Many descriptions could be used to define the success of Fracture — proprietary process owner and industry leader; explosive growth from 11 to 40 employees over the last 4 years; two Gainesville facilities including one that is 5,300-square-feet; more than 197,000 orders shipped worldwide and being carbon-neutral.
Innovation and double digit growth for a Gainesville start-up is not that unusual these days. What is unique is a company whose manufacturing process is shifting the way consumers display their favorite photographs with an on-demand photo-to-glass printing process, and doing so while accepting environmental responsibility and making this value a key part of their daily operations.
“From the very beginning, Fracture’s founders have sought to weave their shared value of environmental responsibility into everything we do,” said Herb Jones, chief marketing officer for Fracture.
Jones cited small efforts like modern, efficient dryers instead of paper towels in restrooms and efficient lighting throughout the offices, as well major manufacturing equipment purchases to conserve energy in the manufacturing process.
“It’s been amazing to me to see the incredible optimizations we’ve made in our manufacturing processes,” commented Jones. “In the past three years we have increased factory output significantly all while championing the belief that we should tread lightly on the earth.”
In 2013, Fracture, along with other local businesses, partnered with We Are Neutral, a non-profit located in Gainesville. According to We Are Neutral, their mission is “to remind everyone that we are all innately creative and resourceful earth-givers.” The group works with individuals and businesses to not only measure their carbon footprint, but to offer solutions for reducing it and opportunities to offset it.
A carbon footprint can be described as a scientific measurement of how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere from a set of particular activities. Along with We Are Neutral, Fracture has helped plant more than 1,500 longleaf pine trees in and around Gainesville, and has participated in the recycling of more than 35,000 pounds of glass.
But that’s not where Fracture’s environmental commitment ends. A key part of the customer experience that Fracture has created is the final presentation of the custom-made product. If the shipment of personal photographs is not a customer-sensitive task to begin with, imagine the challenges facing Fracture when shipping them on glass. But again, Fracture took their commitment to company values and passion for a great customer experience to a new level.
According to Jones, Fracture’s packaging reduces all unnecessary paper, has absolutely no plastic and instead of the expected air pillows or bubble wrap actually “floats” the Fracture print in the middle of the shipping box. This innovative process focuses on protecting and securing the corners of the glass and eliminates the need for any added contents that create waste for the customer.
“From the simplicity of our mobile site to the receipt of the product, we want the customer to be excited about their handcrafted product,” he added. “The unboxing experience is a key part of the whole customer experience provided by Fracture.”
According to Fracture CEO Abhi Lokesh, “The world is an incredible place, and it’s the canvas upon which our stories and memories are created. We take it upon ourselves to be as responsible and considerate to our environment as possible – ecologically, socially and fiscally.”
Fracture’s commitment extends beyond the surrounding Gainesville area. For the past three years, the company has also worked with Trees for the Future, a global organization focusing on the planting of trees as an avenue to “give families the ability to transition from unsustainable farming techniques to a Forest Garden System.” According to the organization, the Forest Garden Program involves the planting of selected types of trees over a distinct time period resulting in a direct impact to families with sustainable food sources, the ability to feed livestock, and to have products to sell and wood for fuel.
In celebration of Earth Day 2017, 10 percent of all proceeds from sales the weekend of April 22 were donated by Fracture to Trees for Future Growth (trees.org). That’s just one more way Fracture is putting their passion to work, right from Gainesville.
By Kathryn Pizzurro