Cindy Glass is one of our small-town girls hitting the big time.
And her products just might make your tech-life simpler — and maybe cuter.
Mind, your very humble reporter is awed by new-fangled technology. (Give me sidewalk chalk.) But Cindy figures that even “Luddites get dirty computer screens and grubby smartphones.”
She cofounded Unplugged Goods and recently launched “a line of low-tech accessories for high-tech lifestyle gadgets.” It recently kicked off a project on the Kickstarter crowd-funding site, kickstarter.com. The company is making sales and quickly getting attention: Their “Screenster finger mitt” (“cute pal for chronic smudge-o-phobes”) was reviewed in The New York Times.
Cindy emailed that Unplugged Goods makes products for plugged-in lifestyles — helping us cope with our simple inconveniences: Say, the “earbud angst” of pulling a knotted nest of iPhone-cords from a pocket or bag. Or the sad grime “of the day’s lunch, hand-lotion and other mysteries” coating a once-gleaming glass screen.
The company is located in San Francisco “in a fabulous co-working place in Dogpatch.” (She invites all Salemites to swing by and say Hi.)
And how did all this happen? We knew she was special: Alex Brown and I had observed Freda Fry interviewing the then-Salem High School student for our Salem Presbyterian youth group — in French, “just for fun.” (How do you say “wowsers” in French?)
She graduated from Harvard (economics degree; she also studied Japanese), worked in New York and Boston, then earned her MBA from U.Va.’s Darden School. She worked in life-science investing for a long time: “Amazing companies… fabulous colleagues. But … one eye was on the Exit door.” (PR Web described her as “an investment world refugee.”)
It took awhile to muster courage to transform that restlessness. When Boston friend Dante Pauwels moved back to San Francisco they brainstormed their way into a product line that makes Cindy smile. “Living deep in Steve Jobs’ Apple country,” they had watched that company’s impact on consumer design: Devices weren’t just for the office any more.
And aside from phone cases, not much was being done to carry, clean, protect and organize ’em. “And even fewer options brought design, color or fun to the party,” wrote Cindy. Unplugged Goods’ simple, cheery products aim to do just that.
Cindy also continues working as a Bay Area business strategy consultant. Spare time might be spent running trails barefoot or playing the banjo (“poorly”). She would also like to write a murder mystery.
So ask proud mom Pat Lester about daughter Cindy, and watch her smile too.
Cindy reflected on back-in-the-day: “If you’d told me then that we’d be contemplating this now…I would have been a lot more relaxed along the way.” Web site: unpluggedgoods.com