Smudges on phone screens can become a constant annoyance after hours of scrolling through Facebook and swiping through levels on Candy Crush.
Nate Bonham was sitting in church more than three years ago, distracted by the buildup of smudges on his phone screen, and grew frustrated when his tie couldn’t clean it. Inspiration came, and thus the idea for ScreenSpiffer was born.
Bonham quickly contacted friend Keith Allen and roommate Joe Blank to help make this idea a reality. Bonham and Allen grew up together in the Bay Area of California. They met Blank when they ended up as roommates at BYU.
“We always had ideas for different stuff,” Allen said. “We’re very much hands-on, creative, problem-solving people. We see something cool we like, and most of the time we think, how can we make that ourselves?”
ScreenSpiffer is a small microfiber cloth with an iron-on adhesive on the back. The product can be placed on clothing and apparel to be ready and available when a phone or iPad screen needs a quick clean. Where a shirt or tie can get the smudges going in one direction, the ScreenSpiffer removes them completely.
Allen, Bonham and Blank formed AllMoon Innovations, LLC, with the hope of one day expanding with different ideas and products. They hope to expand the ScreenSpiffer brand to include other accessories and apparel.
“What we’re moving toward is not necessarily ScreenSpiffer as a product but ScreenSpiffer as a brand,” Allen said.
Nate Bonham studied visual arts with a minor in business; Keith Allen studied manufacturing engineering, and Joe Blank studied business management. Their combined backgrounds gave these BYU graduates a perfect foundation for starting their business.
“When we are brainstorming, we each come with a different perspective,” Blank said. “We all find ways to add tidbits in from our backgrounds and majors.”
The BYU graduates are in the process of getting a patent and brainstorming for future product lines, specifically something geared for women. The company currently sells ties with the ScreenSpiffer already attached, but they plan to create a purse attachment option for women.
Within the last month the partners launched their website, screenspiffer.com, and started utilizing social media to advance their marketing efforts. They also have plans for a Kickstarter to fund marketing and product development.
“Networking has been insanely valuable,” Allen said. “If I hadn’t started or said anything about my company, then the balls wouldn’t have started rolling.”
Allen, Blank and Bonham are grateful for the background and knowledge they gained at BYU. Their advice for students who are also entrepreneurs is to gain as much knowledge as they can while in school and to make connections that may be valuable down the road.
“Pay attention,” Blank said. “The stuff that you’re learning in class is very applicable in the real world.”
The graduates credit their success with ScreenSpiffer to working hard and getting some help along the way.
“Don’t be afraid to find a mentor,” Blank said, “someone who has gone through the process of developing a business before, to reach out to them and ask for advice.”