Detroit’s Original Stix Lets You Have A Piece Of The Game As Your Phone Case

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An innovative idea for phone cases is wooing hockey fans everywhere, and the business behind it is based right here in Detroit.

Original Stix sells phone cases that you won’t find anywhere else. The company creates durable phone cases that you can customize with your favorite hockey sticks. That’s right – hockey sticks. Original Stix uses hockey sticks from college and professional games that get broken during the action. Instead of being sent to landfills, these sticks are delivered to Original Stix.

The hockey teams approached by the company were pleased to be a part of a system that reduced waste.

Terry Johnson, one of the co-founders of Original Stix explains, “These teams have closets they fill up with broken sticks, only to send them to landfills, so to put them to good use and recycle them is something they really get behind.”

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The best part is that Original Stix can make a lot of phone cases from the used hockey sticks.

“In the fall, we did a custom order for Steiner Sports and the New York Rangers. They sent us about 150 game-used Rangers sticks, which we made into 1,000 phone cases. We pantone matched the Rangers’ colors for the case frames and did customized packaging with the team logo. The cases are now being sold in Madison Square Garden during games.”

Original Stix manufactures all its cases in Detroit, which definitely comes with its benefits. Johnson explained the decision to manufacture here.

“Sourcing production locally has definitely made it much easier to ensure a high quality product. When we launch a new model, we can oversee every step of the process to ensure it meets our quality standards and make changes and adjustments without any language or time zone barriers. If we get a large order, we can ramp up production immediately, then drive to the manufacturing facility to pick them up.”

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However, it’s not just about the ease of doing business locally. Original Stix hopes to be part of Detroit’s resurgence by showing that the city can make more than cars, much like Shinola has brought watch assembly¬†here.

“While Detroit is known for manufacturing cars, we hope that we can demonstrate that manufacturers from any industry can leverage the area’s existing infrastructure to produce all kinds of products. Kreft Injection, the company who runs our case frames, might be running car parts for Tesla on a machine 10 feet away and jockey stirrups for horse racing next to that.”

One of the cooler aspects of the cases is that the hockey sticks are interchangeable, so you can buy as many as you want and use them in your phone case. It’s like having multiple phone cases without the hefty price tag. And now through July 20, when you use the promo code dailydetroit at checkout, you can get 15% off your order.

The idea is certainly novel, and Johnson, knew that it would work. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t challenges early on.

Terry Johnson of Original Stix mid-pitch earlier this year. Daily Detroit photo.
Terry Johnson of Original Stix mid-pitch earlier this year. Daily Detroit photo.

“I was confident that it would take off, but only if it was what I had envisioned. When we first started, I wasn’t familiar with how the design process worked. I hated some early prototypes and designs.”

The company’s idea certainly appealed to hockey fans, and it didn’t take long for Original Stix to sell outside the Detroit area.

“The first two cases we sold were to customers in Florida and New Mexico, and our second retailer was a pro shop inside the Coyotes’ practice arena in Phoenix – all areas that aren’t exactly known for their hockey following. It was surprising to say the least, but that’s the power of the Internet, I guess.”

Original Stix aims for authentic, unique phone cases for hockey lovers, and they hit the mark. Johnson understands the love of the game. He’s been playing hockey as long as he can remember, and he often attended Red Wings games with his dad when he was a kid.

Though the company’s business requires that they reach out to hockey organizations, Johnson hasn’t had the chance to meet many NHL players. However, he hopes that will soon change.

“Now that we’re up and running, I hope to really get out there in front of those guys. We hope to set up at the Red Wings Avalanche Outdoor game in Colorado next winter. However, I do see some recognizable names come through on our online orders pretty often.”

Original Stix is continuing to expand its product offerings. The company’s apparel shop has really taken off, so they’re working on adding more to it soon. Original Stix is also planning on offering phone cases for the Samsung Galaxy Phones and the iPhone 6+ later this year.

You can keep up with Original Stix on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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