Tag Archives: wood

Internship at WoodUp in Berlin

My internship at WoodUp in Berlin

One month is a short period, yet I was far from imagining that it could go so fast. After all, people say time flies when you are having fun!

I’m Marie and here is a retrospective on the first month of my internship in the Berlin-based start-up WoodUp, a company designing and manufacturing solid wood accessories for Apple devices.  Enjoy!

A burning desire to discover Berlin’s start-up scene

After having heard a hundred times how vibrant and bustling Berlin is, I decided to go and see for myself. What I really wanted to experience was the innovating aspect of the German capital city, the European stronghold for start-ups as it is famously known. Not only would this experience perfectly fit in my schedule as a business student but it would also strengthen my interest for entrepreneurship.  I was thrilled to start looking for an internship to be fully immersed in this creative environment, this is how I happened to find WoodUp!

After my first interview via Skype with Mila -one of WoodUp’s co-founder-, I knew I had found what I was looking for: a marketing mission with various tasks, a small yet professional team and a young but already well-establish company!

Everything seemed to go smoothly but the hardest was yet to come: I had to find accomodation! It didn’t take me long to discover Berlin’s housing crisis and here I was a week before my arrival still looking for a shelter. I finally found a wonderful shared flat in the Schöneberg area the very last minute.

Schöneberg

Getting along with the boiling capital city

As soon as you arrive in Berlin you understand how big the city is and that going from one point to another is not as quick as it is in Paris. You experience the S-Bahn/ U-Bhan/ Tram/ Bus labyrinth and your bike suddenly becomes your best friend!

It was way faster to go to work by bike than it was using public transport. Plus, it is a lot more pleasant to pedal through Tempelhof old airport, parks and cycle lanes with the fresh morning breeze, than getting stuck in crowded underground trains and taking ages to change stations!

I made my final decision of riding the bike even when it rains after one day, while sitting in the S-Train, I inadvertently dropped my 100€ monthly transportation ticket between my sit and the window… No big deal, I thought. But then I realized I could not get it back! I had no other option than to wait to get to terminus, which was 25 stations later and ask for an agent. But then my savior showed up: a two-meter-beer-drinking man with the broadest shoulders I’ve ever seen! The only thing he asked me to do was to hold his beer as he handled the rest. He started taking several tools out of his backpack and after 30 minutes of effort he managed to get back my ticket. The whole wagon then broke into a round of applause!

WoodUp, a fun and warm-hearted place to work

WoodUp workshop is located by the Spree river at the heart of a dynamic industrial park in the Schöneweide area, in East-Berlin. The workshop is shared with other carpenters and freelancers, all working in the field of craftwork and design. I am positive: there is no better, more creative and stimulating environment to host such an ambitious company as WoodUp.

Spree

The innovative team behind WoodUp is inspired by purist design and driven by the passion for traditional wood work. WoodUp’s inspiration came from the unsuccessful search for truly appealing iOS accessories.  It happened during Christmas 2012 as Marc Pohl (product designer and WoodUp’s co-founder) bought an iPad for his mother but wanted to make the gift more personal. He looked for a nice handmade accessory for the iPad but couldn’t find anything good enough. From there, Marc’s idea of creating his own line of Apple accessories sparked and took off.  Shortly after, Mila and Julian joined the adventure: the three invested their savings and founded WoodUp.

woodup_workshop_schield

After having spent a month at the core of WoodUp, I am impressed about how they have managed to turn their project into a successful and professional start-up. Needless to say, it is only the beginning!

I believe what makes the strength of WoodUp’s team is definitely their expertise in various fields. Mila manages to cope with many sectors: she holds incredible marketing skills, her business development strategy has proven its worth, administrative work as well as public relations hold no secret for her! Marc and Leon are both talented and inspiring product designers. From the very first idea to the final prototype they are the one behind WoodUp’s stylish products. Julian skills when it comes to woodwork are amazing. But his passion he puts into it and the look in his eyes when he sees a raw piece of wood transformed into a wonderful design object, is definetly what makes the difference.

