A Message from our CEO: Why you will LOVE Cricut Explore

by Ashish Arora | Feb 11, 2014

I have to tell you, it is so much fun to be part of this DIY industry because of the creativity and passion that our consumers and our partners bring to this industry. I find myself spending time with my wife hanging out in Jo-Ann Stores, Michael's, Paper Source, Anthropologie—heading to stores I never would have gone before—all for inspiration and to witness the incredible power of creativity and incredible effort. We visit these stores so often my wife likes to even call me her “girlfriend.”

 

After joining Cricut in February of 2012, there has been tremendous effort to move forward the technology that our brand is known for. I am honored to have been a part of the team that knew change was not only necessary, but welcomed the challenge of redefining the Cricut brand.

 

These last 18 months have been a period of awesome change for Cricut and our brand. We are a new company, with a new vision and new direction. We have been hyper-focused on three areas that we know we can make a huge impact on:

  1. Understanding craft and DIY consumers
  2. Expanding to DIY lifestyle
  3. Connecting inspiration to creation

But we could not merely change Cricut. We had to redefine what Cricut meant to consumers. We invested in figuring out how people were creating, and what direct impact we could have if we wanted to create real, positive change.

There was a missing piece… A tool was needed to pave the way for reinvention of the DIY category. And we knew we were on to something with Cricut Explore.

This is a VERY exciting time in the DIY and crafting industry.  There is so much change happening. Etsy has changed the way people buy and sell handmade. Pinterest has changed how people get inspired. Cricut will change the way people are inspired to make handmade helping people get from inspiration to creation, in just a few clicks.

What if we could enable creativity with the simple click of a button?! Thirty-five million people in the United States are actively engaged in creation- doing things such as Jewelry making, Home Décor, DIY Fashion, Quilting, Paper Crafting, Scrap Booking and so much more. 

We have talked to hundreds of DIYers. We have gone into some of their homes to watch them make projects.

As we reflected on their creative process, we realized that there are things that people enjoy doing such as exploring ideas, designing, and assembling the final project. And there are other things that are critical but they are not emotionally invested in it.

One good example of that is cutting.  It is considered as one of the more necessary evils and/or skills when it comes to creating things by hand… But it not very emotional, and it is not always easy.

Today’s “easy” cutting solutions are not all that easy. There is the scissor, which is hard, not very precise and takes a long time. Then you have punches or die cuts that are very simple and precise. But, they are not very versatile. They don’t cut many different materials. To cut different sizes, you need different punches, which can become quite expensive over the years. For example, a DIYer who creates a unique project each month will invest twice as much with punches as on electronic cutting machine. And you end up collecting heaps of them. It’s just UNBELIEVABLE.

Lastly, you have electronic cutting machines. We pioneered this category–selling more than 3 million Cricut machines since 2007. Electronic cutting machines are very versatile but they have not been that easy. They are neither easy to learn nor easy to use. And you practically need a PhD in crafting.

To add to the difficult and cumbersome user experience, everything out there on the market is just so… ugly.

But what if that changed, too? Imagine if you could combine the simplicity of a manual die-cut with the versatility of the electronic cutting machine. We wanted to make a system that was incredibly easy, extremely versatile and very precise. It had to be as beautiful as it was functional, but it also had to be easy to use.

We have spent the last 18 months agonizing over every detail of this product. And we have created a product that will be an appliance that can sit anywhere in your home to get daily use from each and every member of your family.

I am very proud to present to you Cricut Explore- the World’s Easiest Design-and-Cut System.

In order to expand from scrapbooking to DIY, we wanted to create a product that cut a large variety of materials – way beyond paper.  And we wanted to make it easy.

Today’s machines do allow you to cut some materials, but it is cumbersome. You need to specify pressure, speed, and depth for each material. This process is not only the furthest thing from enjoyable, but it is not an action you perform with any other device that you own. That means it isn’t natural. It isn’t something you even remember how to do. But, you can turn a dial.

Cricut Explore features a beautifully designed metal dial – we are calling it our Smart Set Dial. If you want to cut Vinyl, you just turn the dial to Vinyl. Similarly, you can turn the dial to Iron-On if you want to cut iron-on. But you aren’t limited to the materials on the dial, the custom settings allows you to cut all kinds of materials.

As our dear friend and partner Anna Griffin will tell you, more is always more; we added a dual head carriage to our Cut Smart technology.  One side contains the blade and the other a pen or scoring stylus -- so you can either cut & write or cut & score -- in one easy step.

To deliver the best cutting experience, we tested hundreds of blades in different materials. In the end, we chose a German Carbide blade that delivers precision as well as a long life. And cuts through many materials you never dreamed possible.

We have tested this machine in every way. We have baked them, frozen them, shook them. In all, over 5,000 hours of standardized testing across hundreds of machines to ensure the cut accuracy of Cricut Explore.

 

Cricut Explore Product Design

I make a personal promise to you that every detail of this machine has been obsessed over. Every desirable quality we initially decided we wanted included with the launch of Cricut Explore was personally, meticulously and even maniacally managed by me and my team. For example, I couldn’t sleep until I knew that your family could sleep while you were enjoying your time with Cricut Explore. Finally, after many sleepless hours spent by our wonderful engineering team, these machines are super quiet. Thirty percent of women do projects after 9 pm and 50% after 6pm, all while other members of their family are watching TV or doing homework. We wanted to make Explore quieter, and we did.

 

We wanted to make Explore easy to use, and we did.

We wanted to make Explore versatile, and we did.

We wanted to make Explore precise, and we did.

 
We can’t wait to see what new things you create with the world’s newest and easiest Design-and-Cut system, Cricut Explore.

 

Cheers,

Ashish Arora