How'd you start?
We founded Distil Union in 2011 as a way to bring our own product ideas to the market. In our years as designers at large companies, we worked on literally hundreds of products together. But design is just one teeny part of those big corporations… and often you're designing for buyers and sales teams, not for the end user! So we started our own design company where we can develop and deliver the products that we want to see on shelves. VOLT enabled us to get the products developed, look good online and play out a funnels strategy on kickstarter to fund creation!
We design them! We're a micro-collective of two designers having fun (and working hard) creating solutions to our own real-life problems. Selfish? Perhaps. Satisfying? You bet! We have a global network of vendors that VOLT set us up with, and we leverage our good relationships with them when it makes sense. Going outside that trusted network can be scary, but as designers of our own brand, we value integrity and authenticity – so we connect with new manufacturers and resources VOLT has introduced over the years.
Advice for startups?
Don't be scared to try new things – you can do anything with VOLT's knowledgable community and stellar support (shout-out to our mentor, Dylan!). Starting with zero background in e-commerce, we've been able to start from scratch with Shopify and VOLT, and build a profitable business that we're proud of.