The GelaSkins story began in 2005 in a city called Toronto. Drake was a child actor on a Canadian teen drama and people would judge each other on how their MySpace pages looked. Two starry eyed 25 year olds set out to defend iPods everywhere from unsightly scratching. At the time the only cases on the market were made of bulky silicone or leather. The only 'designs' available were black, white, blue or pink. Unacceptable! We knew that we could do better, so we started reaching out to our favorite artists around the world. One by one we asked them if they wanted to collaborate and raise the bar to make better iPod protection. When 'yes' after 'yes' started rolling in we knew we were on to something special...
It took 8 months of ridiculously hard, but incredibly fun work from the day we decided to start GelaSkins until the day we launched the site. Designing a website, developing and prototyping a new type of product, artist licensing, learning everything we possibly could about printing and material sourcing... it was insane!
Since the launch of GelaSkins.com in the Spring of 2006 we've sold well over a million of our artist-designed tech accessories to people in every corner of the world. We've also had the honor of paying out several million dollars to the family of artists that we collaborate with. Without them, none of this would be possible.
Over the years GelaSkins has grown from two to over 30 people strong. All of the products that we've made and shipped out over the years have been crafted in our studio factory in the Junction neighborhood of Toronto, Canada. By 2009 we were 'lucky' enough to be in a position where we could purchase the building that we'd rented space in for the previous 3 years. A beautiful brick & beam structure constructed in 1929 that over the years had been home to an art school and a macaroni factory. It's been amazing to renovate the space, bringing back some of its former glory and turning it into an inspiring place to make our products.
One of the fun things about what we make here is that we get to see our products used by some of the people who have inspired us, or just entertained us, which is equally important. We've been featured in blockbuster movies like the Social Network (Justin Timberlake rocks a laptop with a GelaSkin in a key scene), and amazing TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm (featured in a scene with Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld). Not to name drop any more, but here we go... both of our favorite Steves (Jobs & Wozniak) have been customers of GelaSkins over the years. We even had an up and coming Canadian popstar named Justin something or other digging our goods at a popup we did years before he fully hit puberty and stole the world's heart.
Flash forward to the Summer of 2014. We had already added fine art prints to GelaSkins, and we were getting ready to launch our new apparel line. It just didn't seem right to lump everything under the GelaSkins name. In our minds GelaSkins was synonymous with tech accessories. We came up with the name 'Nuvango' for our new brand. It would be the home to everything we make, from tech accessories to kimonos and everything in between.
Transitioning from GelaSkins to Nuvango was an incredible learning experience. Not just figuring out how to apply the same production standards and processes to the manufactured-on-demand apparel world that we did with tech accessories a decade earlier, but also getting to speak to so many artists and customers about what they loved about us, but more importantly, where they thought that we could do better.
Spoiler Alert: 2 years later in the Summer of 2016 we made the decision to separate the two brands (GelaSkins & Nuvango). The main reasoning being that lumping the two brands together prevented either of them from really being all that they could be. So Nuvango will continue to grow as our lifestyle fashion brand (and Art Gallery here in Toronto!), and GelaSkins is back as the best place in the world to discover the work of incredible artists on tech accessories or to use our custom tools to make beautiful skins and cases with your own artwork.
Thanks for being a part of our journey. The best, as always, is yet to come...
Your Friends at GelaSkins