It’s LOUD and it’s a BASSTARD!
Loudbasstard started making a ruckus last year for its uniqueness and bold creativity. It is a handmade Bamboo speaker dock that is 100% sustainable with no use of electricity. How cool is that?
Even cooler, Loudbasstard is created by young Cebuano creative geniuses. It’s proof once more that Cebu is indeed a haven for many innovators who take brave acts of producing something new and world class.
The product has received several positive reviews. It has been gaining more attention locally and internationally. It wouldn’t be a surprise if more and more people discover and dig it (there’s quite a number of celebrities who own one!) because it’s so authentic and modern. Koh Onozawa, one of its founders shared more about Loudbasstard and what it takes to be a true blue Cebuano innovator.
032: Where did the idea of Loudbasstard come from?
Koh: Passive amplification was not an invention of Loudbasstard. However, it was during a trip up to the mountains in Cebu with my girlfriend Julie Ghafari and co-founder Franz Ignacio where we came about commercializing the idea. We went up with a sketch book looking to find inspiration for a furniture line we planned on releasing. We thought by collaborating, we could come up with something great. The funny thing was, during our think tank Julie pulled her phone out to play music, and put it inside her cup to amplify the sound. We were amazed! And that was it. We shifted our focus on pieces that could bridge modern technology, industrial design, while still using natural resources abundant in the country.
032: Do you guys have a background in design?
Koh: Both Julie and Franz are designers in their own right; Julie is into fashion design based in Paris and Franz from Pratt Institute, NY. He was invited to Art Basel, a premier furniture show in Miami. I have an anthropology background and am part of a family of designers. I am all for incorporating a social aspect and Cebuano community empowerment in our production.
032: I told a friend yesterday about Loudbasstard. The very first thing she said was, “Where did they get the name?” There has to be a story behind it, right?
Koh: On the way down from the mountains, we were spitting out names until I just said, “Man, this amplifier is gonna be such a loud bastard.” Realizing, the pun when adding another “s”, we had an “aha!” moment, then agreed on going with the name.
Koh: I believe the greatest challenge had to be hands on in every level of production to setting up a company to even marketing efforts. Franz and I strongly believe in having to learn how to serve before having to lead. So we voluntary worked in every aspect; from sketching, material sourcing, sanding the prototypes to painting them. When we had our first office at my basement, we even painted the office ourselves. Not cause we couldn’t afford help or anything. It’s just that Franz and I were both used to our 9-5 jobs, Franz in the US and me in Japan. Having moved back to Cebu knowing we wanted to collaborate in something, we just wanted to set up a strong foundation by doing all the nitty gritty work. Knowing that now we have employees, we know exactly what we want from them and what can or can’t be done in a certain time period. This was a challenge because it was very much out of our comfort zone. But this set us up to take on any type of challenge thrown at us as the business grows.
032: Do you still recall who your first customer was?
Koh: Emilio Cecconi! We were testing our Paypal account in the website, and he was the first person to buy one. Thanks Emilio!
032: What was the market’s initial response?
Koh: Yeah, it did pretty well. We introduced ourselves via Facebook and through our friends. We were accepting pre-orders for a week at a lower price than today’s SRP. That was one way for us to prove our product concept. Within that week, we got about 300 pre-orders, and 6,000 views on our website. We also timed our launch during the Christmas shopping season (oct23-nov), so it wouldn’t be that difficult to get it out there.
Koh: Yeah, there’s quite a number of Filipino personalities and celebrities that have one like Lucy Torres, Tim Yap, Marc Nelson, Carlos Celdran, Abra, Gabby Alipe of Urbandub, etc. As well as Poreotix has one (Champion of America’s Best Dance Crew).
The product has received overwhelming recognition from Design Magazines abroad and a Designer from Italy, Enrico Marone Cinzano.
Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones had our very first prototype which he signed “To Loudbasstard, Love Michael Jagger”.
032: Since you are entitled now as young Cebuano innovators, what’s your advice to those young Cebuanos out there who are also trying to come up with their own product and make it like you guys did?
Koh: Focus. Differentiate. Follow through.
032: Where can we buy a Loudbasstard?
Koh: As for now in the Philippines, you can buy it through our website. Loudbasstard.com. For Cebu, it’s available at Republik in Banilad Town Centre and we’re displayed at GILT, Crossroads Banilad. It retails at P995.
032: What should we look forward to from you guys? Any other products on the works?
Koh: We’re focusing on building Loudbasstard as a brand that will have products that will share our love of music. 🙂