Amidst a global pandemic, many of us snuck away to our bedrooms, readied our Netflix accounts, and hunkered down for a seemingly endless 2020- but not Matt and Konstantin. About to finish school, equipped with Bachelor’s and soon Master’s degrees from the Engineering school at GW, the 23 and 24-year olds were, frankly, bored. Yet bored is a deep underappreciation for what they had already worked on since the beginning of COVID. Matt and Konstantin were steadfast friends and also partners who had already worked on multiple teams designing a touchless kiosk, 3D-printed PPE, and other engineered- solutions designed to alleviate the COVID impact on the GW University’s hospital. As those projects wrapped up, Konstantin and Matt sat down to discuss their next endeavor. They saw an opportunity all around them, and they saw it in their friends’ dorm rooms at GW. They noticed that everyone seemed to love hanging up small, printed pictures around their bedrooms. It was trendy, easy, and fun. People loved showing off moments of their life, and not just digitally. At this point, the two students got started with their first design, laser cutting a rough “pretotype” of how the design looks today.
Working out of a makerspace in Alexandria, Virginia, called The Garden by Building Momentum, during a global pandemic Matt, Konstantin, and two other friends got to work, laser cutting wood to build a customizable, pristine picture frame. They wanted to create something completely handmade with a rustic feel, yet also authentic and classy. As they added and subtracted parts, swapping out materials and tools, the product slowly came together. To test consumer waters, the group ran a beta test with over twenty users. They thought strategically about how the frame could work with other furniture and household items, adding a pristine, customizable touch to people’s homes and other spaces. Although much of our world today enjoys media content online, the team knew that printed photos held in picture frames are all but outdated.
Today, the SmartBox Frames team is composed of seven young, driven designers, engineers, software developers, and innovators dedicated to personalizing the way we tell our stories. We strive off of our strategic competencies, ability to work as a team, and keen awareness for listening to our customers. Our team is constantly evolving and thinking about the next-best way to show off memories in sync with personal styles. Currently, SmartBox Frames offers 6 x 18 x 2 in. illuminated frames in eggshell black, vintage wood, and other customizable, “loud” colors. Our designs wonderfully complement shelves, tables, and other dwelling places, office nooks, and café corners. Illuminated with soft light from above, these mini-sized photos contrast with their darker background, somewhat like a personal art gallery. Held by a simple magnetic clip, your photos will appear to levitate, as this unique design creates a floating, voluminous effect in the way our dimensions are structured. The integrated light-up feature brings about a unique vibe and provides a warm ambiance that radiates out to the rest of the room. Head over to our website, www.smartboxframes.com to upload your very own photos and order a frame with plenty of space for your memories. We hope you’ll consider SmartBox Frames the next time you want to share your photos, your way.