XPLANE Designer by Day, Entrepreneur by Night
Employee Q&A with Rich Moore

It is 6:30pm on a Friday evening and Rich Moore is still working. He leaves his day job as a designer in XPLANE’s Portland office and heads home to start work on his product company, designing unique accessories for Apple items. Moore has been thinking about a new concept all day and he can’t wait to get home and start sketching. Moore and his business partner are inspired entrepreneurs who operate ilovehandles.com. Moore has always had an aptitude for design and a passion for innovation. It was these same principles that attracted Rich to XPLANE over two and half years go.

Q: Tell me about iLoveHandles.com.
A: I started collaborating with a friend from architecture grad school on a wide range of different products that included toys, furniture, and architecture. In September 2010, Apple announced a new iPod nano that was small enough to be worn as a watch. In less than a week, we designed a watchband for it, made a prototype, and lined up manufacturing. We launched the Web site at 11pm, and had immediate interest from press and consumers. We have since launched ten new products, with ambitions to launch another 12 this year.

Q: What do you draw on for inspiration?
A: My business partner and I have very different backgrounds, so we have a lot to draw on for inspiration. My background was in graphic design and illustration. In addition, I get a lot of inspiration from my kids and the different perspective they have on everything.

Q: What makes you different from other iPOD/iPAD accessories?
A: There are a lot of accessories out there, but most of them are uninspired in my opinion. Many companies produce one case and then mass-produce fifty variations of that product. Because we are small, we have to be careful that everything we do is clever and innovative. We never make anything we’re not really excited about.

Q: What has the consumer response been like so far?
A: We have been really lucky. We agonize over everything including the product’s name, tagline, packaging, etc. So, I’d like to think that our efforts are at least in part responsible, but the response has really been great.

Q: How has working at XPLANE affected your iLoveHandles business?
A: It’s affected what we do a lot. We use many of the core methodologies and design skills that I have developed at XPLANE to create all of the packaging and collateral. I’ve also been really impressed by the level of support from everyone at XPLANE. It is really amazing to be part of a company that not only allows me to do this on the side, but also encourages it.

Q: What’s your favorite product and why?
A: They are all my babies. But, if you force me to play favorites, I think FACET and BARNACLE are the most innovative products we’ve designed. I think both of them are clever, but also very elegant and simple in terms of design.

Q: What’s your dream invention?
A: I’ve had an idea for a chair that has been haunting me for years. When I finally figure out the details, it will be a bit of a dream come true.

Q: Any future products that you can give us on the inside scoop on?
A: Sorry! We are working on a bunch of new products, some of which we hope will help us expand beyond electronics accessories. In addition to iLoveHandles, we started a toy company last year called Walrus Toys. We are hoping to expand both product lines this year.