Q: How has NextFab helped grow your business?
Sharif Pendleton: Before I joined NextFab, I had to send my products to be manufactured in California and the process was lengthy — mailing drawings, manufacturing a prototype, shipping back and forth. It wasn’t practical. I joined NextFab the first week they opened, and now 90% of my products are made here. There’s just no substitute for being here, experimenting, and laser cutting a ton of stuff to see what works.
Q: What are some of the products you produce at NextFab?
SP: I create all my own packaging here, and all of my bamboo products are laser cut at NextFab. In fact, I was the first person to laser cut bamboo here. I like the fact that they’ll let you try new things. They don’t say no, they just pause and then start figuring out a way to help you do whatever it is you want to do.
Q: What’s next for Masters of None?
SP: Every year I come up with new product ideas and then start researching materials and costs. This year I am in the process of designing a series of lamps. I came up with a prototype a year ago, but I needed to make sure people wouldn’t burn their houses down with it. When you’re designing products that people will use on a daily basis, one of the questions you’re constantly asking yourself is, “What are the ways people are going to screw this up?” Then you figure out how to improve the design so that doesn’t happen.