Friday, December 5, 2014

Stretching for a Perfect Fit

At nutshell we do our very best to make sure you get a product that meets your needs as best we are able. That includes creating holsters that comfortably hold your device.

One major hassle with customers is that, because each holster is hand made, and not made like spaghetti, every case is hand sewn, which can result in some very small discrepancies when it comes to that perfect fit.

Luckily, because we use high quality top of the-line New Zealand sourced leathers, we know that they will not only take a pounding and deliver very long life, they will also stretch to accommodate those difficult sizes.

Here is a brief outline of the steps we recommend anyone who finds that their Nutshell is too tight undertakes before sending us an email voicing their concerns that we may have sent them a product that is too small to be usable.

1)   Dampen the case with water (not soak!) and then find something larger than your device assembly – like a hipflask, timber shape or even stiff cardboard – and FORCE it into the holster. 
2)   Let the holster dry S-L-O-W-L-Y overnight.
3)   Remove the filler packing and insert your phone.

Recently a customer was concerned that we had shipped him the wrong holster because his Nutshell was too tight to protect his iPhone 6 Plus in the Apple leather cover. But after following the instructions above, he sent us this response;

"By jamming in some objects and filling the spaces around the edges and ends with cardboard so it was so tight I could hardly pull it out and wetting the pouch and filling under a faucet and leaving to dry over night the phone and bumper fit loosely and can be removed easily.  Thank you so much for your patience and persistence in helping me achieve the pouch I wanted."

This process worked for him, and it can work for you too.

Thank you for choosing nutshell.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Your Nutshell Can Now be Hand Delivered

Confirmed Delivery; Challenging from Down Under

At Nutshell we pride ourselves on giving the best possible service; it is one of the primary reasons our customers maintain their loyalty. What we say we deliver we do our best to deliver.

And if it doesn't work out nobody is more disappointed than us.

Because of our 'distance to market' our options when it comes to choosing delivery systems are limited - and primarily based on cost effectiveness. For over 15 years we have watched as market options have appeared, vanished into the ebb and flow of the tidal global commerce systems, and risen once again. Often that revival is accompanied by a more cost effective approach too.

Sometimes the reason to reject a shipping option is based on our customer feedback.

Like the time we used a shipping service that took our export deliveries in a bundle up into Singapore and then distributed them to all parts of the globe.

Nothing too unusual in that you would think. Except for the complaints we started getting from our more elderly customers in the United States and elsewhere . They claimed we were not making our products in New Zealand. And they remembered the Pacific war! All because the intermediary Singapore step resulted in our packages getting an added Asian stamp!

Transportation is one of those factors that can weigh heavy on any exporter, along with the changeable currency rates, and the service we use  needs to be the best possible to make our customers feel as comfortable as possible.

Within the blink of an eye that Singapore service was terminated; there really is nothing worse for a marketer than waking up to dozens of angry notes from customer threatening to never again darken our doorway, all because they have the wrong end of the stick..

Recently, however, that proved to not be the case. Over a year ago we were approached by a reputable shipping company and offered the ability to provide added security for our shipment, with the option of a signature required service. Unfortunately for us, we were told, and assumed, that this service would be accompanied by a tracking scheme that would let customers go hunt for their individual tracking information by trawling the world's shipping and tracking services. Usually these are maintained by individual postal services and the scanning process is pretty much a necessary formality in this day and age of advanced wariness about trans-border freight and security.

That's what you would think. But often reality is stranger than fiction.

The reality is that the service we elected to engage to make sure that our deliveries were  by hand delivered and required a signature to finalize, were not always scanned as they passed from the local 'down-under;' postal delivery system. We have pressed for answers; most times delivery can be tracked, but only if the product is crossing the border into the United States, where it often gets scanned at the gate. But that's not always the case. While our local Postal service cannot offer us this signature-required registered-mail service we get from that third party supplier, they do not scan the item as it leaves the country. Why? Darned if I know, and I have asked.

That's why we now offer a new Hand Delivery Option; we know and you know you are going to get your nutshell and that it will be delivered by a person who will ask that a signature is provided before the shipment is handed over. What we cannot, at this time, assure you is that you will be able to track it door to door.

It's not an enviable position to find ourselves in, and we are very disappointed that it seems some organisations do not play well together.

Rest assured we are working to find a solution that combines the best of all worlds to make it affordable to offer our customers' a fail-safe and affordable shipping service that delivered on time, every time and let each deliver be tracked, door to door.

Happy Christmas 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Working from the Outside In

First it was Samsung with their oversized NOTE, then it was Apple with the larger than usual iPhone 6 Plus and now it seems every Smartphone vendor is lurching rapidly toward the  Phablet - those larger than large Smartphones that are neither a tablet, nor a phone - but instead a mixture of both.

Doubtless these devices fill a growing need in a market that is hungry for continual change - but sometimes one just has to wonder if, and where, the sizes will stop expanding upward and outward, while at the same time becoming increasingly thinner and thinner.

