This Is Ground

The scoop on the formula to success

thisisground.com

This LA Based brand does leather tech accessories like no one else. Since its Etsy roots in 2013, the brand has remarkably expanded the array of handmade leather good selections, making the tech crowd swoon. Mike Maccadan, Founder of This Is Ground, gives us the scoop on the formula to success, the brand’s innovative approach to staying on top of their accessories game, and the key products to staying organized.

 

The future of technology is decidedly fashion forward. When did you realize there was a need for tech accessories in the market?

When I designed a cord organizer modeled after a taco shell and saw the reaction in social media. It was a holy shit moment that I didn’t see coming.

 

What differences or trends have you observed in the fashion technology community here on the west coast and how does this affect your growing customer base?

I’m not sure if it’s geo-specific but I started paying attention when I saw Blade Runner for the first time – which was mostly all shot DTLA in the early 80’s. I think cyberpunk as fantasy has had moments from the 60’s all the way to 2010 when TRON made it’s comeback. Now the aesthetic fantasy is becoming real utility in what we wear and carry. It’s exciting – at some point I want to be able to say “Siri, let’s fly to work” and then my Nike Air’s turn into mini jets.We’ve embraced the future and are committed to discovering and delivering tech + accessories to our growing community. Those that are into our brand come to expect that we’re not just doing this in a way to be first at everything, we’re paying close attention to the problems and needs of everyday people. The response has been positive when you measure by consumer sentiment, repeat purchases, retailer adoption, willingness to recommend to a friend, and our revenue growth.

 

How do you decide what type of products to launch?

I’d say it’s 50% examining where problems exists within our brand space. An example would be the
Tech Dopp Kit
– I thought it was interesting that consumers would spend $200 for a leather Toiletry Dopp Kit to stow their $5 toothpaste and then they’d put their $400 GoPro in a sock. The rest of the time we spend studying existing formats like a backpack and the new things we carry today.

 

Let’s talk must have travel essentials. If you could only take 3 items with you from the collection, which would you pick and why?

I feel naked if traveling without my Mod Tablet – we studied the gear that people use the most when mobile and then optimized the Mod the take care of those moments. The Mod Tablet 3 which comes out soon or is maybe out when you’re reading this is worth checking out. The second piece I’d take is the Venture Backpack. What I love about the design of this product is that we started with a very specific list of gear that we wanted the backpack to handle. Then like a game of Tetris, each pocket, slot, and strap was thought out like a puzzle. The result is a balance of spaces that are perfectly sized and positioned for optimal usability and something that looks great when you wear it. The third is tough because I know what the Voyager Weekender 2 does and I can’t live without it but assuming it’s a longer trip, I’ll take the Tech Dopp Kit. The TDK is the best way I’ve found to stow my Apple TV, GoPro, remotes, cords, headphones, batteries, and memory cards.

 

What is the most popular item you sell? Why do you think that is?

On the consumer side it’s the Mod Tablet – I think it’s because it reminds us of the organizers from the past.. a lot of us grew up with Trapper Keepers, Day Runner, Filofax, and other customizable organizers. The Mod Tablet is an update in that category and has been designed with the tech gear that we all carry today. For those that have specific things they need to carry like pens, mobile photography gear, or even cigars, that’s where the magnetic dock comes into play. We offer a variety of inserts so the Mod can be modified to create a personalized experience. On the Enterprise side it’s the Cord Taco — we’ve sold over a million Cord Tacos, many to companies that put their own logo on the side and give them out
to employees, customers, and partners.

 

Any new items launching for Holiday 2016?

Yes, new Mods, new Voyager, new Stash, and a few other surprises. Our Holiday Cord Taco is very popular and this year we’re using some technology that will turn the taco into a lottery ticket.

 

Favorite [Downtown] LA:

 

  • Restaurant: Baco Mercat
  • Bar: Peking Tavern – I’m a sucker for anything underground
  • Hobby: Eating my way around downtown and spending time getting to know the chefs – I love chefs and want to be a chef one day.
  • Workout: Riding my bike around DTLA
  • Hotel: Bonaventure – this place is a trip but Ace is great for drinks.
  • Museum: Grammy Museum