Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristine and Christopher Scull.
Kristine and Christopher, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our story began some 30 years ago when our parents were best friends, We grew up together and it was our similar upbringing and interests that brought us back together in 2016 through social media, first romantically and then in business. Chris was already an architectural designer with his own firm, and I was a school teacher and an avid crafter. You would think these were two completely different worlds, however, our appreciation for technology and our abundant creativity and drive came together on one fateful day. Shortly after getting married in 2017, we were planning a trip to a theme park.
Chris already used 3D printing for his architectural designs and as a romantic gesture he designed and printed a custom set of mouse ears for me to wear at the park. The response from other park goers and our friends was so overwhelming that we were soon taking orders from others for their own unique set of ears. Within three months we had started an Etsy shop and within a year we had our own website and had increased sales by 1000%. Many wonder what the meaning of our company name is and it was actually our wedding hashtag. We are Kris and Chris Scull, so Scull Squared seemed logical. We are also pretty big nerds too so it was true to our love of puns to use the term “square” to describe us. The fact our name is Scull and we make designs to wear on your skull also led to our company motto “For your skull, by the Sculls”.
As with many startups, growth was a learning process and we definitely had several bumps along the way. However, through constant reinvestment in better equipment, continuous research and development, and networking with other companies, we have built a business that has allowed us to sustain ourselves and help those in our community through other ventures.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our biggest struggle was finding the most effective ways to market our business. In the niche that we are in, many may turn to social media “influencers”, but we found ourselves struggling to see a good return on investment. It became clear that the best marketing was providing excellent customer service, engagement with our followers on social media, in-person community events and word of mouth. We aligned ourselves with people and other businesses who appreciated our products and had ethical business practices. Aligning yourself with the wrong person in the business world can make or break your brand.
Handling multiple deadlines and developing internal organization has also been a learning process. Despite the rapid advances with 3D printing, there has been a need to account for errors and failure. Through this, we found it beneficial to educate our customers on the process so they can appreciate why their product may take longer to make than anticipated. We feel communication is important on all sides. What has made these challenges easier is the fact we work so well together. We each have designated roles and communicate often, ensuring that we always have proper inventory and can meet deadlines.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Scull Squared Design Co. – what should we know?
Scull Squared is primarily a 3D printing design company. We specialize in mouse ears, but we also design and print merchandise for the home and pet market as well. We have made everything from planters to dog tags to souvenirs and jewelry.
Our proudest achievement was developing an interchangeable system for our ears which allows you to easily swap designs on our custom headband or on a hat. The design and development took months to complete but allowed for greater versatility and loyalty from our customers as well.
We feel that what sets us apart is we always stay true to ourselves, even if that means sacrificing potential business or sources of income. In an era where many sell-out for a quick buck, we pride ourselves in seeing the bigger picture and appreciating our clients. Not making false promises, communicating often with customers, and not undertaking designs or projects that would overwhelm us has allowed us to be praised repeatedly for our customer service. We also try to venture outside of our comfort zone and explore the limits of our creativity with our designs to truly give customers a unique product.
Do you feel luck has played a role in your life?
Personally, we don’t believe in luck. Hard work and putting yourself out there are what help your business to grow and be successful. Were we lucky to happen upon a good idea? I suppose. However, we are firm believers that anyone with drive, passion, and creativity will find an opportunity for success at some point.
- Standard Single Color Ears: Start at $15
- Standard Multicolor Ears: Start at $35
- Interchangeable Ears Set: Start at $45
- Website: www.scullsquared.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scullsquared
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scullsquared
Life is the Bubbles Ears/Launch Bay Pics: @seesdayphoto; Wedding Ears with Shoes: @wwwkristencarrigancom