In my book the answer will be - soon. Or just as soon as the super-thin, super-tough and super-flexible OLED folding screens we have long been promised become reality. Then and only then will the relentless push toward bigger means better be tempered with a healthy dose of physical reality.

In the meantime our reality is that the cases we have long manufactured to contain the Smartphones of yesteryear and their accessory covers are no longer deep enough, or long enough to provide sufficient protection for today's latest crop of super-thin, super-sized Phablets.

Ah well - back to the drawing board. Our customers await.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pre Purchase your Holster for the Apple iPhone 6

Click Below for:

20% discount on the pre-purchase of our holster for the iPhone 6

Nutshell holster for Apple iPhone 6

But wait! That's right. The iPhone 6 has not yet been released.
That means we do not know its final size?

But it also means that when the product is available we shall know the answers. is it one product or is it two? What are its 'standard' dimensions? Once we know these facts, and more, we shall be able to either match it with an existing Nutshell (or two) - or create totally new product to accept the phone.

Either way, in the time it takes Apple between releasing the new phone and making it available we should be able to make and ship a perfectly fitting holster - so that our customers who elect to update their comms can do so - and have it protected in a Nutshell from the get-go.

Clever? Not really. We offered the same deal for the iPhone 5 to great success.

PS; This offer only applies to the belt case for the Apple iPhone 6 and will not last beyond the end of September

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's an Ethical Game

Followers of this blog will be aware that I am a committed brue-greenie, which means I support the ethical culling of pests for the making of a dollar. Nothing wrong with that, although there does appear to be a school of sorts that would have all pests poisoned and left to rot, attaching no value whatsoever on the critters being poisoned and left to rot. That is a pity.

In my book we should be supporting whatever efforts are being made to rid the world of pests and undesirable critters that cause havoc and upset the apple cart by being something that is so out of place it has no right to be there.

For example, while Nutshell is fast perfecting its latest possum based products for smartphones, others have already done the hard yards and developed products like these.

These soft and supple golf gloves are available in both men's and ladies sizes and will add lustre to any golfer's game.

We hope to bring you lots of other New Zealand made product featuring our national pest in the near future. Please support our efforts - and stay tuned!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For

In addition to Amazon, Nutshell is now a verified Gold Supplier to Alibaba - the gigantically enormous (35+ Million members) Chinese trading portal. 
It is now a question of understanding how to operate in a totally new way to maximise the opportunity; first we have to get a handle on the various subtleties of the environment. 

Unlike Amazon, which has us locked into a single category of 'wireless accessories' Alibaba seems happy for us to trade in - just about anything.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Amazon Ahoy!

We've been an authorised vendor to Amazon for some time now, but until recently we were pretty much 'inactive' for a number of reasons. Basically it all had to do with margins. Let's leave it at that.

Recently Amazon has dramatically increased the visibility of its Amazon Marketing Services, and launched a Vendor Page service, which lets vendors (like us) promote their company, products and services throughout Amazon's massive customer base.

In addition AMS now enables us to create Cost per Click - CPC - adverts for the aforementioned page and for products that we have shipped into the Amazon distribution channel - all in the name of driving sales, improving our visibility and increasing turnover. During the creation process we can define our target audience - those who will see the adverts - based on their known interests and even their professions.

 Nutshell Galaxy 4 Holster on Amazon

Of course, with Amazon there is no such thing as a free lunch. It is very much suck-it-and-see right now, but this combination of the AMS Vendor Page and CPC should really make to make a difference to our bottom line. That's the plan.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Amazon Fire - Set my world alight

We've matched the upcoming Amazon Fire with our #296.
The button above throws to a micro-buy-page but makes the image look strange.

Space Age Liners Shave Weight

Nutshell is moving toward incorporating hi-tech carbon fiber in its belt holsters and cases. This extremely light weight fabric can shave up to one ounce (28 grams) from the total weight of a product.

The woven carbon spectra cloth has been under trial for some time and is gradually being rolled out in three of the most popular holster sizes; the 268, the 296 and the 290.

The material, which was originally designed to power New Zealand's Americas Cup yachts, encapsulates strands of high tech carbon fiber and is very strong and light weight.

Unlike regular cloth, which can be cut with a knife, this material requires specialist high pressure water jet technology to create the lightweight panels used as a midlayer between the outside leather and the internal ultrasuede lining.

"Sometimes the best advances are not always visible," says Nutshell MD Ian Miller. "We believe our customers deserve the best protection for their Smartphones, and the use of carbon fiber goes a long way to creating a product that truly is head and shoulders above anything offered by any other ."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Annual Summer Savings - Now ON!

It's become a tradition; every year we offer a ten percent saving on products during the month of June.

That's because most of our customers are US based (or someplace in the Northern hemisphere) and it seems only right to celebrate the good weather with them - in a positive manner.

The discount runs through the end of June and is right across the board. Every product and add-on accessory has the discount applied to it.

There's never a better time to catch us at our best and invest wisely in a Nutshell. For yourself or for a true friend; because that's what friends do for each other.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It's all about Focus, Focus and even more Focus.

