More than a tree is growing in Brooklyn. Childhood friends Emaus Santiago and Darryle Hawes are building their company, Remixed In Brooklyn, Inc. into a major force in the tech world. Remixed in Brooklyn is an innovative product design firm that seeks to mesh technology and fashion seamlessly.
Recently they released a new product called the HI-RO, the first generation of its category defining the portable audio system for the iPod Nanomobile boom box.
“The Hi-RO allows us to incorporate fashion, technology, culture and people. People are the center of everything, and they use music as a way to enhance their commute, work out, a walk in the park, or getting over a really tough day. What we have found is young people are attempting to re-create the boom box culture which shared their music for all to hear. It’s not uncommon to see a person listening to music from a mobile phone tucked in the inside of a hat. Or someone riding on mass transit with a mobile phone blasting for everyone to hear and experience their taste in music. What we have done is create a product that fills a need for people to be able to express themselves,” explains Hawe, who has been friends with Emaus for more than 20 years.
The longtime friends have found the key to make their friendship an ideal business partnership: they are each aware of their strengths and what they can bring to Remixed. “Darryle is a stickler for aesthetic, craft, and quality and is a phenomenal designer and architect. What I admire most about him is after spending hours designing, Darryle still has the ability and energy to switch gears to help build the business and move it forward,” says Santiago. Adds Hawe, “Emaus is one of my oldest friends. Since we were young our parents encouraged us to be entrepreneurs. It began with lemonade stands in the summer to selling toys and stickers. We, along with my older sister, took our allowance and reinvested it. I remember making, now that I look back at it, ad hoc profit and lost statements on sheets torn out from our composition notebooks. Those early lessons taught us well.”
What makes their partnership work? They share a common history and agreement on their business goals. “There are many reasons why our partnership works. We grew up together watching our parents struggle to support families. Darryle, the second of three siblings, and me one of three, watched our parents work really hard to provide for us,” remembers Santiago. “Our partnership and relationship is synergistic. Because we have known each other since we were in grade school, it is almost as though we know what the other is thinking before words are said. The fact that both of us started this venture together allows us to combine our business acumen, creativity and a wide range of contacts creating products that are functional, easy to use and beautifully designed.”
And they don’t step on each other’s toes in the workplace. They respect each other’s skills. “Emaus built an infrastructure that allows us to fully develop products at a rate that makes it possible for us to stay ahead of trends. He sets goals that seem impossible and finds a way for us to get there,” explains Hawes. “Darrlye has an unprecedented amount of clarity and intensity when it comes to designing products. He creates amazing ideas and makes them possible,” says Santiago.
When looking to develop a new product, they have a technique for brainstorming. “We insist on building a really great product and look for ideas to inspire us in our own lives. Darrlye and I discuss the functionality and ask ourselves how this would improve someone’s life.
Darryle then begins to sketch it out, refine the idea and then I create a time line and work along with product development to execute our concept,” offers Santiago.
The pair is looking to turn Remixed into a major player. “HI-RO is just the beginning we have a full product line of accessories that enhances the music listening experience. We believe in the ideas that we have created and look forward to people globally enjoying it,” says Hawe.