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Meet Matthew Bowers of Manufactur

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Bowers.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We started the company in 2010 when my founding partner, Nick DeNitto, and I moved to LA from Charleston, SC. We had already been working together on art and music projects and throwing events and we’re looking to start a more formal company. With his background in programming and development and mine in design we had a number of web projects kind of a fall into our laps and really just hit the ground running from there. Over the years and as we built up our team we were able to really focus our goals and strengths and broaden the types of projects we work on. We went from a development centric model to one that is now very strongly rooted in branding and strategy with web development being one aspect of the whole ecosystem.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In running any business, there are always going to be challenges. We have definitely had our fair share of them but overall building the company to what it is today has been an amazing experience. We definitely dealt with some of the classic challenges that all small-businesses face; things like cash flow, business management, accounting, etc… I think the two toughest parts however were developing the project management systems that help us accomplish all that we do and figuring out how to hire the right talent to get us to where we wanted to be.

Creating efficiency in the workflows for a projects lifecycle from its management on the client side, to UX and design, to development and deployment I would say was the biggest ongoing challenge we’ve had in our almost 8 years now.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Manufactur – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
In the most simple terms we are a strategy based branding, design, and web agency. We use a deep focus on discovery, strategy, and UX to inform every type of project we work on whether its developing a brand for a new restaurant or building out an interactive web platform for a big music festival. We are known best I would say for our creative edge in design and forward-thinking perspective on the web. We are very lucky to have clients seeks us out because they want something that is different and maybe edgy or at the very least something that really feels like it is as unique as their idea or brand. We love to build things like that. Things that stand out. There are kind of three main spaces that we do most of our work in currently.

We do a lot work in the hospitality industry, designing brands for bars, restaurants, and hotels that include everything from the logo to the style guide, signage and menus, and website.

We also do a lot of work in the music industry. This is where some of our most fun projects come from as we are all huge music nerds over here and get to usually be extra creative with most of these projects. We have done all of the web work for Skrillex for a long time now as well as work with artists like SIA, Halsey, Morrissey, and labels like Capitol, Sony/RCA, and OWSLA to name just a few. For artists we do everything from web design and branding to full on creative direction and visuals design for their live performances. We do a lot of work with Claude Von Stroke and his Dirty Bird label and one of the fun highlights of the last few years for a few of us was getting to develop the visuals for his debut performance at Coachella.

The third area that we do a lot of work in is eCommerce. We really enjoy strategizing, designing and development for brands that have something to sell online. We work with small companies just starting out as well as large businesses that need to really revamp their presence. We build primarily on Shopify which we are big fans of, and really thrive at designing for the challenges that come with the tricky and saturated space the this is online shopping and selling these days.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
It’s a really exciting time for us right now. We feel like we have our processes and workflows in a really good place at this point that allow us to get a lot of very high-level work done in an extremely efficient manner.

We are always trying to focus our work on areas that really interest us. Right now, we are working more and more in the wine industry. These guys need a lot of help with design and modern development and we are very passionate about wine! It’s also a business that is growing more than ever now with millennial wine drinkers and we see tons of potential for the future here.

We are also incubating a few of our own projects. We are developing an app for wineries right now called WineAmp that is very exciting. More to come on that soon!

We have a small apparel and product line too that we have created. We sell it on our online shop. It’s fun stuff and a great creative outlet.

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