Every team member is for sure passionate about their field of expertise, yet WoodUp’s structure enables them a lot of flexibility. Here, nobody confines himself to his strict occupation and it is no surprise to see Mila helping Julian with the products or Leon giving a hand with Mila’s latest press release.

designers_at_woodup

A rewarding and unforgettable experience

From carrying out business intelligence to elaborating an e-commerce strategy for the French market and creating content for social networks, my mission at WoodUp is varied and embraces a lot of competences. With no real background in design, I have everything to learn but this is actually what makes my internship so thrilling! I quickly understood that I could count on the expertise of the team, always there to give me sound advice. Not only would Mila help me with our social media strategy but Marc would answer all my questions about the products.

I am discovering and learning so much about the world of design: How to make packaging more appealing for customers, which illustration would best decorate the packaging, which photo’s brightness would enhance the product, what is the best marketing strategy in the design sector.

If I had to choose one thing of my experience at WoodUp and among all my discoveries so far, I would pick my first design thinking workshop! I had heard several times about the power of design thinking and how efficient this method in terms of customers’ needs can be.  During my internship I could see it for myself for the first time. For a whole day, we (WoodUp’s whole team) gathered to brainstorm and ideas immediately started flowing! It wasn’t about having the best idea straightaway but about generating the broadest range of possibilities. And wow… I’m so thrilled to see that having started from scratch we are already building prototypes!

design_thinking_woodup

As soon as I arrived at WoodUp, I have been considered a member of the team. I was happy to see that moments shared by the whole team mattered a lot and were fully part of the company’s philosophy. From morning pastries to coffee time and lunch, daily routine is characterized by these small gatherings at WoodUp. The warm atmosphere is also shared by the whole workshop and even by the neighbors. Evening grills and our shared beers after work are fully part of the workshop habits!

grill_woodup

I am so thankful for WoodUp commitment and for what they are doing to make my internship a truly unique experience. Special thanks go to their patience while waiting for my German gobbledygook, to Mila’s delicious lunch, to Leon’s (home-made) morning pastries, and to Marc and Julian’s joy of life… This internship is of course an enriching professional experience but, above all, a human adventure.

Thank you!

One month is a short period, yet I was far from imagining that it could go so fast. After all, people say time flies when you are having fun!

I’m Marie and here is a retrospective on the first month of my internship in the Berlin-based start-up WoodUp, a company designing and manufacturing solid wood accessories for Apple devices. Enjoy!

A burning desire to discover Berlin’s start-up scene

After having heard a hundred times how vibrant and bustling Berlin is, I decided to go and see for myself. What I really wanted to experience was the innovating aspect of the German capital city, the European stronghold for start-ups as it is famously known. Not only would this experience perfectly fit in my schedule as a business student but it would also strengthen my interest for entrepreneurship. I was thrilled to start looking for an internship to be fully immersed in this creative environment, this is how I happened to find WoodUp!

After my first interview via Skype with Mila -one of WoodUp’s co-founder-, I knew I had found what I was looking for: a marketing mission with various tasks, a small yet professional team and a young but already well-establish company!

Everything seemed to go smoothly but the hardest was yet to come: I had to find accomodation! It didn’t take me long to discover Berlin’s housing crisis and here I was a week before my arrival still looking for a shelter. I finally found a wonderful shared flat in the Schöneberg area the very last minute.

Schöneberg

Getting along with the boiling capital city

As soon as you arrive in Berlin you understand how big the city is and that going from one point to another is not as quick as it is in Paris. You experience the S-Bahn/ U-Bhan/ Tram/ Bus labyrinth and your bike suddenly becomes your best friend!

It was way faster to go to work by bike than it was using public transport. Plus, it is a lot more pleasant to pedal through Tempelhof old airport, parks and cycle lanes with the fresh morning breeze, than getting stuck in crowded underground trains and taking ages to change stations!

