Local Veterans Help Make These Hockey Themed iPhone Cases

By Noelle Sciarini on July 3rd, 2014 / Comments

Ever wonder what happens to broken hockey sticks? Terry Johnson asked himself the same question, and created a business around it. Now you can take a little bit of hockey and Detroit with you wherever you go with the Original Stix phone cases. Each case is custom made from authentic hockey stick remnants, collected from over 40 professional and NCAA teams.

Now the owner and CEO, Johnson came up with the idea for the unique product line by drawing from childhood memories and an interest in repurposed items, such as trading cards with bits of jersey or a belt made from a seat belt buckle or a table made of broken hockey sticks.

“I always thought these products were more interesting than regular trading cards, or regular belts or tables,” Johnson said. “The idea really came together when I saw an iPad case carved out of wood…and eventually it just clicked, and I shared the idea with a few close friends who felt that we were on to something.”

Johnson and the rest of his team decided that smartphone cases didn’t have to be generic pieces of plastic. “If our cases make people think of their favorite sport every time they reach for their phone, we’ve accomplished our goal.”

Not only do these cases repurpose materials that might otherwise be thrown away, but the manner in which they are made also gives back to the community. Original Stix teamed up with Osirius Group, a custom automotive engineering firm in Detroit, to produce the cases with a group of disabled war veterans. The group was instrumental in helping this young entrepreneur get started.

“We feel a great sense of pride when we tell people we will be giving these disabled war veterans a chance to be productive members of society,” Johnson said. “We owe our freedom to heroes like them. We’re just happy we can help out.”

The Detroit based startup has sold over 2,000 units since their soft launch just a couple months ago. Most of the feedback has been positive.

You can find these cases online or in these stores, and there are plans to continue adding more stores throughout the summer. Only iPhone 5/iPhone 5S cases are available currently, but the company is developing designs for tablets and other smart devices based on demand from customers.

For now, Johnson is focused on getting word out about the phone cases and continuing to work in Detroit.

“The fact of the matter is that we’re still Hockeytown, home to the most successful American hockey team of all time. We’re still the Motor City, home to the Big Three and American industry. As a hockey-themed product designed and produced by automotive engineers, the choice was obvious.”

For more information about Original Stix, please visit their website. Would you buy one of these Made in Detroit hockey cases?

About the Author

Noelle Sciarini

Noelle Sciarini is a recent graduate from Michigan State University. Now an Ann Arbor resident, she fills her spare time with reading, writing, and the occasional road race. Find her on Twitter: @NoelleSci.