This week, StyleFixx's Woman in the Spotlight is none other than Ali Bane, founder of Confabulous Cases!
If you're anything like us you love to be able to change the style of your iPhone case to match your mood and outfit but new cases are so expensive!
Enter Ali Bane with Confab! Her amazing, inexpensive inserts fit right into the back of a clear case so you can easily slip them in and out as the mood strikes you! After all, you don't wear the same thing every day so why should your iPhone?
We love Ali's entrepreneurial spirit and know you'll be as inspired by her as we are!
How did Confabulous Cases come about?:
Confabulous Cases started by pure accident. I was home wrapping presents during the holidays, and it occurred to me that I could cut the fun, colorful wrapping paper I was using to show through the back of my clear iPhone case. I sported this Christmas-y insert for a few weeks, and then it was January. When I took the paper out, my phone looked pretty drab compared to it's festive holiday attire, so I replaced the holiday insert with a more multi-seasonal paper that I could sport year round. When family, friends, and strangers started complimenting my case like crazy, I knew I was onto something!
So, do you design and create the inserts yourself?
Currently, I purchase most of the designs or images and cut them all with the help of a digital die-cutter. Recently, I've started doing a lot of customized inserts with photos, company logos and other kinds of special requests. They are pretty fun for one-time events like bachelorette parties, weddings, birthdays, and tournaments.
(A Sampling of Confabulous Inserts)
Have you always been interested in design and art?
When I was young, I used to play clothing designer by drawing shirts, pants, dresses, etc. on pieces of paper, and then decorating them with a unifying theme… flowers. Or stars. How 90s of me. They were awful!
So although I've always been interested in design and art, I am not a traditional artist by training or trade. Recently, I've been getting very into photography, and (I) look forward to incorporating it into Confabulous Cases in a significant way in the future.
What have you found most challenging about starting your own business?
Honestly, there is little I have not found challenging about starting my own business! From production issues to website development to simply finding the time to do all I need and want for Confabulous Cases before 9 AM, after 5 PM, and on weekends. I still have another, completely unrelated full-time job that I adore, so it's been busy. Fortunately, I have some amazing entrepreneurial friends in my life who have been able to provide me with some much-needed encouragement and guidance.
What advice would you give to women aspiring to start their own company?
A good friend of mine from Boston College who has enjoyed much success in the performing arts gave me some fantastic advice when I started Confabulous Cases. From one entrepreneur to another, he told me, "Make everything your business." Everywhere you go, everyone you talk to needs to know what you're doing. You never know who or how many people they'll tell about it. When you're starting out, the power of word of mouth is huge. You have to rely on your social network to help you promote your brand. So, that would be my advice: make everything your business!
How would you describe your personal style? Do you find it reflected in Confabulous Cases?
I would categorize my style as casual chic. I'm all about comfort and color. Ultimately, my style changes daily. Some days I'm preppy to boot, others I'm sporty, and some days I want to look and feel like I'm on the cast of Mad Men. I like getting glamed up for special occasions just as much as I love rolling out of bed and into a beach cover up and flip flops. My changing style is reflected in Confabulous Cases as our mission is to provide customers with a case that is flexible enough to always fit the occasion or season, an outfit or personality…without breaking the bank. As we say at CC, you don't wear the same thing every day, why should your iPhone?
Where do you see yourself and CC in five years?
I see myself happy.
And I see Confabulous flourishing, having moved beyond just iPhone cases. Hopefully I won't be cutting the inserts at home anymore!
(Bridesmaids Enjoying Their Customized Confabulous Cases)
Thanks to Ali for taking the time out to speak with us!
We hope to see her and the Confabulous crew back at StyleFixx Boston in October!