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About

 

WHAT WE LIVE BY

 

We strive tirelessly to be the King of one thing and one thing alone, iPad Case innovation. We feel you are not the King of your craft by accident. With our relentless passion since 2010 to achieve the perfect balance of esthetics and function we have pushed the boundaries to achieve just that, and have never stopped our pursuit of the perfect iPad case.

 

 

THE INSPIRING STORY OF OUR FOUNDER

 

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Founder Tim Angel & Son Karter

 

Before I created ZUGU CASE, I was extremely excited to get the rumored iPad that Apple was going to release. I realized I was probably going to be faced with the same frustration I had with my iPhone because it was so difficult to prop up. Well that would be the least of my problems I would soon realize.

Soon after in late 2009 I suddenly was let go from the family business as a result of the divorce between my parents. (Divorce is a difficult and confusing thing for families, but I do not have any hard feelings for my Mother or Father I love them both.)

With no high school diploma, I felt it would be difficult to find a job and I was right.

I was in debt so I felt I had to take whatever job I could get. I found myself waiting in a line outside of UPS. I was hired later that day, but while driving home I realized $8 an hour would only get me deeper in debt so I immediately called to quit.

I decided to do what I dreamt about since I was a kid, be an Entreprenuer 100% on my own. So I started doing whatever I could on my own to bring in money, reselling couches I got from craigslist, reselling things I bought at garage sales etc.  It just wasn’t enough to afford rent, so I had to move out and start crashing on friends & families couches.

One day thinking about how I could no longer afford an iPad, I was still looking at accessories and was frustrated to see no one put much effort into making a great case. Then it hit me, well no one else is going to make an amazing case so it’s going to be me. There is nothing I have a passion for more than inventing and electronics, it was a perfect fit.

After weeks of brainstorming and creating my own prototypes, I finally reached my goal of finishing a final prototype at 5:00 in the morning after working on it all night.

I was pretty excited my case invention worked amazingly well. However I couldn’t find anyone to invest so I started selling everything I had in storage, TV, dirt bike, speakers etc., even my bed. I was able to scrape about $6,000 together and bought a plane ticket to China for 2 months.

After my best friends dad saw how committed I was, he wrote me a check for $70,000 on a handshake and the rest is history.

 

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The final cardboard prototype Tim Angel made by hand in 2010

 

 

UPDATES SINCE

 

Tim left for 2 months to China on March 16th 2010, to source a manufacturer for his product.Tim arrived in China with an attitude that nothing would stop him from achieving his goal. But the trip proved to not be an easy task. Tim knew no one in China. It took him 5 hours just to get to a hotel since he couldn’t find anyone that spoke english.

Sourcing a manufacturer was not easy, but after 1 month of visiting different factories Tim finally found the one that met his high standards. Tim then moved to a hotel right next to the factory.

The prototyping started and the factory was about to learn how strict Tim actually was when it came to quality. The factory made a sample for Tim, but Tim asked them to make numerous changes and improvements. They made the adjustments and showed Tim the new sample. This went on for weeks. It took 9 samples until Tim was satisfied and approved the confirmation sample.

Tim gets sick for weeks with a throat infection, sinus infection, lung infection and 2 ear infections. He ends up going to the hospital 5 times.

Production Started April, 2010 for 5,000 ZooGue Cases. Tim was at the factory almost everyday overlooking production. To better understand the workers and to gain their respect Tim decided to work for a day on the assembly line just like any other worker. Tim was the first customer to ever do this and stated, “It was a humbling experience, and now I have great repect for all the hard work these workers do”

First shipment arrives in June 2010, and the first ZooGue Case orders start shipping.

Marketing now becomes Tim's main focus, and spends a majority of the time spreading the word on a zero dollar marketing budget. He eventually lands some huge articles, one in the Orange County Register, Tuaw (AOL Tech) and Macworld. The ZooGue case even made it on good morning America.

The harder you work the luckier you are. In August 2010 Tim was notified by his shipping department that it appeared Rush Limbaugh (the most listened to radio talk show host in the US) purchased a case and they were about to ship it out. Tim wrote Rush a hand written letter and sent it in the box with the cases. A week later Tim was at the office working when he received a unexpected call from a friend that told him Rush Limbaugh was reading his letter live on the air. Tim looked at his site traffic online but there was nothing. Turns out there was so much traffic on the site that the tracking program stopped working. There were about 5 orders a minute for a couple hours and almost 300 orders in 1 day.

Going back to China. That night Tim went online and bought a plane ticket to China. A couple days later he was in China. Tim spent a month and a half there refining the ZooGue Case design to the newer V2 design.

Place to place- In order to keep expenses down until all ZooGue's debt was paid Tim lived in hotel rooms in China and on friends couches in California for almost a year.

2011 $0 Debt- In May 2011 less than a year since ZooGue launched their first product, the $70,000 debt was paid off.

2012 - Things were going good or so I thought, the lack of focus on what our actual profits were and how the money that came in was reinvested into the company was unknowingly putting us on track for disaster. The Genius cases were not bringing in enough sales we needed to pivot and recreate our case, something more professional looking. We came up with the Case Prodigy.

2013 - We slowly headed deeper and deeper into debt we were focusing on how to grow the business, we decided to borrow more to attend CES and get as much exposure as possible. Unfortunately that was a complete failure $60,000 down the drain. We ended up having to let employees go, lower salaries, etc. We tried to contact all past resellers, schools, businesses just about anyone we could. We were able to sell some products, but in order to move it we had to sell very low leaving very little profit which was slowly killing us. We had to make drastic changes to survive, we finally made the very tough decision to no longer sell to resellers and sell all of our products direct to customers through our website and Amazon.

2014 Update - That one decision to no longer sell through resellers and sell everything direct to customers saved our business. Amazon is now the biggest and most successful piece of our business. We have paid off our recent debt of over $200,000 and are now debt free.

2015 - 2016 Update - We celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Changed our brand name and logo from ZooGue to ZUGU CASE we felt it is more memorable and easier to spell. We released our Prodigy Exec case which soon became more popular than our genius cases.

2017 Update - This year we did a complete redesign of our popular Genius cases but unfortunately after its very minimal success we made the tough decision to finally discontinue almost all Genius cases and even iPhone cases. We did however see potential with our Prodigy iPad cases. We bet everything on it. We borrowed a quarter of a million dollars, focused all our time and effort on making the new Prodigy X the best case in the world. It took blood sweat and tears and it was well worth it. Our finished Prodigy X case is like no other case we have ever made, it has already broken every sales record we have ever accomplished in our 7 years in business and is by far our most successful case ever.

 

To be continued…………

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