Brief History

How it all began and our first production

All started as GeekFun on November 2015 with the mission to connect artists with people that are looking for creative artworks. The name was changed to ArtishUp later on, after more than a year of operations!
At first, we started selling just one type of product: Phone Cases.

It took us nearly 7 months to learn how to do it right, the phone case customization at the beginning seems to be very easy but you really see its complexity when you start doing it. Also, in this period we also improved a little bit our techniques and even today we continue to practice, always trying to make it even better.

Our business model is “make-to-order”: we just produce the products when we have a sale. We don’t make any type of mass production.

Here is an image of a few prototypes and tests we had:

A few of the tests we performed when trying to get it right, still as “GeekFun”!

There were a few problems at the beginning that made us work hard to solve it like the ghost effect in the black case or the different colors that you can compare in the same art on the right side. Also the boxes were all hand-made, printed and folded, one by one 😱


Production Process

The first thing we needed to take care of is the design, sometimes we customize a phone case accordingly to the customer specifications but most of the time we like to provide some options and that’s where we sell them on Etsy, eBay, Amazon and our Website. So we created some mockups that we can use to show our products:

First mockup we had to show the customers how their phone case would look like

 

Printing

Before printing the design there were a few other things that we had to take care of, for example the printer settings. As we are dealing with a different print options, we had to customize our printings settings to find the best result at the end. It also took us a few months to make it right.

With everything prepared we finally could print our design. The printer and paper used to do that we had to import from Brazil.

First printer we used to print the cases.

 

Sublimation

Once the artworks were printed, we needed to transfer the art to the phone cases. The Sublimation Heat Press takes part in this phase:

Machine to transfer artworks to the phone cases[/caption]

In this equipment we could set up the pressure and temperature that we wanted to use. The sublimation Heat Press had a big influence in our learning curve because we had to waste several cases to set up the right temperature and pressure

So, to transfer the art to the case we use a thermal tape that holds the case in the right position avoiding that once we start to sublime, the art stays in the right position. You can see in the following picture the plate that is going to have the art printed with the thermal tapes on the sides.

Thermal tape and sublimation proccess

Before starting the sublimation process, we had to place a kraft paper on the machine because of the high temperature. Now that we had the insert and sublimation machine ready, we just had to place it in the Sublimation Heat Press, set the temperature, pressure and time.

The seal was removed from the blank phone case, and the aluminum insert could be attached to the phone case, all becoming one single piece.

Seal and insert placement

 

Packages

Once the phone cases are made, we can start the process to make the boxes. The boxes were all designed by Geekfun using tools suchs as: Illustrator and Photoshop.

We print all the designs using another ink printer. This is our second printer only used for making boxes, thank you cards, business cards, and stickers.

After we print the boxes, we start folding and gluing the parts needed. We make different color boxes because we believe our customer likes to always receive something different and have a new experience.

Hand made colored boxes

 

In addition, we want to enhance our customer’s experience and show that we really care about them. So we created stickers and thank you cards to put inside the boxes with the phone cases.

Thank you cards and stickers

Where we are now?

Almost 4 years later, working remotely, part-time and on weekends, we are still operating and growing. Today we have a team of 6 people, two of them are developers and are building the whole studio artishup experience. Our team is divided, half in United States and half in Brazil.

We sell phone cases, tote bags and t-shirts across the globe with artwork created by 35 artists (and growing week after week...)

You can see more details about our current mission here:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cuApVC5Wc4wIKAkBcOuX1a8FVlsf7GM2e-eSZ4H-Raw/edit?usp=sharing