Nolii detangles the experience of tech accessories
‘These products are like the Lego – they’re beautifully designed’
Up until a few years ago, tech accessories were limited the extra wires and plugs located in the depths of your new phone’s packaging, destined to be slung in a drawer and slowly distributed amongst bags and pockets in an ever-growing tangle. Nolii is a new firm that wants to banish the disposable nature of these irritating essentials, building an eco-system of things that might outlast your actual device, using warm colours, simple design and a playful, practical modularity.
Nolii was founded in the UK in 2017 by Asad Hamir and Amar Radia, two self-confessed tech addicts who parlayed their interest into successful entrepreneurship. ‘I’m a power user,’ Hamir confesses, showing us an image of the digital spaghetti that once crowded the bottom of his travel bag. He knew there had to be a better way. ‘You’d get devices that were beautiful but had no function, or very feature-driven devices,’ he says, ‘the whole experience just needed looking into.’ Nolii’s debut suite of projects was designed by Benjamin Hubert at LAYER and revealed back in 2017. A complementary set of cases, cables, plugs and battery blocks, with a common design language and a clever connection system, it’s taken the duo three years to turn concepts into workable, production ready designs. ‘It was about getting a perfect balance of practicality and function,’ says Hamir, ‘we’re all about feedback, listening and refinement.’
Building a business is distinctly different from promoting a suite of concepts, and Hamir and Radia have had to raise capital as well as source, approve and develop a supply chain. They’ve also teamed up with another set of leading creatives, Made Thought, to help shape the business’s look and feel. Paul Austin, together with Made Thought co-founder Ben Parker, has overseen the branding and implementation of Nolii. ‘It was a refreshing opportunity to combine colour, functionality and geometry,’ says Austin, ‘these products are like the Lego – they’re beautifully designed.’ Made Thought are also investors, parlaying their experience in building brands into the commercial realm.
Nolii’s debut products include the Couple range, a collection of iPhone accessories that incorporate the company’s Click Lock, a twisting mechanism that allows you clip in the card-carrying ‘Wallet’, or attach the phone to Nolii’s own Fitness Band. There’s also wireless battery charging, as well as the Loop cable with a built-in tie and the Duo plug.
One thing that’s integral to the Nolii approach is a sense of accountability over suppliers, quality, responsible materials. ‘It’s the first time we’ve taken equity in a brand we’ve helped grow,’ Austin admits, ‘it gives you a changed perspective. We’re encouraging people to use less,’ he adds, ‘we are investing highly in the quality of these products.’ Hamir also stresses the emphasis on user-friendliness. ‘There’s a space for an agile brand that really engages with people,’ he says. Nolii makes a big deal out of seemingly small things. §