MAKER MONDAY: Meet Jeff - DODOcase's Manufacturing Manager and Engineer

Nov 23, 2015

Tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in San Francisco by two very traditional Chinese immigrants who showed me the importance of hard work without sacrificing love for family. I grew up reading comics, playing video games, and eventually having a passion for cars. That passion led me to pursue a mechanical engineering degree which I got at San Jose State University. After graduating and working as a Manufacturing engineer for a couple of years, a friend of mine asked if I'd be interested in taking over his position at DODOcase. I said yes and now I've been with the company just over 2 years.

1) What is your position at DODOcase and what do you do on a daily basis?
I'm the 
Engineer and Manufacturing Manager for the machine shop. As the Manufacturing Manager, every day I make sure that all machines are running and that all our products will be made on time through delegation of tasks to my team. As the Engineer, I'm heavily involved in the product development cycle of almost all the new DODOcase products.  I've also become the in-house IT guy, so troubleshooting computer and networking issues has made its way onto my plate. 

2) What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
That I have access to all the fun toys in the company such as the 3-D printer, the laser cutter, and all the machines in the wood shop. Every day I don't just sit in front of the computer. I'm either up to cut a laser, take parts out of the 3-D printer and get them ready for processing, or doing a test run on the CNC machine to see if a new tool path will provide a better tray out of the machine.

3) What are you passionate about?
This may sound corny, but I'm passionate about living a non-mediocre life while helping others around me.

4) What are your hobbies outside of work?
During the spring and summer seasons, I'm usually outdoor hiking, biking, or enjoying an afternoon doing archery. I also like to volunteer when I can. Every Thursday after work I spend my time volunteering at an after-school tutoring program for underprivileged kids in the city. Right now, I'm helping an autistic student with his English and Math skills and have fun doing it. It's very rewarding to watch him grasp the problems.

5) What's your favorite DODOcase? 
It's actually a new VR viewer that we're currently working on. Can't give out too many details, but I feel like it'll change the way people can access VR content in a big way and I'm very excited about it. Can't wait until we launch it!

Read More

MAKER MONDAY: Meet Josh - DODOcase's Screen Printer

Oct 26, 2015

Tell us about yourself:
I grew up all over California but mostly on the Monterey Bay Peninsula.  I moved to San Francisco right after high school in 2004, to attend San Francisco State University, initially as a Geology major but then switched to Printmaking. I eventually transferred to San Francisco Art Institute, where I mostly focused on etching and painting.  I've been screen printing since I was about nineteen, but my real printmaking career started when I was fifteen, bootlegging punk shirts with stencils and spray paint.

1) What is your position at DODOcase and what do you do on a daily basis?
I manage the printshop at DODOcase where my duties include screen printing book cloth patterns and custom logos, foil stamping cases, and monogramming custom names and initials.  I also help out in the bindery when they need me.  Printmaking and bookmaking are closely tied.

2 )What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
 I love working with my hands, and problem-solving.  Printmaking teaches you to come at the problem from many different angles and is also a lesson in patience and humility - just when I think I'm getting comfortable, there is always some new variable that I hadn't taken into account.

3) What are your hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work I play music and make a lot of art.  I have an album out on a local record label and have been playing shows pretty often. I also do a lot of screen printing for fellow bands and friends.

4) Tell us the most interesting fact about you?
I wrestled a bear when I was 12 years old.  My father said, "Son, you can't be a true man until you've pinned a grizzly and stared into its cold eyes."

5) What's your favorite DODOcase product?
I like the card and cash wallet. I've had one for a few years and get compliments on it all the time.

6) Best monogram you've ever gotten from a customer?
"stay gold ponyboy"

Read More

Maker Monday: Meet Erika - DODOcase's Bindery Manager

Oct 26, 2015


1) How did you come to DODOcase? 
I'm originally from Tucson, Arizona though I've lived in the Bay Area for seven years now. I moved out here to go to school at San Francisco Art Institute to get my BFA in Printmaking, which was a really great experience. I had my first run-in with DODOcase back in 2011, when I was part of a small team of SF Center for the Book interns who got to make a collaborative DODOcase for SFCB! After that I always knew someone who was working at DODO (and I'd picked up a few days of work here and there), and when the position of Bindery Manager came up this year and it was offered to me, I felt I'd be up for the challenge! 