I made my final decision of riding the bike even when it rains after one day, while sitting in the S-Train, I inadvertently dropped my 100€ monthly transportation ticket between my sit and the window… No big deal, I thought. But then I realized I could not get it back! I had no other option than to wait to get to terminus, which was 25 stations later and ask for an agent. But then my savior showed up: a two-meter-beer-drinking man with the broadest shoulders I’ve ever seen! The only thing he asked me to do was to hold his beer as he handled the rest. He started taking several tools out of his backpack and after 30 minutes of effort he managed to get back my ticket. The whole wagon then broke into a round of applause!

WoodUp, a fun and warm-hearted place to work

WoodUp workshop is located by the Spree river at the heart of a dynamic industrial park in the Schöneweide area, in East-Berlin. The workshop is shared with other carpenters and freelancers, all working in the field of craftwork and design. I am positive: there is no better, more creative and stimulating environment to host such an ambitious company as WoodUp.

Spree

The innovative team behind WoodUp is inspired by purist design and driven by the passion for traditional wood work. WoodUp’s inspiration came from the unsuccessful search for truly appealing iOS accessories. It happened during Christmas 2012 as Marc Pohl (product designer and WoodUp’s co-founder) bought an iPad for his mother but wanted to make the gift more personal. He looked for a nice handmade accessory for the iPad but couldn’t find anything good enough. From there, Marc’s idea of creating his own line of Apple accessories sparked and took off. Shortly after, Mila and Julian joined the adventure: the three invested their savings and founded WoodUp.

woodup_workshop_schield

After having spent a month at the core of WoodUp, I am impressed about how they have managed to turn their project into a successful and professional start-up. Needless to say, it is only the beginning!

I believe what makes the strength of WoodUp’s team is definitely their expertise in various fields. Mila manages to cope with many sectors: she holds incredible marketing skills, her business development strategy has proven its worth, administrative work as well as public relations hold no secret for her! Marc and Leon are both talented and inspiring product designers. From the very first idea to the final prototype they are the one behind WoodUp’s stylish products. Julian skills when it comes to woodwork are amazing. But his passion he puts into it and the look in his eyes when he sees a raw piece of wood transformed into a wonderful design object, is definetly what makes the difference.

Every team member is for sure passionate about their field of expertise, yet WoodUp’s structure enables them a lot of flexibility. Here, nobody confines himself to his strict occupation and it is no surprise to see Mila helping Julian with the products or Leon giving a hand with Mila’s latest press release.

designers_at_woodup

A rewarding and unforgettable experience

From carrying out business intelligence to elaborating an e-commerce strategy for the French market and creating content for social networks, my mission at WoodUp is varied and embraces a lot of competences. With no real background in design, I have everything to learn but this is actually what makes my internship so thrilling! I quickly understood that I could count on the expertise of the team, always there to give me sound advice. Not only would Mila help me with our social media strategy but Marc would answer all my questions about the products.

I am discovering and learning so much about the world of design: How to make packaging more appealing for customers, which illustration would best decorate the packaging, which photo’s brightness would enhance the product, what is the best marketing strategy in the design sector.

If I had to choose one thing of my experience at WoodUp and among all my discoveries so far, I would pick my first design thinking workshop! I had heard several times about the power of design thinking and how efficient this method in terms of customers’ needs can be. During my internship I could see it for myself for the first time. For a whole day, we (WoodUp’s whole team) gathered to brainstorm and ideas immediately started flowing! It wasn’t about having the best idea straightaway but about generating the broadest range of possibilities. And wow… I’m so thrilled to see that having started from scratch we are already building prototypes!

design_thinking_woodup

As soon as I arrived at WoodUp, I have been considered a member of the team. I was happy to see that moments shared by the whole team mattered a lot and were fully part of the company’s philosophy. From morning pastries to coffee time and lunch, daily routine is characterized by these small gatherings at WoodUp. The warm atmosphere is also shared by the whole workshop and even by the neighbors. Evening grills and our shared beers after work are fully part of the workshop habits!

grill_woodup

I am so thankful for WoodUp commitment and for what they are doing to make my internship a truly unique experience. Special thanks go to their patience while waiting for my German gobbledygook, to Mila’s delicious lunch, to Leon’s (home-made) morning pastries, and to Marc and Julian’s joy of life… This internship is of course an enriching professional experience but, above all, a human adventure.

