TL; DR: Bluelounge, founded in 1999, is an international design studio focused on solving modern problems through well-designed products. One of its most popular products, CableBox, gives consumers a way to conceal unruly cables and power strips in the office, at home, or anywhere that needs a little tidying up. Moving forward, Bluelounge, now under the Advantus umbrella, will use its customer-first approach to expand its product portfolio with even more tech organization options.
Despite the promise of wireless technology, our modern lives remain wrapped up in a jungle of cords. For the type-A personalities among us, these tangles are a daily nuisance, serving as both eyesores and dust traps.
If you don’t want to surrender your phones, TVs, computers, and IoT gadgets in the name of organization, cable management boxes are a great solution. Products like Bluelounge’s CableBox offer a safe and secure way to wrangle cords, both eliminating clutter and keeping them away from children, pets, and vacuums.
And they’re easy to use. With CableBox, there’s no need to unplug your surge protector or power strip — just place everything inside, run your cables through the two outlets, and snap on the lid. Rubber feet on the bottom on the system keep it from slipping, while flame-retardant plastic provides peace of mind.
“We have been constantly told that the world will be wireless, yet all wireless chargers come with a cable to plug into a charger — which is then plugged into a surge protector, which is then plugged into the wall,” said Dominic Symons, Founder & Product Designer at Bluelounge. “We have yet to see a truly wireless world, and I think it will still be a while until that happens.”
While we wait, the designers at Bluelounge will be busy adding to the company’s lineup of clever products that solve everyday problems through design, from cable management tools and straps to stands, bags, and even desks created specifically for electronic devices.
Taming the Cable Takeover Since the Pre-iPod Era
Dominic and Melissa Sunjaya, both designers, founded Bluelounge in 1999 as a creative firm providing graphic design, brand strategy, and consulting services for clients worldwide.
Bluelounge launched before iPhones — or even iPods — began cluttering up desks with their dirt-grabbing white charging cables. When the company began designing products of its own, Dominic was determined to solve modern problems through elegant and sophisticated design.
“The goal was to provide cable management solutions that you could be proud of and have on display. At that time, all cable management was ugly industrial ‘under the desk’ solutions,” Dominic said. “We decided to bring it ‘on the desk.’”
The boxes, initially released in black and white versions, were designed to enhance the decor of a room, rather than distract from it. In 2018, Bluelounge introduced two new color options to fit a range of interior designs — Moonlight Blue and Light Sage.
“Color selection was key,” Dominic said. “Finding the right bold and dusty hues presented a challenge, but we’re certain that Moonlight Blue and Light Sage are the perfect shades to round out any interior space.”
Over the years, Bluelounge’s practical and beautifully designed products have earned numerous international awards for the company, which is headquartered in Singapore with creative studios and R&D divisions in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Pasadena, California.
These include the Red Dot Design Awards and iF International Forum Design Awards in Germany, Japan’s Good Design Awards, and Green Good Design Awards and Spark Design & Architecture Awards in the United States.
Brand-Agnostic, Everyday Staples with Long Shelf Lives
Too often in the hardware world do we invest in something just to have it phased out in a year or two. Fortunately, Bluelounge doesn’t adhere to that type of mentality in product design and development.
Instead, the company wants customers to feel confident that they are spending their hard-earned dollars wisely.
“We believe Bluelounge products should have a minimum 5-10 year shelf life,” Dominic said. “Bluelounge does not make device-specific products that are obsolete in nine months. This is a sound concept, both ecologically and business-wise.”
Customers seem to agree.
“I purchased two about a year ago and still really love them,” said U.S. customer Melissa in a review on the Bluelounge site. “They look really nice, especially compared to the mess of cords I had before, and fit well in the spaces I wanted to use them in.”
The designers at Bluelounge also strive to create products, such as CableBox and CableDrops, that will become staples in customers’ daily lives. CableDrops can be affixed to desks, walls, and nightstands to keep cables in place with a simple peel and stick application.
Customers can choose from the original CableDrop, designed for large cables such as Thunderbolt and Apple 30-pin connectors, or the smaller CableDrop Mini, made for smaller cables like the Apple Lightning or Micro-USB cable.
“The underlying tenet for all of our products is that they should be extremely useful and beautiful but unassuming,” Dominic said.
A Customer-First Approach to Innovation
In early 2018, Bluelounge was acquired by Advantus Corp., a producer of consumer, commercial, and durable goods in Jacksonville, Florida. Dominic continues to provide creative direction for the brand in designing practical, relatable products fueled by imagination.
Since 1988, Advantus has acquired more than 30 companies and builds upon the strengths of their product lines via integration with the Advantus OS.
“Advantus is a customer-centric company that focuses on growth by acquisition,” said Rana Coggins, VP of Sales Administration & Marketing at Advantus. “Our number one goal is to continue to diversify our business and satisfy our customers’ needs. Each acquisition is unique, and our team spends countless hours ensuring all essential products, people, and processes are intact to continue to meet customer expectations and eventually grow that brand or line.”
Rana said the company’s key to success is simple. “Stay focused on the customer,” she said. “Look for companies that will complement our product lines. Fold in key assets. Continue to make great products. Repeat.”
Dominic told us that, when it comes to internal development, the process and discussions are based around adapting to consumer needs.
“Listening to customer feedback and the latest trends always factor into our decisions — but the most difficult part of the process is finding out which trend or shift in consumer behavior leads to the need for a new product type,” he said.
Expanding the Advantus Product Portfolio
As for what the future holds, Rana told us that the sole purpose of the Bluelounge acquisition was to broaden the Advantus product portfolio and better serve customers.
“The Bluelounge family of products complements our organizational lines beautifully,” she said. “They are simple, intelligent, problem-solving solutions.”
In the meantime, Dominic will continue to create effortless solutions for streamlining modern life.
“Dominic, Bluelounge’s founder and designer, continues to work on product development year-round, so there is always something on the horizon — like our Cable Ties, a simple hook and loop strap with a twist,” Rana said. “Visit our site Bluelounge.com for new updates.”