Nov 03 2016
If you've been to our stores, you have probably seen the colourful plops of bean bags scattered around our stores. And you might have planted yourself in one of them and probably struggled to peel yourself off the bean bags.
While we plonked ourselves on these comfortable bean bags, we wondered, What did the doob® guys do? These bean bags are irresistible! And instead of waiting to be killed by curiosity, we spoke to the masterminds behind doob® and SoftRock Living, Shane and Jay, and bugged them for the secret behind their bean bags.
And you should know too!
What were you guys doing before doob® started?
Shane (S): I was practicing law in one of the big four firms in Singapore, while performing at live music venues as part of a band.
Jay (J): I was teaching and performing the violin (I still do, though).
So how did doob® come about?
S: Well, when I was an undergrad, I was staying in a hall on campus. I REALLY wanted to get a bean bag for my room. However, upon trying to shop for one, I realised that what was available was either more expensive than it should be, unattractive in terms of design, or both. I realised then that there was an opportunity to be had, and further market research indicated that I was not alone in being unable to find a bean bag that my butt and I could love.
Would you consider yourself to be obsessed or passionate?
S: I think we had a bit of obsessiveness at the start. We would spend entire nights working on aspects of the business. Jay, do you recall any stories?
J: I recall when we had our very first exhibition, we really wanted our booth to attract attention, but did not have the financial resources to make huge banners or props. So we spent nights conceptualising a theme, collecting and spray-painting discarded crates and spools. It was to our complete surprise to receive an overwhelming response, and despite our very best efforts, we ended up having to appease more than a handful of angry customers for delaying delivery of their bean bags due to our lack of resources. At that time, I don't suppose we were obsessed with work, but were driven by a passion to create something truly unique and fun, and to satisfy those customers who took the chance with a startup like us. As the business grows, I find my passions shifting - to sustain an enterprise where employees' lives are benefited; and to make welcoming and joyful homes.
What's one of the craziest bean bag design you have created?
S: We had a banana-shaped prototype bean bag. I believe one of our shareholders had this idea to make something that apart from seating, doubled up as a... bedroom aid.
doob® team at their last company retreat
How long did it take you guys to get the perfect formula for your bean bag? How was the process like?
S: During the startup period, we experimented a lot with various designs, stitching methods, fabrics, all to get the perfect combination of comfort, durability, ease of maintenance and attractiveness, which was missing in so many other brands. Even now, we're still working to add value to our designs whenever we identify room for improvement.
J: Everyone has a different shape, size and preference. Achieving an ideal that can satisfy most people had us consider many variables other than comfort, such as purpose, floor area and maintenance. We look externally for inspirations, and internally to find out what we lack. We take into account what customers have to say and are not afraid to experiment.
If you're not working at doob®, where do you think you will be at?
S: I'd probably be an in-house lawyer by day, musician by night, if Jay didn't agree to join forces with me to found doob.
J: Probably still teaching and performing the violin (I still do, though)
What is design to you?
S: Form and function not compromising each other, at least for product design.
J: Design implies consciousness and intention. We humans are created by design, to design.
Any good advice for budding designers?
S: A good design fills a hole.
J: "Even a bad idea executed is better than a good idea undone." - Paul Arden
Get your own doob® bean bag here.