Monday January 24, 2005 2:49 pm
Interview with Vaja Corp.
We’ve seen some really nice leather products from the folks over at Vaja Corp. Their Vaja cases have proven to be a very successful solution for folks looking to protect their cell phones, mp3 players, and PDA’s. What sets them apart is that they make your gear look cool while offering great protection and accessibility in the process. Their customers are treated to some quality leather grain, and even a bit of customization for their cases.
We got a chance to chat with Federico Fiocchini (Vaja Marketing Manager) & Michaël MASSAT (Director Innovacases) regarding this unique product line:
Gear Live: Can you tell us a little bit about each of your functions at Vaja Corp?
Frederico: I am marketing manager of Vaja Corp (Buenos Aires - Argentina). I am in charge of communication and all resellers (worldwide).
Michaël: I am in charge of Innovacases (Soon Vaja Europe, based in Saint-Tropez - France). I work on marketing and communication (the promotion of Vaja brand in Europe) on our website, magazines, radios & webzines. In addition, my job is to find the best partners in Europe (resellers). Innovacases allows us to avoid the problem of custom duties, VAT and improve delivery time (for European customers). We stock best-seller cases to improve our service. At the moment, we are working on a Vaja Europe website that will propose many languages and avoid a lot of problems due to shipping.
Gear Live: What’s the difference between Vaja and Innovacases? Are they the same thing, or is Vaja a specific brand of leather cases?
Innovacases is the official distributor of Vaja products in Europe and was created more than one year ago. Our aim was to see if Vaja products would have the same success in the USA and the rest of the world. It was really amazing, we did not expect these results. We had so many orders that we had to increase delivery time for all cases.
Gear Live: How did you determine the type of leather used in your Vaja cases? Did the founders have previous experience with Argentine leather?
The type of leather used is Full Grain, for which there´s no substitute in terms of beauty and durability. This leather is unique and natural, and unlike most things its appearance improves with age. It’s also one of the most durable and long lasting investments money can buy. Our founders have a vast and recognized experience in the Argentine leather market of more than 15 years.
Gear Live: Are there any other advantages of using this type of leather in your products?
Another important reason is the variety of different textures and colors obtained using some special techniques.
Gear Live: Are the cases made in Argentina?
Vaja´s factories and main offices are located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Gear Live: What type of software or design system do you use to lay out the form and functions of a case?
Our I+D Dept. is formed by a team of 10 designers. Each designer was trained / specialized in no less than 3 different softwares.
Gear Live: We notice that cases tend to come in a mix of colors. Is the leather dyed in some way?
Yes, it´s dyed via some special dye techniques. As we mentioned before, we´re also able to achieve many different textures by using a variety of processes. The leather is always the same.
Gear Live: What color appears to be the most popular?
There´s no an exact tendency, as it depends on customer´s preferences, but we can affirm that some of the most popular colors appears to be black, rose and light sky. In addition to the standard colors, customers can build their own cases agreed to their personal needs through the Custom Built Option system, an exclusive Vaja service that will allow you to build the case that you’ve always desired by selecting among numerous options according to your personal needs. Our master artisans will then custom craft your exact request and make your case a reality. At present Vaja custom service is available for almost all cases, pouches, wallets and other accessories offered.
Gear Live: How long is a typical case expected to last? Is there a warranty that you offer?
There is no way to calculate an average of life for these products, it will always depend on the time of use and care.
Vaja products are made to ensure satisfaction and service during the natural life of the product. It warrants to the original purchaser that its products will be free from defects in material and workmanship for a period of 1 year from the date of the purchase. This limited warranty does not cover defects from product misuse, neglect, abuse, tampering, alterations and unauthorized repairs.
Gear Live: What are some other cases that are about to be introduced, and where can we find the latest case announcements?
A new version of the I-Vo T65 for palmOne Treo 650 and a Classic Flip Top case for Blackberry 7100T. You can find all announces posted on our “New Releases” section, you can also find them posted on many important IT websites
Gear Live: Are there plans for InnovaCases to expand to other types of businesses?
With Vaja, we are focused on custom cases only of extremely high quality leather and craftsmanship.The future is to customize. Innovacases will soon launch a new brand called Noreve which is a different concept, it is not hand-crafted like Vaja but offers an alternative for less demanding clients.
Gear Live: What type of retail strategies do you have? Will we see Vaja in stores or online only?
Nowadays the Vaja products are being offered in 80 US Apple Stores and in the Palm Cafe. For additional info regarding retail distribution, please check our website section of Resellers. By the way, we´re planning to open the first Vaja Store probably during 2006.
Gear Live: Is there anything else that we haven’t covered, that you would like to share with our readers?
I would also like to share that PDAs, Smartphones, mobile phones and MP3 players are becoming more and more important as part of the accesories people wear (watches, purses, belts…) and Vaja dresses these devices and turns them into fashion items while protecting them as well. We are very proud to be a part of this growing market.
Through this interview, I would like to thank the Vaja team who does a great job in every way (the leather artisans, finance, marketing, logistics, data processing departments as well as services) and a special thanks to Gear Live and Hector for the interview.
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