January 27, 2012 > Locally developed e_Sill aims high
Locally developed e_Sill aims high
By Julie Grabowski
In a world where toting electronic devices is the norm, the question of how to get the most out of them naturally follows. Accessories for phones and computers are not a new concept, but a locally developed product provides a simple and affordable option that supports local industry and aims for a global market.
Fremont resident Garret Moore found himself unemployed after being laid off from his position as creative director for a dot-com in Silicon Valley. Facing a nationwide job fall off and feeling that he was aging out of the industry as employers preferred younger employees with fewer needs, Moore took things into his own hands. "I decided I wasn't going to be blown around by the winds of fate," he says. "I would make my own fate."
Moore had a BlackBerry which offered movie viewing and other diverse capabilities, but soon found there was no practical way to prop it up when he wanted his hands free. His brother identified with the problem, saying he would buy a banana whenever he went into Starbucks in order to prop up his phone. Device supports were fancy and expensive, and Moore knew there had to be something better than a banana or spending $50.
As an illustrator, graphic designer, and publishing artist, Moore's creative mind went to work figuring out a simple and effective solution. He started with paper, but it couldn't conform or adjust to what he had in mind. He wanted a stand that was adjustable to certain angles and portable, something durable that could be folded up. "We were asking a lot from a very simple device," says Moore. The essential goals were simplicity, economy, convenience, device applicability, and Eco-responsibility. It had to be practical, a "people's product," something that everyone could afford.
Ideas bounced around friends and took form, and at a local art supply store looking for workable materials, Moore spotted portfolios made out of plastic. He bought one, took it home and cut it apart. "Right away I saw that this was not only applicable to form and function, but it was a #2 recyclable," he says.
Everything fell into line and Moore went with the positive flow, finding his product passing all tests. In mid-2010 the e_Sill was ready for sale, and according to Moore, "as perfect a product as we could conceive."
Simple, inexpensive, durable, light-weight, portable, and ecologically aware, the e_Sill is a stand useable in any setting allowing people to view their device screens and interact with them hands-free. Just slide it open to use, then crush flat and put away when through.
Constructed of the second most recyclable material, the e_Sill won't tear or break, and after three years Moore says they have yet to throw one out, a testament to the product's solidity and durability. The material is 100 percent printable, accommodating any number of colors and patterns. There are currently 30 patterns available to coordinate with any personality, including geometric, skulls, letters, zebra, trigonometry chalkboard, bamboo, damask, and flowers. Custom and popular designs are also available to order in any quantity. Moore says they just did 50 e_Sills for ESPN printed with their logo. The product is a great option for advertisers looking for a way to get their name in the public eye.
The e_Sill is available in two sizes, one for smartphones ($9.95) and a larger version for tablets and e-book readers ($19.95) and can be purchased online at www.e-sill.com. While there is currently no mortar store from which to purchase the product, Moore says they can supply local retailers and is looking to place the product in stores.
As for the name, "e" stands for electronic and "sill" is like a window sill, to support the device. Together, the two sound like the word easel, evoking the idea of an artist's easel. The product tagline "For the Art of Your Life" refers to this concept in a modern way. "We all now have most of our lives on our phones and pad computers (addresses, phone numbers, pictures, videos, notes, apps for all we do and need), and that is how we can make our lives a work of art if we are positive, creative, and honor ourselves," says Moore. "We can all be a work of art in how we face our world. Our device reflects that. The e_Sill can be an easel for such a work of art."
Mindful of the current economic situation and the exportation of American industry, Moore says, "it was clear that 'how' we did this would be as important as the quality of the product itself. I did it all in America." Without steady employment himself, Moore knows the value of supporting your own economy, keeping industry and jobs here. "It's only a stand, I know. But a stand that is doing it right, and being a model for a new American ethic of green, quality and innovative design. With more such product ideas the world will want American products again."
While a self-produced product, Moore calls his operation a "collaborative success," crediting the input and support of friends throughout the process. "Many friends have helped me not only in their professional capacities for website, promotional and advisory, but for patent, trademark and other costs I could not afford. I have shared product value with them and owe them much in spirit if not in percentage of profit when our market bears fruit. There are some good people in our community that have helped us survive very lean times while still freelancing, and putting my and my wife's efforts toward bringing this product to market."
Finding the right outlets and getting enough exposure for a product is always a tricky thing. The e_Sill currently operates on word of mouth, its Website, Facebook, and Twitter, but Moore has no shortage of hopes. "This is going to go big in the future, I'm convinced," he says. "I have no lack of enthusiasm for this project."
For more information on e_Sill or to purchase, visit www.e-sill.com.