2) What is your position at DODOcase and what do you do on a daily basis?
I'm the Bindery Manager at DODOcase. I work with a small team to build all the stock and Customizer book-bound cases. I create the daily plan for the department, and I work to create and maintain an efficient system that can produce all the cases we need in a timely manner. We work with a lot of machinery on the daily, including an old Challenge guillotine, several pot devins (glue machines), a casemaker, two Kluge presses, and a Kwikprint and Kensol foil stamper. 

3) What do you like best about DODOcase?
I really enjoy the people I get to work with here at DODOcase. We've got a really wide range of people with totally diverse skill sets, and there's always something you can learn while you're working with them!

4) What are you passionate about?
Making things! There's always another technique out there to learn- right now I'm fascinated by block-printed wallpaper, it just blows my mind how many impressions need to be made in order to make one roll. Some prints have sixteen layers, and they only register using pins! It's fascinating.

5) What's your favorite DODOcase?
I like the look of the new BOOKcases, I think the brown leather makes every pattern and color of book cloth look good, and I like the sewn details.

6) What type of DODOcases are the most fun to make?
Any of the customizers with really outlandish combinations of prints and colors- I still find myself being surprised and cheered at the crazy things people choose to put together. 


Read More

DODOcase Factory Store - Grand Opening Celebration!

Oct 12, 2015

Join us this Saturday, October 17th from 12:00pm - 4:00pm, for the opening of our new factory store in San Francisco. In addition to our comprehensive line of tablet and phone cases, check out our LeatherCraft Collection of wallets, accessories and more. Even design your very own DODOcase, choosing from dozens of different color and texture combinations!

As an integral part of our new retail environment, we have invited some of our favorite SFMade brands to share their goods and experiences, and bring together a diverse and vibrant community of makers, designers, and entrepreneurs. 


Meet the brands & their makers!

Bolt Motorbikes merges passion with capability, having over 30 years and 100,000 miles of riding experience and expertise in bringing products from concept to production in the electric motorcycle and scooter industries. The goal of Bolt Motorbikes is to incite new riders who are interested in owning an efficient electric vehicle. Though the bike is intended for entry level riders, it can also be a performance machine for expert riders with the flick of a switch. With patented battery technology and quick release system, the bike can fulfill the needs of the urban rider. With an impressive 50-mile range, the user can charge the bike in any standard outlet at any time or place. Bolt will be sharing how the bikes are made here in San Francisco, and demonstrating their performance.



Clinton Park, named after the small alleyway in San Francisco’s Mission district next to the old Levi’s building, is the vision of veteran designer/pattern maker Steven Heard.  Founded in 2009, the company quickly went from servicing a hand full of clients to boasting a roster of over 180 as the Maker Movement gained momentum in the San Francisco area.  “San Francisco is ground zero for denim and I feel so fortunate to have landed right in the middle of it.”  Steven spent 4 of the 10 years of his career at Levi Strauss & Co. working as a pattern maker in the old 250 Valencia building where, at the time, the original 501s were still being made. The Clinton Park kiosk at the DODOcase Factory Store will offer made-to-measure jeans, as well as a collection of aprons and accessories.



Finally, the DODOcase factory store was designed and built by Open-Editions, a new design and production company started by artist Lauren DiCioccio and designer Braden Weeks Earp. In addition to collaborating with DODOcase to develop the Factory Store, Open-Editions will be a staple in the new space with a pop-up studio, showcasing their newest products. 


Read More

Meet the craftswoman behind our newest iPhone case: Lorna

Aug 17, 2015

Lorna's Background:

Lorna grew up in Burma. While studying Physics in college, she spent her spare time working as a sales rep for her parents' bean company.  After graduating, she decided she too wanted to work for herself and opened up a small beauty supply store. Unfortunately, under the oppression of the Burmese government and their mismanagement of the country's currency, Lorna had to close her store and flee to Japan in order to make money to support her family, which had grown to three small kids. Lorna spent four years working in Japan as a waitress while teaching herself how to speak Japanese. With great sadness, she returned to Burma due to the unfortunate passing of her oldest son. Thankfully, by that point, her husband's siblings, who were already living in the US, were able to successfully petition for Lorna and her family to come over to the US as well. Eager for a new beginning, She packed up her family and took off for the famous Land of Opportunity, the USA. 

