It’s time for another Envato Community interview – today, I’m speaking with Justin Scheetz (BoxyStudio), a ThemeForest and CodeCanyon author from PA, USA. Without further ado, let’s get started!
– Hey Justin, who are you and what do you do?
I’m a designer/developer who’s been working in the field for what feels like a very long time, but in a good way! I currently run a WordPress theme and plugin shop out of my home called Boxy Studio and sell exclusively on Envato Market sites, ThemeForest and CodeCanyon.
– How and where did you learn your skills?
I did get an associates in Multimedia (which was basically a little bit of everything), but most of what I do today was all self-taught. I think that’s the new norm anyway, with all of the really well done online courses that are widely available now.
– How long have you been working on Envato Market?
I’ve been selling items there for over 6 years now, which is crazy to think about. I was actually contacted directly by Collis Ta’eed (Envato CEO) asking me to submit some items to a new site they were working on called ThemeForest. Envato was a much smaller company then, but it’s nice to know that I was part of its original growth!
– What was it like when you became an Elite author?
Hitting that milestone was a great feeling; it felt like I had made it! It’s been about a year since then and I’m about a month away from hitting my next milestone of $500,000 in sales. What’s funny is I’m most excited to get my Envato branded backpack you get at that level. I’m definitely a bit of an Envato fan-boy… and proud of it!
– You recently rebranded from Justin Scheetz (your name) to Boxy Studio (a corporate name). Do you have any advice you have for freelancers wanting to do the same?
This happened when I decided to go full time. I left my comfortable job at a fantastic marketing firm about 10 minutes from my home and decided to take that huge leap of faith after a really good start to the 2014 year. It just felt like the right time.
When I made that decision I also knew that I wanted to rebrand and look like a real WordPress-focused business. I really love designing brands and what comes with it (logo, new website, colour choices, etc.) so the process was very fun. A few things to note for people considering the same:
- Take your time. I took several weeks just to come up with the name alone, and another month to design and refine the logo. People would poke fun at my intense focus on what seems like such a small thing, but your name and logo are the first thing people see. A good, available domain name is a huge part of that naming process. I didn’t want to end up with
awesomeboxywordpressthemes.orgso I made sure the name was available right away.
- Get opinions, but don’t dwell on them. Dribbble is a great place to start. Get some feedback, but if you’re pretty set on a name or logo concept, don’t worry when someone says they don’t like it. It’s more important that YOU like it. Take the constructive criticism and try to use it to refine the design you like. Don’t change it completely because someone else doesn’t like it. This is your company after all.
- Don’t try to do everything at once. Take things one step at a time. Don’t go full force into a marketing campaign until you have several really good products. Get a strong social following and use them to push your marketing campaigns, for free. Offer freebies to people who share your links. Or set up an affiliate network and push that concept even further.
– What’s one of the most exciting things you’ve done as a freelancer?
I don’t do much freelance work, but I do offer a customisation service on my products. And sometimes, customers will come to me with customisations they want done and I will end up doing it for free because their ideas are so great! I end up using the customisation request as a new selling feature for the product. I think that’s the most exciting thing about what I do. I have some really great customers who are just as excited about my products as I am, and they constantly help me make them better.
– What’s next for Justin Scheetz?
I don’t think too far ahead (which is probably both good and bad). I do try to set big goals for myself, but overall I just keep making new things and keep improving the things I’ve already made. As for what’s next, I can see myself focusing more and more on plugin development. My last two products have been plugins that I’m really proud of, so I’m going to continue to push into that area. I think that’s where the next big bubble is anyway, so I would highly suggest getting into plugin development now!
We’d like to thanks Justin once again for his great answers! If you have any more questions you’d like to ask Justin, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to pass them on to him. For more info about Justin’s Envato products, visit his portfolio.