There comes a time when years of personal endeavour starts to fail; the old creative juices don't actually dry up, but honestly they start to coagulate (which may be a bit like - they get lumpy), so you start to repeat yourself. That's not only dead boring, it is also a bit like reinventing the wheel. And in the game of commercial design reinventing the wheel is not always the best course of action to pursue. to get some reinvigoration? You can ask people what they think...that's a good place to start. So that is what we are doing. Right now.

We have engaged a professional survey person, a researcher, to help us do this. After all, what do we know about getting to grips with the things we do not know? At least we appreciate that we know there are things we do not know. That's a start.

So how do we actually run these things?  We start by finding people who are prepared to give us their time in return for some tangible reward. Then we assemble a representative collection  at all the things we currently offer and get the folk who have agreed to give us feedback - to give us feedback.

Of course I guess you could always wind up with a load of meaningless drivel, but the theory is that within any load of what initially looks like meaningless drivel there are nuggets of gold; it is just a question of actually knowing which is which; drivel? Or gold? That's where the mystery art of the researcher comes in...making sense of it all in a way that will eventually make sense to us.

To show how serious we are in finding out what folk want and expect from us, in the way of products that offer superior protection for their mobile comms devices, we have even invested real money. You have to show willing by rewarding folk who are prepared to come out in the cold, miserable and wet climates of a New Zealand winter to give you feedback about something of which they have very little knowledge.

And so it begins. Last night was round One. Tonight is Round Two.

Add to this an active online community of over 350 supportive customers who have indicated that they are willing to give us the benefit of feedback of their instincts and knowledge and you can begin to understand why I believe that maybe we are actually on the cusp of something very, very, very worthwhile. And (hopefully) rewarding. Of course these online participants will also benefit tangibly from their involvement in this effort by securing themselves whatever the next generation of product is, at a substantial discount. (Or even, perish the thought and wash my mouth out with soap and water - for free).

The theory is that by the end of it all we shall have very clear indications of what we need to do (if anything) to improve our products and make them irresistible to the casual passersby who spend a heck of a lot of time perusing the multitude of similar products that adorn the walls and sales racks of every mobile phone accessory store in every mall and walk in in every city throughout the world.

Of course you may very well comment that what we are doing is aiming for a very lofty goal.

But honestly, as someone recently told me "If you aim for the moon, you may miss...and hit the stars."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

In a Nutshell - the art of designing smartphone accessories

In a nutshell, the world of cellphone accessories and Smartphone designs size formats are constantly changing. Apple's new iPhone 6 is said to be longer, while both the Samsung Galaxy 5 and the HTC One M8 are both longer than their predecessors. 

At Nutshell our more than 17 years experience in designing holsters and cases in New Zealand to meet the global cellphone accessories marketplace and accommodate the ever changing size formats in smartphone designs is a challenge that we are happy to accept. 

Our custom smartphone accessories are leather smartphone holsterstailor made to fit the smartphones they are designed for.

iPhone 4 bumpers
iPhone 4 bumpers (Photo credit: Nicolas Fleury)
Looking back over our long association with PDAs, cellphone accessories and Smart phone cases and and our users; we have touched about every sector and segment of society; from the ultra-rich to the geeky poor. 

In a  nutshell there's hardly a town in the United States does not have one Nutshell in its midst; some soul still protecting their valuable mobile in one of our little leather smartphone holsters that really are works of art,. Pretty they may not be, but do the job - they certainly do.

In the developing world of Smartphone accessories designs there are many many different ways of crafting leather smartphone holsters. It is not just about the finish, or the material itself. The finish you expect to be as good as possible, and the material used has to live up to the need to protect the device and provide a long and satisfactory user experience. 

That's the challenge, the designs for cellphone accessories and Smartphone accessories need to be constantly changing to stay one jump ahead of the opposition.

Based as we are - around the back of the planet in a small group of islands called New Zealand in the South Pacific, we have the luxury of eyeing the Smartphone designs that are generated by our competitors in other parts of the world. Many build their leather smartphone holsters specifically to meet the needs of a single device, without any regard to the user's future needs and expectations.

In a nutshell, we disagree. We build our tuff as nuts cases and nutshell smartphone holsters to provide a lifetime of service, without regard to any single smartphone or other mobile device; our cellphone accessories and smartphone accessories are built to last and will hold many like-sized devices (one at a time obviously). 

Quite simply we believe that while others sell you a case to protect your current device, we sell you an investment in the future; providing your next smartphone, and the one after that are roughly the same size, they should comfortably fit into one of our leather Smartphone holsters.

And in a nutshell we also believe that beauty should always be more than skin deep. In a world where cheapness and expediency are too often taken as the most important items on the designer's check list, we believe the use of top quality fittings and high class materials counts for way more than a cheap price sticker. 

As we continue to strive to succeed in a world full of cheap and nasty knock offs, in a nutshell we intend to incorporate a growing array of new materials, like carbon fibers and natural antistatic fibers into our products so that we maintain our philosophy that perfection is not always cheap, but to carry the tuff as nuts label it will always be the best.