I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the CEO of Geekify Inc. John Taylor. Geekify, according to the website, offers “handcrafted products for the discerning geek.” The have items ranging from jewelry to device covers to cosplay items. If you would love to have you own replica Auryn for The Neverending Story or you want the cover of your tablet to look like the The Handbook for the Recently Deceased” from the movie Beetlejuice then this site is the place for you.
GNN: How Long has Geekify Inc been operating?
John Taylor (JT) 8.5 years, its birthday in March 2012! We technically started the Christmas season before, but officially incorporated a few months later.
GNN: What was the driving factor that inspired you to start your business?
JT: I’ve always been an entrepreneur, and this was business #5. Geekify has its roots in cosplay – I made a Demon Hunter costume for BlizzCon in 2011 and had some extra leather that became the first of our tablet and eReader covers. It went viral on Etsy and we just started taking orders for all kinds of custom things, and it’s continuously snowballed from there!
GNN: Do have or plan to have a brick and mortar store or is the plan to keep it strictly online?
JT: We have a workshop warehouse in Colorado that doesn’t directly serve to the public per se as a retail site, but we do advertise our manufacturing services to locals and have occasional walk-ins. The nature of our work is extremely customized, so the online presence works best for our business model.
GNN: Are all of your Items handmade or do you have some that are ordered in?
JT: About 70% of what we make, we make in-house. Some of the more specialized or bulk run stuff, we work with manufacturing partners to help assist in production runs, but everything is designed in the workshop.
GNN: Your Items that are hand made. Do you personally make them or do you have a team that assists you?
JT: We have a small team of people that work in production to build all of our handmade items. They’ve gotten incredibly good over the years at crafting quickly and efficiently.
GNN: One of the items you sell is covers for phones and tablets. Do you or can you make covers for any device? If I came to you with an iPhone 4 or 5 could you create a cover for it?
JT: Absolutely! That’s largely how we got our start, people kept requesting this or that design for their specific device. They just keep making new devices, so it’s been an interesting niche to continue growing in, though people sometimes don’t know their own model of device and we have to make some educated guesses.
GNN: What are your biggest sellers?
JT: Our Last Unicorn Tarot decks have been wildly popular, as have our Neverending Story Auryns – we keep improving and iterating on the projects we tackle to make them better, higher quality, and more screen-accurate as time goes on, and both of those have been some of our biggest passion projects.
GNN: If it is a cover which style is it?
JT: Neverending Story and Grey’s Sports Almanac. Those 80s classics are hugely popular and really appeal to the nostalgia factor.
GNN: Is there one thing that you sell on your site that is hand made that is your absolute favorite thing to make and why?
JT: I’m a huge fan of Skyrim and loved creating a full set of the spell tomes for my own personal collection. We still use them as notebooks around the workshop to this day, and people always want them when we have them on display at conventions.
GNN: How do you market your site? Do you attend Comic Cons and the like to get your product and name to the public?
JT: We run a convention circuit of about 14 conventions a year – Anime Expo, DragonCon, Comic Cons all over, WonderCon, the various PAX events, and more. We’ve got some excellent word-of-mouth for the people we work with, and people reach out wth all kinds of projects. We were even invited to be part of a faux convention for the filming of the second season of Con Man with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk. We met Stan Lee on several occasions on the con circuit and on set, so it’s been fun having some of the celebrities and creators of the things we make for admiring our handiwork and talking with us about our mutual passion of geekdom!
GNN: I noticed on your site that you like to try and tackle custom orders. What is the strangest thing you have ever had ordered?
JT: We once had a request for a custom bowling ball core, needed for an unspecified “emergency”, made within 48 hours and to be overnighted somewhere across the country. We were mid-way through designing it when the customer disappeared altogether. We’ll never know the full story there!
Geekify can be reached or seen on most forms of social media. John says “Our Instagram sees the most traffic on our daily or more unusual projects or behind-the-scenes kind of work”. They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook. So give them a look see and purchase one of their fine products to display your geekdom, or give as a gift to the geek in your life. For more interviews like this head over to our website, or check us out on Facebook.