Romanian powerhouses getbowtied crossed the $1M threshold to join the ranks of our Power Elite Authors late last year. We asked the team about how they got started, how they work, and their tips for new authors starting out in the marketplace. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about getbowtied. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?
We live and work in the beautiful city of Timișoara, Romania. We’re a small team (and we plan to keep it that way) of designers, developers, marketers and support engineers.
We’ve been at it ever since August 2012, so creating and supporting our WordPress themes is not just a weekend thing, it’s a full-time job. We dedicate 100% of our time and energy to building top-notch products. We pride ourselves on providing quality themes and standing behind them as a team, someone you can count on when things are changing and updates must be provided.
What’s one thing about you that no-one else knows?
It all started out as an awkward social situation between a designer and a developer. The two of them talked for hours, just like Freud and Jung did when they first met and, at some point, the alcohol was simply too much for that night; eventually they realized they were neither Freud, nor Jung. They were web designers and they were meant to start working together on a project suitable for the Envato Market. And so they did it and that’s how our first eCommerce Theme, The Retailer, came to light. It was a great success from day zero and it got us the Elite Author title in just two months. We’re a team of eight now, and we still drink from time to time. And that’s something no one else knows.
Is there anything unusual or special about how you work?
- Gender-equality! There are four women and four men in our team.
- We’re doing our best to travel together away from the office a few times a year, and our families are joining too.
- If you’re part of the team for more than one year, you earn a “Treat Yo’Self Day,” inspired by the Parks and Recreation TV series. On that day, you can choose to do whatever you think is missing from work that would make you balance life better.
Why are you doing what you are doing, and what do you love about it?
This is probably not the usual way for setting goals to run a business, but we always wanted to make sure we’d be able to do what we love most, no matter what. So our main goal isn’t a number or something that can be put into an Excel file, that’s actually what we’re trying to avoid. Instead, we focus on what a normal workday looks like. Envato is a great platform in this matter, giving us the freedom to do exactly what we love and nothing more, so we can get better at it. It enables us to work with who we like, where we like and everyone is happy about it.
What’s your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?
Someone who was really unhappy because he couldn’t upload his logo as a Microsoft Word file.
What’s the most challenging thing about your work?
Knowing when to stop, when there are endless possibilities out there. Constantly looking to balance the need to have different features versus to have a theme bloated with features. We’re following the WordPress way when developing: “Decisions over Features” to keep things as simple as it gets while giving customers the flexibility they need.
What is your advice to other Authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
- Get yourself together and send that product of yours to review already!
- Keep it simple: the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented all the time.
- Think in terms of the industry: you’re not the only one here.
- Be yourself: be original, be personal;
- Focus on quality over quantity: reliable themes go a long way.
Is where you live a good place to be a creative professional? Why or why not?
We could say so. Timișoara is one of the largest and most prosperous Romanian cities. Romania itself has plenty to offer in the IT sector since one of our biggest strengths is the wealth of technical talent. We have an impressive community of both child and adult coding prodigies.
What do you do to market your files?
To start with, we only launch products that have been designed with care down to the tiniest details. That’s the best marketing trick we follow. We also invest a lot of time into designing good promotional materials with compelling copy, and we try to be active where our customers are.
Apart from yourself, who is your favourite marketplace author, and why do you like them?
Orman Clark from Themezilla, for being able to keep all themes uncluttered for so long in such a highly demanding market.
What do you do in your spare time?
We value our time off with our families as much as we value our work. It’s important to take some time to charge your batteries. However, when we want to test our stamina, we go karting. The adrenaline rush does wonders. For a bit of a Sherlock Holmes experience, we like to go to one of those Escape Games.
How do you feel about your achievement?
Just a second, we’re calling our mums…
We’re proud and happy that we’ve reached this milestone. It’s living proof that we’re on the right track and makes us look forward to the next step.