We had an interesting chat with Ms. “Michelle Bair”, Owner – of the Arizona – US based start-up “MassivBrand”
Below is the interview we conducted with him:
1. What is it exactly that you do and what your start-up is all about?
Massiv Brand offers new innovative technology that is changing the way homeowners are enjoying their homes and televisions, we have joking referred to it as “The Marriage Saver!” Our In-Mirror TVs are custom built in the USA and hand crafted out of solid wood, they are a gorgeous custom framed mirror when off and a crystal clear television when on. We also specialize in: Barn Doors, Mirrors, Bulletin Boards, Chalkboards, and Whiteboards!
2. When has your startup been founded? And what stage is your startup currently at?
Our company started in 2011 providing imported solid wood oversized mirrors and bulletin boards and has evolved from there. We are now trying to reach new clients across the country.
3. What is your startup’s business model and how does it work?
When we first started Aaron went on a drive through the entire state of California and Arizona going store to store showing our frame profiles to anyone and everyone. Now that we have reps across the country we are focusing on finding stores, designers, builders, consumers, and bloggers…
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
The team at Massiv is very small and intimate, it’s a husband and wife team with support from local finishers and workers when needed. Aaron runs the shop; conceptualizing, designing, building, perfecting and so much more each of our products. While Michelle runs the office (the boring part) keeping the books and running all the social media.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
Massiv Brand excels at planning and designing TV’s, custom fitting them into your project. With customizable options including: any brand TV, motorized sound bar(s), component cabinet, auto tilt and so much more! Add to that that all of our products are hand crafted and custom made from solid wood in the USA, something that is so rare in this day and age. Also you can mix different products throughout your home that compliment each other and your home decor.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has your startup achieved so far?
Our growth has been slow but steady, now that we are reaching more people via social media and through reps, dealers, designers, etc we are growing faster with each day. We have many clients that say we’ve loved your products since your launch and love each new piece you’ve designed since.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is your start-up’s competitive advantage over them?
Designers have been trying to hide TVs since they become a common necessity in every household. There are other companies that offer their solution to hiding the TV but none offer a solid wood 100% customizable product like Massiv Brand does. Plus our other products help designers to bring more options to their clients.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
Switching from importing to domestic made products required many hours of R&D. Now that we’ve perfected our products we are now focusing on growth, with an occasional tweak to how we build or design.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
The hardiest thing so far has been working with people that haven’t had a chance to see our products in person and struggle to visualize it in their space while placing an order.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
Can I just say because we are? But seriously thats a tough question, I’d say we are going to succeed because every person that has seen our products is amazed and they tell us we’re going to go the distance.
11. If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
We have already evolved so much in the last few years with each new concept opening our minds to yet another new concept, it will be exciting to see where we can go next.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
Years ago we were building a house and wanted large, hallway sized, framed bulletin boards and couldn’t find them in any store so we had to have them custom made. Fast forward a few years and we realized that people want large, well made, custom framed products but without the wait. We found that niche and tried to fill it which is lead us to another and another…
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
We’ve learned that there are many things you can plan for and many more things that will just pop up and surprise you when starting a company. The latter seems to be where all your growth and knowledge comes from.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
A welcomed problem in six months would be too many orders and too small of a space and too few hands to produce them. But we are ready and excited for that amount of growth!
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
As I mentioned before “The Marriage Saver” allows the husband to have his TV and the wife to have her well designed room and/or the homeowners to have their TVs and the designer to have a well planned, gorgeous, functioning room. Its a win win for everybody!
16. How did customers / users find out about you?
Many of our customers have found us through word of mouth, no amount of advertising can replace a happy and satisfied customer. Other ways we have reached out to customers is via social media and participating in things like the Utah Valley Home Parades.
17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?
Our current customers are a varied group that includes: home owners, interior designers, custom builders, home automation integrators, stores and more. We would really like to have more designers, builders and integrators but really our products fit with so many different trades that we are happy with any and all of them.
18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
Recently many new customers have come from referrals, Houzz or they found us a few weeks or months ago at a trade show or online and are now ready to place an order.
19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?
Stealing from one of our Houzz reviews, “Let’s just say the first time I saw a MASSIV mirror I immediately went home and started picking a spot for one of my very own. Now I have three… They are, by far, one of the most complimented decor pieces in my home. They are substantial and of the utmost quality. The colors and styles are perfect for any decor style. I have been thrilled with [mine] and have referred friends and family who have also purchased from MASSIV for their homes.”
20. How are you going to scale?
We have a few items that we offer now that have patents pending on them and a few more even more exciting and groundbreaking yet to come! We are never fully satisfied with our products we are always looking for ways to make them better for our customers.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
Honestly we haven’t had clients request anything from us that we won’t try our hardest to provide for them. Thats the beautiful thing with our company, we will customize almost anything for our clients.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
We would love to travel the world and see our products in hotel lobbies and rooms, some day hopefully that will happen. For now we are happy to work with our current customer base and learn and grow before going international.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
We would love to grow our humble family business into a large corporation with a “family” of workers, and we will someday. For us the sky is the limit as long as customers still want mirrors or TVs than we have a client base and with our continual growth and evolution of products we will strive to fill whatever future niches there might be.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
We would love to grow our work force but at this time we are not looking for any new workers. When we do start hiring we will need skilled woodworkers, finishers, and other labourers.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
If the right person/company comes along and offers the right type of funding options we might be open to it, never close a door to options. We can reached by phone or email.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
I came across an article once and these tips are what stood out to me:
1. Communicate well, and be easy to get a hold of.
2. Do what you say, when you say you’ll do it. Follow-through is key!
3. Respond to emails and phone calls.
4. Stay innovative and creative.
5. Challenge yourself.
6. Don’t give up. Things in business don’t happen easily, or immediately.
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Send us an email or message us on social media, we’d love to hear from you!