Originally published at: https://community.envato.com/interview-power-elite-stylemixthemes/
International powerhouse StylemixThemes are one of Envato’s newest Power Elite authors. We asked them a few questions about their team, how they got started, and their tips for upcoming authors. These answers have been edited foro clarity. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?Hi! We are StylemixThemes and we have dedicated team members located in the United States, Germany and Russia. We are very pleased to have finally crossed the $1 million milestone and to have joined the other Power Elite authors - this is something we have strived very hard for, from the beginning.
Tell us one thing about you no one else knows?Beyond our WordPress theme development, we have several other business ventures:
- Bimiboo LLC - Development of mobile apps for both iOS and Android for kids and toddlers
- StylemixWeb - websites building, customization and design services
Is there anything unusual or special about how you work?We are a multi-cultural team, which we consider a big advantage for developing themes. While working on a new theme, everyone gets to have their say before it gets submitted. Everyone has their own view and taste/style in terms of design, typography, etc. So we share comments, discuss and improve our work before sending it for review, which means lots of different viewpoints and style choices are considered - a StyleMixTheme by name, and by Style Mixed by nature!
The nationality, location and surrounding is a very important factor of human development and understanding of beauty, usability and design. Comparing all opinions we create what we think is the ultimate item, that people from all over the world find attractive and useful.
Is there anything unusual or noteworthy about your life experience?We started creating websites in 2001 and founded Stylemix LLC. From 2008 we started creating custom websites with WordPress.
In 2010 we found ThemeForest and were amazed to see authors selling more than 200 copies a week. We asked ourselves - can we create a stunning WordPress theme? Yes, we can! So let’s get to it!
We created our first WordPress template, and got hard-rejected in 2011. What for? It was heart breaking at first - we had vast experience creating custom websites for clients with stunning designs. But we kept working at it, and after several rejections, we got a soft-rejection. That was a huge step forward!
We thought hmm…ThemeForest reviewers didn’t like the design we submitted, they want to see high-level themes with a perfect UI, which can suit thousands of buyers. We realized that our mistake was that we tried to create a theme as a single website for a single customer, which was difficult to edit via the WordPress panel. It was a huge learning curve, and we were determined to get past it.
Then we got our first WordPress theme ‘Flexfolio’ approved! Once we released other themes, we removed ‘Flexfolio’ though, because it wasn’t user-friendly and the theme options editor was not flexible. It took a lot of time, hard work and commitment to re-think the design for all our future themes.
Why are you doing what you are doing? What do you love about it?We love creating custom websites from the ground up for customers. You only need to create awesome products, improve and support them. That is what we like the most: that creating & selling our own products is a constant source of satisfaction. That drive to try and create something new and compelling for our customers is what keeps us going on a daily basis!
What's your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?Well, we have a football WordPress theme Champion. And I remember a customer, who purchased Champion theme and created the official football association website of Trinidad & Tobago.
That was an amazing feeling! Seeing people from all around the world deciding to use your theme to create official websites. We helped that customer (it was a local agency) to install and slightly customize the theme - seeing that come to fruition just blew us away!
What's the most challenging thing about your work?
Steve Jobs said “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” This is the most challenging thing in any business. There is a constant income from ThemeForest, but that doesn’t mean we should stop creating awesome features, themes and products.
We always try to concentrate on our products, think of improvements, start from the ground up with a clear mind, provide professional support on time and value our customers.
Name a few people who inspire you and why?
Elon Musk (founder of Tesla, Space X) is an IT guy with engineering skills, who is changing the world with revolutionary ideas. Steve Jobs left the spirit of enthusiasm and the will to strive for perfection. These two guys really inspire us.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
Never copy - don’t even think of copying anything from Top Sellers. Read the book Zero to One by Peter Thiel and try to create revolutionary things, new features, and integrate those into your themes, plugins and products.
What do you do to market your files?That was my question to the guys from Themeco, who created X-theme :) I thought they had the secret recipe of successful marketing, but got the answer "Google Adwords, Banners, Paid reviews." We've used these tactics and continue to do so. But we're still in search of the ultimate marketing tips and tricks!
Apart from yourself, who is your favourite marketplace author, and why do you like them?It’s theMOLITOR - he is the one who inspired us to start with micro-niche themes. As you can see in our portfolio, we started publishing our first themes in the Non For Profit category, which was the right decision to establish a predictable business.
What do you do in your spare time?We love playing games! For a quick timeout we play FIFA on PS4, Counter-Strike GO, DOTA2 :)
How do you feel about your achievement?We couldn't have done it without our amazingly professional and reliable team members. Many thanks to them all:
- Alisher Samatov - Senior Web Designer
- Said Sharipov - Web Designer
- Timur Sabirov - Senior Front-End Developer
- Baxter Khaydarov - Senior Support Officer
- Alisher Mamatov - Support Officer
- Farhod Yusupov - Senior Back-End Developer
- Igor Ligay - Co-founder of Stylemix LLC and Product Manager at ‘StylemixThemes’