What was the scope of their involvement?
We had an initial kick-off meeting with John [CEO, Avex Design] and he introduced us to their designer, Trey [Head Designer, Avex Design], who would be overseeing the site build and actually doing the graphic design. We basically did a brain dump. We do all of our creative in house, so they looked at all of our packaging, social media profiles, photography, and videography with our in-house creative director. They took all of that information back to the drawing board and came up with a couple of different designs, then we picked the one we liked the most.
From there, we had about three or four back and forths on little details, but for the most part, there wasn't a whole lot of editing. They did a great job of taking all of the resources we gave them, doing a deep dive into our brand, and coming back with something that really fits perfectly.
Functionally, everything went really smoothly. Trey and John were very transparent in everything that they were doing. Once the code was written, they gave us the ability to log into the back end and see changes in real time. One big thing that we wanted was a lot of motion. We wanted a lot of movement and background video. Trey suggested that we consider parallax scrolling, which I was unfamiliar with, but he showed me examples and it was perfect. Being able to log in to the back end throughout the process and see little updates here and there made a big difference because I never had to sit around wondering what it looked like or when it would be finished.
The gauntlet that I laid down for them is that I need it to be interactive. I didn't want our website to be a static repository of information, where if somebody needs to know something about the company, they come to the website, read it, and then leave. I wanted the website to be an extension of our community, and of our social media, and of our influencer campaign. Trey developed a community page for us that gave us the ability to update the videos, the photography, and content on the back end ourselves. This was very important because I wanted to be able to update it on a regular basis, and that's the product he was able to deliver for us. I’m very happy with that.
What is the team dynamic?
We never met a developer. We dealt exclusively with John and with Trey, who was the lead designer.
How did you come to work with Avex Designs?
I did some Googling about design firms here in New York City. I knew I wanted to work with someone local so that we could have face-to-face interaction, and I knew that I wanted to work with somebody who had experience with Shopify. We interviewed four or five different firms, looked through their previous work, and talked to previous clients. Avex stood out from the beginning as a firm that had a really good aesthetic feel for themselves, and they have done some really great client work in the past. After meeting John in person for an interview, there really wasn't any question that I wanted to hire Avex.
How much have you invested with them?
That's one of the reasons we vetted a bunch of different firms. We wanted to see what the price range was going to be, and out of the five that we interviewed, Avex was in the middle on cost, if not a little bit higher. They certainly weren't the cheapest firm that we interviewed, but they definitely convinced us that they brought the most value for the cost, and they definitely have proven that to be true.
What is the status of this engagement?
We launched the site June 15th of this year, but we’re still working with them. The very first email with them was probably in March, but we didn't get started until April, if I remember correctly.
When we came to them we gave them a really tight timeline and they told us that they could get a bulk of the work up first, and then work on some of the sub-pages afterward. They worked on our timeline and were very flexible. They’re still building out some pages now but we’re almost done with all of it.