Thank you!

Mobi iPhone dock wood part

WoodUp Mobi: A tale of wood and concrete

How much work hides behind every WoodUp Mobi that leaves our workshop? Where and by whom was it made? Under which conditions? – Mobi is the absolute favorite among our customers. Many of you have wondered and asked us these and more questions so we thought we would take the time to write a blogpost for all the Mobi fans out there!

Let us invite you to our WoodUp kitchen and give you some answers by showing you step by step how Mobi, our awarded docking station for iPhone, is made.

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The development of a product such as Mobi is an exhausting process that can take many months, if not years, and a considerable investment of energy, time and money. This process is what makes the difference between a nice idea and a good product and is the point where many emerging startups give up.

It may seem that all good ideas come in a moment of illumination, but in this case the reality is much less glamourous: Mobi is the result of three month of brainstorming, drawing and experimenting with different materials to come up with the first idea. We aimed to launch our Mobi as close to the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as possible, so we had to hurry. Finally there they were: our first working prototypes! Now it was time for weeks of sound & usability testing.

After considering many different materials to combine with wood, we decided to work with concrete. We were looking for a material that would make our docking station heavy enough to enable the one-handed unplugging of the iPhone. Once we tried the wood + concrete combination, we knew we didn’t have to search any longer. It was love at first sight!

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The main difficulty was making appropriate molds to pour the concrete in to be shaped. Here at WoodUp we don’t run away from a challenge, so we took the hardest path by making the silicon molds ourselves in our workshop:

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Making the concrete pieces is not easy and requires high doses of work, patience and precision: The concrete is mixed until reaching the perfect consistence and then is quickly (in exactly 22 seconds!) poured into the moulds. After 20 minutes the pieces are ready be removed from their mould.

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Keeping this 20-minutes-deadline and washing the moulds thoroughly after use is key to avoid ruining the silicon. We had to learn this the hard way, by breaking many moulds so far!

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The actual carpentry work and for us the most exciting part starts with a raw piece of massive walnut wood:

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During long hours the wooden hoods of Mobi are roughly shaped to their final form using the saw.

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Each piece goes then through the CNC mill, where the openings, through which later the Lightning connector will pass, are carefully carved:

fraese

After that is time for the drill press, where the holes for screws are drilled and shaped:

bohrer

If you’ve made it this far alongside us, you’d be finally standing in front of a big pile of raw pieces:

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Ready? Not a chance; there is still a lot of sanding to do! This is partly done with a machine but the perfection you can appreciate by looking at Mobi, and you can feel by touching it, is something only a capable hand can achieve.

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And one last detail…

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Now it is time for the finishing: each wooden piece is covered with two layers of natural oil and left to dry 24 hours after each of them.

The wooden pieces are finally ready to meet the concrete! The mounting includes adding the missing screws and glueing the micro-suction pads at the bottom.

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After one last quality check, the Mobis are ready for packaging. We take the packaging of each product very seriously to make sure the unboxing is a unique experience too:

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Since its launch in November 2014, Mobi has traveled all around the world, founding a home in 22 countries already and being featured in several design blogs and magazines! As you can see, we spend a lot of time with each one of them, so whoever gets a Mobi is also getting little part of us.

We’ve actually done the maths and so far we’ve invested 2365 hours of work producing Mobis. That effort has paid off: We are very proud to announce that Mobi has been nominated to the German Design Award 2016! We’d also like to use this chance to thank all Mobi lovers out there, this wouldn’t have been possible without your support!

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