That new iPhone accessory Santa checks off your Christmas list might have been manufactured in Brookings, SD. At least if you asked for the Glif, a $20 gadget that’s used to mount an iPhone to a tripod or to prop up an iPhone at various angles for hands-free talking, video watching or video chatting. It’s for sale on Amazon.com and is being manufactured by Premier Source, a division of Falcon Plastics in Brookings.
During the Fall of 2010, Falcon identified a sales opportunity on a website, Kickstarter, where Dan Provost, co-founder of Studio Neat, had listed their project. Studio Neat quoted a handful of manufacturers domestically and overseas, and chose Premier Source as their manufacturer.
“It’s really cool … For us to be able to get business from someone in New York City who’s never met us, never seen our facilities and have them award us a check for thousands of dollars to build a mold which was pretty interesting and really opened my eyes to what the possibilities are,” states Jay Bender, Falcon Plastics President.
Provost said he and Gerhardt, both 27, hoped to raise enough to make about 500 Glifs. Instead, they raised $137,000. Provost said an American manufacturer was a key element in choosing Premier Source. Not only did he and Gerhardt want to employ Americans and create jobs stateside, but an American manufacturer made for easier access to tour the facility “The other reason was we just had really good chemistry with them from the start. They seemed to understand what we were making, what we were going for. You feel like they’re interested in it, not just taking it because it’s a job; they actually thought it was cool,” he said.
Studio Neat is now Premier Source’s second largest customer. Bender said Glif production continues increasing, and he estimates by the end of the year, Premier Source will have produced 50,000 Glifs. He hopes to surpass 100,000 pieces next year. Premier Source also manufactures Glif+, which includes additional pieces for securing the iPhone to a tripod.
Premier Source also has started making and packaging Studio Neat’s product called the Cosmonaut, a stylus shaped like a dry-erase marker that works for writing or drawing on the iPhone or iPad.
Both products are sold on Studioneat.com, and the Glif is being sold on Amazon. Provost said Studio Neat might go down the retail path next year, if enough distributors are interested.
Provost said the company does not release sales figures, but sales have exceeded expectations — especially considering at the start, the pair had hoped to sell a couple hundred at best.