team

our mission

To be the universe's best service for independent designers to EVALUATE, IMPROVE AND SELL their products.

our story

While selling our own products to stores, from our art collective The Whiteout, we found some products did great while some never got reordered. The buyers never told us why. They were either too busy or we didn't feel it was their place to give advice. And we felt too awkward to ask. Our goods had entered the product void. 

A nudge towards retail readiness could have quadrupled everyone's business. We designed wholesale platform designed to bring this conversation upfront, so sourcing ceases to be a mystery and instead the fun it's intended to be.

the team

Vinit Patil: Co-Founder, CEO
Engineer  Maker  Dreamer
Vinit worked on marketing the world's best brands like Nike, Audi, Xbox and most recently at startup Box Inc. He believes their secrets of feedback, data and strategy can be applied to drive up fortunes of indie designers.

Vinit is artist partner at junk rescue collective The Whiteout. His collections rotate at boutique galleries and stores in San Francisco and LA. It was during these interactions when he realized the relationship between indie designers and retailers is frankly, what's the word, dysfunctional. Time to communicate.
Spencer Sass: Co-Founder,
Design Chief
Designer  Traveler  Artist
Spencer's art, inspired by travels to South East Asia, has decked the galleries in the Bay Area. He's also worked as an art director on creating interactive experiences for NIKE, Xbox, Gap and most recently with Vinit on rebranding Box.

While setting up an art collective in Seattle, he saw the struggles of artists on their path to getting their work noticed.  He is driven by a belief that a platform that reduces this friction would do the world a lot of good. Can't argue that.
Weidong Yang: CTO
Coder  Dancer  Sword smith
Wei is a computer scientist with 11 patents. (Yes, suck it trolls). His discoveries span data analysis and software architecture. While gaining a deep mastery of code, he trained his artistic side, learning new dance forms that use technology to dynamically inspire new dance movements.

Wei founded the Kinetech arts collective creating a new genre of dance combining  data and molecular biology.  Within a year, Kinetech was voted Best Sci Art dance collective by SF Weekly.
Katie Gaertner: Advisor,
Retail Strategy
Storeowner  BUYER  AMBASSADOR
Before opening her own home decor and gifts store 'Whistle' in the Inner Sunset, Katie picked up years of experience working behind the scenes for retail giants and Bay Area's beloved indie shop The Gardener. She now applies those insights on a much smaller, more personal scale.

The maker movement is lucky to have Katie on its side. Her expertise in buying and indie retail is a secret weapon for competing against mass market ubiquity.

whistlesf.com
Sean Li: Full Stack Developer
HACKER programmer  MUSICIAN
Sean is coder of all languages and master of all. Well, React and Nodejs are the top of the list. He is also trained under the storied guidance of Wei.

Although Sean works from his home city of Shanghai making the occasional trips to San Francisco, it feels very much like he's next to us, sharing  Nai Lam Pau from across the table. Thanks internets. 

Vinit Patil

Co-Founder, CEO

Vinit worked with retail brands Nike, Xbox Target and recently startup Box. He believes their secrets of  feedback, data, and retail strategy can be applied to drive up the fortunes of makers. While selling his own products to stores, he realized the relationship between indie designers and retailers is, what's the word, dysfunctional. It's time to fix this. 

Vinit Patil

Co-Founder, CEO

Vinit is artist partner at junk rescue collective The Whiteout. His collections rotate at boutique galleries and stores in San Francisco and LA. It's during these interactions where he realized the relationship between indie designers and retailers is frankly, what's the word, dysfunctional. It's time to communicate.

Spencer Sass

Co-Founder, Design Chief

Spencer's art, inspired by travels to South East Asia, has been featured at galleries in the Bay Area. He's also worked as an art director on creating interactive experiences for NIKE, Xbox, Gap. While setting up an art collective in Seattle, he saw the struggles of artists on their path to getting their work noticed.

Spencer Sass

Co-Founder, design chief

Spencer's art, inspired by travels to South East Asia, has been featured at galleries in the Bay Area. He's also worked as an art director on creating interactive experiences for NIKE, Xbox, Gap. While setting up an art collective in Seattle, he saw the struggles of artists on their path to getting their work noticed.

Weidong Yang

CTO

Wei is a computer scientist with 11 patents (suck it trolls). His discoveries span data analysis and software architecture. While gaining a deep mastery of code, he trained his artistic side, learning new dance forms that use technology to dynamically inspire new dance movements.

Weidong Yang

CTO

Wei is a computer scientist with 11 patents. Yes, suck it trolls. His discoveries span data analysis and software architecture. While gaining a deep mastery of code, he trained his artistic side, learning new dance forms that use technology to dynamically inspire new dance movements.

Katie Gaertner

advisor, retail strategy

Before she opened her own home decor and gifts store 'Whistle' in Inner Richmond, Katie worked for 12 years as a buyer at the Gardener learning from the best in the business.  The maker movement is lucky to have Katie on its side, her expertise in buying and indie retail is a secret weapon for competing against mass market sameness. 

Katie Gaertner

ADVISOR, RETAIL STRATEGY

Wei is a computer scientist with 11 patents. Yes, suck it trolls. His discoveries span data analysis and software architecture. While gaining a deep mastery of code, he trained his artistic side, learning new dance forms that use technology to dynamically inspire new dance movements.

Sean Li

product / software engineer

Sean is coder of all languages and master of all. Well, React and Nodejs are the top of the list. He is also trained under the storied guidance of Wei and although works from his home city of Shanghai, feels very much like he's next to us, sharing  Wai Lam Pau from across the table. 

Sean Li

PRODUCT / SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Wei is a computer scientist with 11 patents. Yes, suck it trolls. His discoveries span data analysis and software architecture. While gaining a deep mastery of code, he trained his artistic side, learning new dance forms that use technology to dynamically inspire new dance movements.

INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR TEAM? 

The maker movement is no longer part of some fringe economy. Great talent on our side counts as a win in our uphill battle against commoditization and mass market retail. To join this fight, get in touch with us at info@skue.co 

fullfilling our mission

Through our wholesale platform, we aim to create meaningful ways for designers to not only sell but experiment, design and tweak products that create joyful experiences. Here are few things we're doing and some we have planned:

Feedback from boutique retailers
One-on-one meetings with buyers and store owners
Workshops with established designers
Special grants for emerging designers
Design contests judged by industry stalwarts
Brand audit camps

The focus on improving design will create more demand for better, more desirable and sustainable goods.