Nadir Ali


Nadir + 3andathird

My idea for a business pretty much started up accidentally. In early 2011, the laptop I was using took a fall and met an untimely death (RIP). Needing a replacement, I decided to buy my first Macbook. Shortly after getting it, I began the hunt for a cool decal to customize my Mac and make it my own. Along the way I found many decals for other cities but I couldn’t find any love for my hometown. It was about this time that the overly proud Detroiter in me kicked in and decided that instead of buying something generic or waiting around for someone to make something Detroit related, I would do it myself.

I started out with a single product: a decal I made of the Spirit of Detroit holding up the Apple logo. Sales started off somewhat slow as I was trying to get the word out, but then I gained a bit of luck as Mark W. Smith, then of the Detroit Free Press and currently with the USA Today, bought one of my decals and included it in a piece in the Free Press documenting his 7 favorite tech items. That article really did wonders in helping to get the word out on 3andathird. In the weeks and months following I was able to grow my product lineup on my website and help get my product into many local retailers. With those mini successes, I felt that the potential was there for more growth, which is about the same time I heard about the Build class and Build Institute.

Building His Business

Having a background in design, I wasn’t familiar with many of the essentials that one needs to know when trying to start or help grow a business. Build has been fantastic in helping to make us aware of the critical things that one needs to look out for, and how to prepare us so that we’re ready when making that next step. The fellow Build participants have been tremendous resources as well. The encouragement that the group gives each other, and the way that everyone is willing to refer someone to someone they think may be of help has been wonderful. With the help of Build I feel more confident then ever that I’ll be able to help grow my business and really take it to the next level.