Lorna arrived in California in 1998 with her husband, son, and daughter. She worked hard for 10 years doing data entry for West Coast Life Insurance. Unexpectedly she was laid off with dozens of other workers as the company moved jobs overseas to India. Lorna was crushed as she wasn't sure what she was going to do and couldn't afford to remain unemployed, luckily she found DODOcase through the Government Career Center. The job description sounded interesting so she walked into the DODOcase Dog Patch workshop with her resume in hand seeking a job. Lorna didn't know much about sewing or bookbinding, but she was willing to learn and work hard. She was excited to make things with her hands and learn a new craft and there began her career as a DODOcase Craftswoman. Today Lorna is an integral part of the team. She can help out in several different areas and is always thinking of new product ideas. Her daughter is currently studying at Brown University on a full scholarship and her son works as a manager at an international company in Japan.

Shop the New Lorna iPhone 6/6 Plus Case Here

Q&A With Lorna

1) How Long have you been working for DODOcase? I've been working for DODOcase for 3 years and 8 months.

2) Why do you like working for DODOcase? I love working for DODOcase because I believe in the company's values and philosophy.

3) When and why did you get into sewing? 2 years ago the Sewing department needed help, so I started working with them. I enjoyed it so much I asked to stay in that department.

4) What gave you the idea to make the phone case? I didn't like throwing away the extra leather scraps from the various DODOcase products, so I repurposed the extra leather for another design to reduce waste. I really wanted to make a case that fit the way I live my life. That's how I came up with The Lorna phone case. With the help of the DODOcase team, it really turned into something great!

5) What do you like to do for fun? I love to spend time with my family and friends. We mostly have parties and BBQ whenever we can. I also love to watch dramas and movies.

6) How did it feel when DODOcase went with your design? It was a big surprise!  I was very humbled to think that DODOcase believed in my design. I just wanted to make something that could fit into my lifestyle  and enjoy the way it looked.

7) How did it feel when DODOcase decided to name it after you? I never imagined anything would be named after me, so I can't even use words to describe how honored and happy I am about this opportunity.

8) What's your favorite part about being a person who makes beautiful products? I never really considered myself a very artistic person, so the fact that what I created can be beautiful, gives me a lot of hope and confidence in myself.

Read More

Is Medium the Next Big Frontier for Content Marketing?

Jan 13, 2015

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Tessa Wegert, to view the full article click here

Medium's capacity to host exclusive content as well as disperse existing material to new readers means it has something for everyone including small businesses who don’t have Fortune 500 resources.

San Francisco-based DODOcase, maker of handmade cases for mobile devices, recognized an opportunity to educate audiences about a new product category on the site. The company recently ventured into virtual reality with toolkits, inspired by Google Cardboard, that turn smartphones into virtual reality (VR) viewers. A Kickstarter campaign was launched to fund their DIY VR kits. That required not only informational content, but a unique approach to amplifying it.

We've had so many questions from customers about what VR is and why we're doing this, says Macy McGinness, VP of marketing with DODOcase. We felt like we needed to take a leadership position by developing content around VR, and Medium is the place to do that right out of the gate.

To date, DODOcase has published three of five articles in a series created specifically for the site. Posts include a look at the technology behind the DODOcase VR viewer, a guide to third-party VR apps, and an exclusive interview with VR innovator Tony Parisi.

Though primarily intended for consumers, the company's Medium profile has also proved useful to its business development staff, which is tasked with explaining the product’s value to potential business partners. The in-depth storytelling, the way the stories can be shared and interacted with that's huge, McGinness says. It's more than we could ask for from our blog.

When it came to producing its Medium posts, DODOcase eschewed its usual in-house content development process for a marketing consultant who already knew the site well. A fresh publishing platform, McGinness explains, required a fresh perspective.

