Startup Spotlight: The Wynwood Coloring Book
Originally published by Miami Herald here.
The Wynwood Coloring Book is a coloring book for adults inspired by the world famous street art of Wynwood. A second edition is planned, as well as a broader book featuring street artists from throughout the U.S.
Company name: The Wynwood Coloring Book, by AimfulMedia
Headquarters: MADE at the Citadel, 8325 NE Second Ave., Miami
Concept: The Wynwood Coloring Book is a coloring book for adults inspired by the world famous street art of Wynwood.
Story: As an entrepreneur, Diego Orlandini (pictured above) has always been passionate about ideas that are socially responsible and community-oriented and that deepen the human experience. He admires TOMS Shoes and similar companies that bring tangible positive social impact to their business models.
“Last year, when I was stressed trying to build AimfulMedia and writing a novel, my girlfriend at the time introduced me to a coloring book for adults. We imagined how cool it could be to color the murals of the city, and I saw that as the opportunity to put all my passions into one single project,” Orlandini said. Orlandini, a yoga enthusiast who traveled to India this summer, also discovered firsthand what research has shown to be true: Coloring can be a “mindful” way of relaxing and focusing.
Orlandini partnered with a number of Wynwood artists, and with the help of that community, the first edition of the $25 coloring book published in April. The 64-page book, made with high-quality environmentally friendly wood-free paper, features the work of 43 street artists, including Alex Senna, Mijares and Patch Whisky and includes a directory with information about each artist and work of art.
“The Wynwood Coloring Book is a lot of things. It’s a tool for mindfulness, to help people take a break from the hustle and remember a simpler time. It’s a souvenir for visitors who want to bring home a part of this place. And it’s a time capsule, capturing Wynwood at a pivotal moment in its young life, preserving today’s art long after it is painted over to make way for a new mural,” The New Tropic wrote earlier this year about the book.
The first printing of the Wynwood Coloring Book sold out in June and a second printing is nearly sold out. There will be one more printing before the next edition of Wynwood Coloring Book comes out featuring a new set of street artists. About 5,000 copies have been sold so far.
Orlandini also has plans to expand beyond Wynwood: “We are now embarking on the next bigger, larger project: A coloring book featuring over 100 artists around the country and a buy-one, give-one initiative that will come with it. For every book sold, we will place a textbook in the hands of schoolchildren in the developing world.”
Orlandini said he is working on a prototype for the national book now and will put out a call to artists in January.
Founded: 2015 (first book in 2016)
Management team: Diego Orlandini
Financing: $5,000 via a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Hoping to raise $50,000 for a national project.
Recent milestones reached: The Wynwood Coloring Book is now available at Miami International Airport, Books & Books, several museum gift shops including PAMM, and top retailers in Wynwood, including The Wynwood Walls Shop, Glotman, Frangipani and Wynwood Letterpress. Faber-Castell approached the company and together they launched a Wynwood Coloring Book colored pencil set to accompany the book. The startup organized a coloring party at the Miami Book Fair that entertained hundreds of attendees, adults and children alike.
Biggest startup challenge: “Not having a mentor to guide me through the process was the biggest challenge,” Orlandini said. “I’m still looking for one!”
Next step: A coloring book with 100-plus artists and their street art from around the country and a buy one, give one program (for every book sold, the company will give a textbook to schoolchildren in the developing world). “Doing something like this has been a dream of mine since my college years,” he said.
Strategy for next step: With the rapid experience, important connections and growing audience as a result of The Wynwood Coloring Book, the company will implement the same lean process used to create this book, but at a much larger scale.