Founded in 2011, the popular Hong Kong-based tech accessories brand lends a touch of individuality to your gadgets

Casetify entrepreneur Wesley Ng sat down with Tatler to reveal how Gen Z and millennial consumer trends drive his business and how his company empowers hundreds of creatives around the world.

How does your business make a difference?

We make a difference in our users’ daily lives; we impact the livelihoods of many artists; and our work impacts the environment too. Casetify thinks about phone cases as blank canvases. A phone case is where a person can show their individuality, their passion and personality. To achieve that, we partner with creative people around the world to find designs that connect with our users. Casetify supports more than 300 designers on our platform by sharing profits with them each time a user buys a case with their design. Apart from self-expression, most of our phone cases are made with up to 90 per cent upcycled plastic that we collect through our re-Casetify programme [which collects old phone cases and upcycles them and operates in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and the US].

Read more: Appier co-founder Winnie Lee is speaking a more ‘human’ language in the tech world

What do you put your success down to?

Firstly, originality: the product I created when I started Casetify was quite different from other options in the market. I didn’t let that stop me. I went in with the mindset that it’s best to stay unique. Secondly, reacting with blazing speed to the demands of our consumers. In the social-media era, trends come and go very fast. But at Casetify we are always there to spot them and bring to market exciting products around them. It keeps us very fresh and current.

What are the top three ingredients for a successful business?

There’s no universal recipe, but here’s what I think: a lot of people can have ideas to solve problems, but not everybody has the right energy and mindset to execute them as an entrepreneur. Starting a company is hard and all kinds of challenges will emerge daily. So, motivation, grit and persistence are very important. Once the idea and energy are there, the second ingredient is to know your customer, understand what they want, and make their problems your own problems to solve. Because that’s why they pay us money—they trust a business to deliver a solution. The third thing I would highlight is collaboration. Great things cannot happen without the help of others. Looking around you and seeing whether you can bring a few people together to do something even bigger will involve work, but it can also be a defining moment in a business.

Do you have any mentors? If so, who are they and what is the best piece of advice they have given you?

I’ve had many mentors throughout my life and career. But the best advice I’ve received can be summarised with this quote from Bruce Lee, someone I really admire: “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it”. In other words, it is okay to admire people and learn from them. But you are also unique in your own way, so don’t be a copy of someone else.

What has been your biggest career obstacle to date? How did you overcome it?

The biggest career obstacle for me and my co-founder Ronald Yeung in building Casetify was that not many people believed phone cases could be a big and successful global business. But we have proven [naysayers] wrong by approaching the problem differently. There is more than a protective function to phone cases. Today, we have over 1,000 employees covering more than 180 countries and have become the most popular phone case brand among Gen Z and millennials globally. We are also loved by celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift, Gigi Hadid, Dua Lipa, Jisoo, Sarah Jessica Parker, BTS and Olivia Rodrigo.

How do you plan to develop your business over the next five years?

We are closely following new trends from Gen Z, as their insights allow us to be at the forefront of culture. We will keep getting the latest and most innovative designs that are unique only to us and our consumers. We will also keep expanding our Casetify Studio stores across different countries and explore new ways of doing business in the Web3 space. We recently launched ArtFT, a new platform where digital NFTs and physical products will go hand in hand. Being at the intersection of digital art and consumer goods is where we think new opportunities will lie while we keep growing our existing business.

What is one surprising thing about you that most people don’t know?

Although people know me well in public life as a CEO, at a personal level, I think of myself as a designer who’s very passionate about typography.

Tatler Asia
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