We had the good fortune of connecting with Aleksandr Bernhard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aleksandr, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Before going too far I did an extensive amount of market research and even prior to that, spoke to people whom I thought could be prospective clients to get their view. I had previously launched another business where I did none of this and concentrated only on the product. It turned out that the price and timing were both off. (That business was LED lighting back in the early 2000s before it was mainstream). I learned a very valuable lesson which is that market research and marketing is just as important as the product itself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
From day one the focus of my brand has been on design first. With a background in Automotive and Aerospace engineering, I was experienced in product development from conception to production and I also knew that in almost all cases, the final design of products is heavily modified from the original design in order to address costs or manufacturing constraints. Think about all of those amazing looking concept cars over the years that once in production, end up looking nothing like their original design. I wanted to avoid this especially since we had partnered with the most prestigious Italian design brand in the world. What I’m proud of is that if you put the original 3d concept rendering next to the final production piece, there is no distinction in design. What did I learn from this? It’s REALLY expensive and difficult to do. Finding very specialized manufacturers around the world was very challenging and the only reason we were able to take this route is because the final price of the product is entirely based on the manufactured cost without sacrificing the original design.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Great question. One of the often overlooked aspects of Miami is the outdoor nature activities available. I love to go hiking, biking, and kayaking in Oleta State Park. It’s an oasis of nature in a concrete jungle. I love movies and really what better place to catch a movie than at the iPic. As for food, well there are so many places it’s hard to list. I will say one spot I discovered during lockdown is Pummarola pizza. I used to live in Italy and this is only the second pizza that I have eaten in Miami that is up to par; Fratelli la Buffala being the other. I also love sushi and my neighborhood joint called Sushi Lucy is top notch. Finally, who could forget about Panther coffee! I love good coffee and they are amongst the best in the city.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I must give credit to my good friend D Greco who set aside countless hours of his own time to guide me through the process of raising money from investors. Without him I could not have done it. The great thing about him is that he was brutally honest and although we didn’t always agree on certain aspects of the business strategy, it was essential to have his expertise and honest opinion based during the early and later stages of building my company.