We’re not Craftsmen, We’re Just Good At Listening

One of the things that you’ll notice about our team is that none of us has a proper industrial design background. We have a watch expert as an adviser; we have a watch product designer as an adviser. But none of the core team is considered a watch expert. Truth be told, before Modify, I hadn’t worn a watch since I lost one in 11th grade (I’m pre-tty sure it was stolen during basketball practice…).

Me in 11th grade (really an excuse to get a picture of my niece Eva into the post)

When we started The Swap Watch, I only wore the garish colors (rebellion!); hilariously my to-be mother-in-law gave me a really nice knock-off Tag Heuer for graduation from business school because she didn’t like the bright colors 😉


We may not know the difference between a Marine Chronometer and a Marine Broma… [sorry, I got nothing] but we’re all pre-tty good with people, and we all want to create products that people love. So we thought about the companies that we love, and two main ones popped up: Threadless and 20×200.com. Threadless is the crowdsourcing leader in my opinion… they don’t produce a thing unless the community is clamoring to buy it. And 20×200 releases incredible limited edition art prints every week. I’ve been a customer of each (below are some of my favorites).

What we love about these two companies is that they have passionate communities that return every week. NOT because these fans are going to buy something every week, but because they know they’re going to be interested by what they find.

We haven’t lived up to that promise yet. We release new watches every 2 months or so. But that’s going to change in the coming months. We’re working hard to build our foundation so that we are great at listening to our community. We’re working hard to help you customize your collection of Modify Watches. To help you be your own bold.

And with that, we couldn’t have been more excited than to participate in the first inaugural Custom Week. Some major brands were led the way (Create-A-MattressZazzle, Gemvara); and there were a few that we’d followed and admired for a while (Blank Label and Chocri in particular). I’ve included some more information on Custom Week at the bottom of the post… the gist is that all of these companies want to help YOU get the product YOU want.

What does that mean for us? Two things

  1. We want to help you achieve your goal of being both the Hipster Ballerina and the San Francisco Dress Code (pictures below, see if you can figure out which is which…)
  2. We want our community to help us design their collection. We’ve started by asking our Facebook fans (2,000+) to vote for our next design (winner posted below); we’ll have them choose what colors we produce next.

From the website: “Custom Week 2011 is the first annual voluntary industrywide promotion for the mass customization and personalization industry. The event has been organized by volunteers from TreehouseLogicGemKitty, and Create-A-Mattress to draw attention to the maturity of the mass customization movement, highlight companies currently offering thousands of customized and personalized items across a spectrum of categories, and emphasize that mass customization is a trend that’s here to stay.  

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