With wearable tech taking charge of the landscape, it's no surprise that Toronto-based iPhone case company Felony Case, founded by designer Andrew Moore, has evolved so rapidly. He gets it. People want to look good and they appreciate their tech looking good too.
Felony Case creates luxury protective gear exclusively for iPhones. From their iconic studded case to newer, more exotic covers made with materials like python and lizard, no case ever goes unnoticed. More than great design, each Felony Case is made with the highest-quality standards. Sold across the globe and at the Canadian epicentre of luxury, Holt Renfew, Felony Case has changed quite a bit since inception. Originally an at-home-hand-made-factory business, Felony Case made the tough decision to transition manufacturing overseas after determining that the company would likely not survive otherwise. Not any easy decision for Andrew, but a necessary one to sustain and grow his business.
"I began manufacturing overseas when an Apple buyer contacted me expressing interest in carrying my studded cases", Andrew shares. "At the time I was hand making all of the cases, screwing in each individual metal stud myself." But, because of Apple's anti-metal policy, Andrew had to come up with an alternative way to include his signature studs while keeping costs reasonable. "To have plastic moulds made in North America would be 5x more expensive than overseas, so I had no choice but to move production offshore." Designer fashion collections, jewel-smithing and leather-made products can can sell for higher retail prices (a reality for all products made-in-Canada), but Andrew realized that a cell phone accessory simply could not compete at the price he would have to charge if manufactured in Canada. Local factories are not set up to support this type of production.
Being a hands on person, Andrew insisted on leading the process of choosing the right factory to create his designs. "I took a trip to China to visit factories. I chose a factory that had happy employees." He met with workers, learned about their fair wages and working conditions, developed business relationships and made his choice based on careful examination of the overall environment and process. "Quality has always been a top priority when designing and producing new designs. My sampling process always takes a long time because of the tests I put a new design through. Since getting (the cases) manufactured I’ve been able to introduce new styles that I would never have been able to make by hand."
From hand-maker to successful business entrepreneur, Andre Moore is a strong example of how every entrepreneur must make tough choices to meet both their design and business goals. Still as small, locally operated business, Felony Case will always be, first and foremost, Canadian.
Meet Andrew Moore of Felony Case and shop his collection at INLAND this May 2+3.
Written by: Deborah Lopez-Delgado, Intern + Ryerson University Fashion Communications student