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VHPL

A $1,000 Side Project Turned $500,000 business

In May 2016 I started a business called Vancouver Hairpin Legs – A steel table leg and metal hardware manufacturing company. I’ve always had an interest in physical and digital products as well as entrepreneurship. This business would become a lesson in all three. I had purchased some hairpin legs for a coffee table I was building which spurred my interest in metal furniture and hardware. As my interest in the idea grew so did the Mid-Century Modern design trend. I quickly convinced my room-mate there was an opportunity here and we moved fast to validate the market by posting fake ads on craigslist. This generated a substantial number of leads within a short timeframe.

I invested $1,000 In basic equipment and we were ready for R&D. With zero experience in metal working, we watched as many youtube videos we could find and experimented until the product was perfect. What began as a small operation in our apartment quickly grew from DTC to B2B and one product to over 15. We built a well known Canada-Wide brand, an eCommerce store, a strong social following, and worked with industries such as retail and restaurant to hospitality. We also sold to brands like Arc’Teryx, Fairmont Hotels, John Fleuvog, and many more.

Type

eCommerce, Branding

Role

Founder & Designer

Website

vancouverhairpinlegs.com

Homepage Design

We wanted to create a seamless and clear user experience. We experimented with many homepage variations, but saw the best result by placing emphasis on the products. We took time to understand our audience – and saw an opportunity to provide a no non-sense approach to our design and marketing strategy with clear visuals and placing our products at the forefront.

Product Page Design

Our audience was split between DTC and B2B and our goal was to create a product page which was informative, intuitive, and provided a clear purchasing funnel. All table legs were sold individually as pairs seemed to be less than obvious, surprising to us initially was the number of people and businesses who required an odd number of table legs.

Product Renders

Our products were first conceptualized in Sketch as rough ideations. They were then done in 3D and exported as PNG's. It proved to be an excellent shortcut and cost-effective hack that still managed to provided a realistic photo-quality over traditional product photography.