The company chose Rob Goodman, who formerly worked in marketing at both Google and Simon & Schuster. Medium gives you that space to be a bit more free and open with ideas that circle around your core product but aren't directly tied to its promotion,” Goodman says. For brands, we talk about authenticity a lot in content marketing, but on Medium especially, that becomes really key.

DODOcase's first post received 2,700 views and a 25 percent read ratio, while the second had a read ratio of 50 percent. I've been thrilled by people's reactions and the excitement around [the posts], McGinness says, adding that they played a part in ensuring the company's Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal.

In an age when 60 percent of consumers favor storytelling over traditional ads, smart brands will experiment with new publishing platforms. When the platform prizes good content, the medium really is the message.

Read More

Live Concerts, World Travel and More — in Virtual Reality

Dec 12, 2014

Five Free VR Apps You Can Enjoy on Your Phone Today

Yes, it may seem futuristic, but the immersive world of virtual reality is already available right through your smartphone. Whether your phone runs iOS or Android, you can explore amazing new virtual worlds today — all you need is a cardboard viewer. It's that simple. To help get you started, we're sharing some of our favorite new VR apps on Medium. And yes — they're all free. Have any favorite VR apps? Let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting us @DODOsays

Live Concerts, World Travel & More — in Virtual Reality

Read More

The Coming of Age of Virtual Reality - An Interview with VR Innovator Tony Parisi.

Dec 10, 2014

When our Co-Founder Patrick Buckley reached out to Tony Parisi about realizing the dream of an open ecosystem for developing VR applications, he was more than game for the adventure.

Now after the launch of our Kickstarter together to achieve just that mission, we sat down with Tony to chat some more about all things VR, including Oculus Rift, owning the future, Lawnmower Man… oh, and how VR might help save the world. When Tony Parisi visited a downtown San Francisco tech meetup dedicated to virtual reality this fall — the enthusiasm from the small group of developers was palpable. After all, for most of them, it was their first time meeting one of the original godfathers of virtual reality. “How many of you love Oculus Rift?” he asked the group. Most of the hands in the room shot up. “And how many of you are excited about waiting over a year to get your hands on one?” he asked only half seriously. The hands dropped like flies until Tony brought them back in with the promise of VR in their pockets, available on the very smartphones they use to call, text, and tweet every day.

That’s the promise of DIYVR, or do-it-yourself virtual reality. A movement that Tony, we here at DODOcase, and others in the developer community are espousing as the equivalent of a free and open internet. It’s the ability to develop and code VR applications in a way that’s as simple as building a web page. 

Read the entire  interview on Medium today.


The Coming of Age of Virtual Reality

Read More

VR DiscoCon

Dec 09, 2014

We've all heard of silent disco but have you ever heard of Disco VR?

We teamed up with our friends at Betabrand and the virtual reality production company Metaverse  to film (with drones!) a 360-degree dance party featuring our VR viewers and Betabrand's shimmery disco attire at the Lyft Headquarters.

Check out the DISCON VR in 360 Degrees with your VR Viewer. 

Special thanks to Betabrand, Metaverse, and Lyft for making this video possible!

Read More

Why We Love VR (Because We Love Makers)

Dec 02, 2014

Over the past few months, we here at DODOcase have been working hard to bring you the next generation of virtual reality technology in the most convenient, affordable way possible with Cardboard VR. And two weeks ago, we took a big step forward in helping to not only make viewers more accessible but to make the games and experiences that customers can get using virtual reality even more easy to enjoy. That’s why we launched our Kickstarter campaign to support open developer standards for virtual reality programming. It will make enjoying your virtual reality experiences as easy as visiting a web page.

We wanted to share more of our story with you - so we sat down with our co-founders Patrick and Craig and took to Medium to talk about why our love for our customers and for makers of all kinds (handcrafted and digital) is driving us to help make virtual reality accessible for everyone. Check out our first piece on Medium here and learn more about what we have been up to with our Kickstarter. We're excited to announce that we've surpassed our goal but would love to stretch it even more so please share with friends and colleagues! Thank you for your continued support for all things DODOcase. Wishing you all a very happy holiday season! 


Why We Love Virtual Reality (Hint: Because We Love Makers)

Read More