X-Stand

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Standing desks have gained popularity over the past few years as desk-workers try to live more active and less sedentary lifestyles. But most desks can cost hundreds of dollars and limit where you work. 
 
Now there’s an affordable and local option. Meet X-Stand. 
 
Weighing in at 3 lbs, X-Stand is a portable, adjustable standing desk that costs less than $100. The Charlotte-based startup surpassed its Kickstarter goal of $5,000 on August 18, just a week into its campaign. Now, customers can buy X-Stand through its site and on Amazon starting at $89. 
 
X-Stand’s founders had a few non-negotiables in mind when they designed the desk: 
  • It had to be made in the United States. 
  • It had to be environmentally friendly. 
  • It had to be flexible. 
We wanted to keep it really, really simple,” co-founder Adriana McLane says. “We just tried to balance simplicity with some added functionality to the product.” 
 
The co-founders, two of whom are still working full-time in corporate jobs, started working on X-Stand in April 2015. McLane is a growth strategist who has consulted with startups and others for the past three years. Product development and engaging customers is her specialty—she previously worked in business development and marketing roles at Newell Rubbermaid. McLane’s co-founders have extensive experience in industrial design, sourcing and supply chain operations. 
 

But the team struggled with a few things before developing the finished product: 

  1. They had to balance functionality with portability. It was important that it be both easy to transport and dual-positioning so that it could work in a wide variety of environments. 
  2. The second main obstacle was hitting the right price point while using sustainable products. 
The result is two 12 x 12 inch bamboo pieces that can lay flat for transport and storage, but slide together to create a sturdy work surface. X-Stand can be positioned two different ways—shorter or taller depending on the table height and the user’s height. 

X-Stand folded up
Credit: X-Stand
I tried out X-Stand, and while the flexibility is great, it can be tricky for a tall person (I’m 6’0”) to find a comfortable position even when it’s at the tallest vertical height. But once I found a table that was an appropriate height for me, X-Stand felt great. 
 
The product is made at a manufacturing plant in Georgia, but McLane and her co-founders understand the opportunity cost of staying local. 
 
“That’s a tough thing because we definitely wanted to (stay in the U.S.), but it does come at a price,” McLane says. “If we were to make it in China, our price point would be lower.” 
 
The company hasn’t done any mass production runs yet, but now that X-Stand surpassed its Kickstarter goal, the team will ramp up production, McLane says. 

Credit: X-Stand via Kickstarter

Who will use X-Stand?  

X-Stand is targeting people who work in a variety of locations, mostly from their laptop. Those people include individuals at coworking spaces, freelancers, writers, entrepreneurs, etc. 
 
“It can’t be these people who are IT people who have a lot of screens, or graphic design people who use their mouse all the time,” McLane says. She uses it for presentations and seminars as well. 
 
“What’s really good about this Kickstarter opportunity is before you can focus in on a target, you get to understand who it’s going to resonate most with,” McLane says. 
 
That’s why the team is also looking into how to market to college students who are always on the go. 
 

Early backers 

For $75, X-Stand offered personalized stands for its early customers on Kickstarter. They could get their logos or initials engraved. In the future, X-Stand wants to offer different wood stain options so customers can personalize their product even more. 
 
McLane says sales will mostly happen online, at least for now. 
 
“If we could go in retail that would be great, but our primary focus is online,” McLane says. “We want to stay as close to our customers as possible so we can evolve and grow with their needs.” 
 
For McLane, X-Stand means helping people do work they love the way they want to.