com. We used our own website, Mujjo.com, which didn’t have any visitors till we launched the press release the 1st of November 2011. Of course, those are some crazy exciting moments. It’s very important to have at least one major blog talking about you to get it all running. For this product we’ve been featured in blogs like Techcrunch, Gizmodo, and TUAW and many many more!
When we got featured on TUAW (on Dec 15th), sales on our website went crazy. The reviewer was crazy positive about our product and highly recommended this as a Christmas gift. Many placed orders on this advice, resulting in hundreds of sales on our website in a period of only 5 hours time. There we sat, looking at the same screen showing a live result of the sales with a beer in our hands. Ka-ching!
What was the biggest mistake you made with this or a past company? Anything you would change?
The biggest mistake… Hmm, hard to say. We made many mistakes, but also did many good things. By making mistakes we learned a lot. But one mistake was a little too expensive for what we learned from it in my opinion. I can’t give too many details about this but let’s say we once were in a little fight with this huge company, ending up in invoices from lawyers which did not make me smile… As for the rest, we learn by doing, so mistakes are all part of the game!
Do you consider yourself successful now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
Yes, I do. Just look at what we’ve built in such a short period! Our first press release was the first of November. In a period of 2 months we had been featured on numerous sites and sold like 35,000 touchscreen gloves. And not just in the Netherlands, but worldwide.
Our vision as a brand is to be contemporary and come up with timeless, clean and minimalistic designs in everything we create. Mujjo will never chase trends, but instead, every Mujjo design is a reflection of our personal taste.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why:
None. Nowadays thousands of new apps are introduced every day again. Apps I am using now, might be outdated in a few months.. However, apps like Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox and Fancy I use a several times on a daily basis for a bunch of inspiration, news updates and updates from friends.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs! I like dogs, I hate cats…. Easy question.
iOS or Android?
So far no company has been able to compete with Apple in terms of hardware/software (in my opinion). iOS still has the largest app-base and, more important, developers only need to make two versions for their app (iPad and iPhone), which I think improves the quality of apps for iOS.
Anything else we should know about what makes you and your company so special?
Well, I guess what makes our company unique is that we are doing almost everything ourselves. From product sourcing, product development, production planning, still photography, copywriting, designing the website, designing the packaging, distributing press releases, doing acquisition at distribution companies worldwide, shooting product video’s, creating the email database, sending the orders, acquiring people, opening a Hongkong Limited etc etc. This way we can all do it among our own wishes and our own level of perfection. We want to be the best, not just good…
Where can our readers find you?