Andrea and I founded Cremacaffè in 2014, in Finland. We were living abroad and had been working different jobs in the field of music and design for about ten years at that point. Then we moved back to Sicily, from where we currently ship our design stands for musical instruments worldwide. Andrea and I built Cremacaffè around ourselves. Andrea is a musician, I am an architect. Andrea needed a stand for his tabletop musical instruments (synths), which he carried around wherever there would be time to relax and play. I designed for him a collapsible, light wooden stand which could make long music-making hours easier on his spine and eyes: in 2013 SPIKE, our first product, was born, and there was nothing like that on the market. We registered it under the brand Cremacaffè, thus tying together our passion for music, design and coffee into our own personal blend.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
It was a new market. We had to start from zero, on the internet, and not exactly from a start-up friendly location, which means we were a really tiny fish in a big sea. Through our designs and our Blog we built a niche, by slowly opening up the conversation about mobile lifestyles, the importance of good posture while using synths, laptops & tablets, and our simple, environmentally-friendly solutions for musicians and tech users.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
When we moved back from Finland to Sicily, we had just started the company. Andrea and I had to force ourselves not to listen to negative comments from people who would criticize this risky, unprecedented thing we were doing. By shutting those voices down, we could make more room for help from family, friends and our wonderful Clients around the world, all positive influences in our life, which give us much needed energy to channel into our projects.
What we would do differently: do not let other people’s expectations slow down the pursuit of things that sound true, important, and which bring much happiness. Believe in your project and do not accept compromises, whatever it may take to do things on your terms. Take good care of your health.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
It is a combination of designing a good, unique product for a new niche, and communicating the brand you create with the help of the right people.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
It’s just a matter of time and perseverance, if you do your job right. Do not get discouraged.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Do what you are best at, whatever it is, regardless of what everybody else is doing and where they are doing it. Find what that is, and take it to the next level.