Living Green for July 26, 2012

Recycling the boom

An unfortunate camping trip marred by rain and a broken boombox helped to form the foundation for a unique company with the purpose of repurposing portable sound systems.

DomeCandy Lab, founded in 2011, is a North Myrtle Beach-based creative electronics company that takes vintage suitcases and speakers and creates portable sound systems. All of DomeCandy’s products are built using recycled materials that come from pretty much anywhere, such as friends, family thrift stores, eBay, and Craigslist. DomeCandy includes the founding partners, Seth “Mr. Spark” Alcorace and Bobby “Dr. XactO” Williams, as well as Promotions Director Kelsey Johnson and Writer Matt Reid.

“A big problem we see today is our throw-away society,” said Alcorace, in a press release from the company. “In our design, we set out to help change that.”

During that fateful camping trip, Williams’ boombox broke and although that was unfortunate, it resulted in a revolutionary idea. In an attempt to fix the broken system, Alcorace realized two things - they aren’t made to be fixed and they’re pretty simple in design, so he decided to build one himself. After building the first repurposed boombox, Williams and Alcorace couldn’t stop. They thought about how they could make the next one better and it’s what they continue to strive for. Of course since nothing lasts forever, they have designed their products to involve interchangeable parts which are easily replaced.

After coming up with lots of names, DomeCandy as the name of the company ended up sticking because it was catchy and they simply liked it. “Dome gives reference to your head and the shapes of speakers, and Candy is pretty self-explanatory,” said Alcorace in an e-mail to me. “We wanted it to be all-encompassing, because they sound great, and are aesthetically pleasing.”

Early sales of DomeCandy’s boomboxes started by word of mouth. They’ve sold and shipped cases as far away as New Jersey. Each one is equipped with a jack for an iPod or MP3 player and they use D Class amplifiers, so it provides the max power and efficiency in a small package without producing heat. Each boombox also uses 12V rechargeable batteries.

On the company’s Web site it states: “We are entering a fascinating time in the realm of DIY (Do It Yourself). Just think, if we could stop mass production and standardization of portable sound, we could create a world where along with snowflakes, no two boomboxes would be alike.” So, since no two boomboxes are alike in style or design, they name each one and create stories for each one, which adds another dimension to the product. “Essentially, what we’re doing is giving them a new life in hopes their story will be shared,” said Alcorace. A custom green case built this summer is named The LilyPond and the story it includes: “a traveling band of misfit frog musicians were putting up a concert for all of the fellow frogs in the pond, all of the other pads were taken up and The LilyPad was the only one available. The show was a rager, and from that night on, every time a tour comes to the pond they play The LilyPad.”

On Saturday, DomeCandy Lab will sponsor its first concert event, called “The Revolution Begins” at The Boathouse in Myrtle Beach starting at 6 p.m., with Chattanooga’s Machines Are People Too and Charlotte’s Good Nature. The event will provide exposure for DomeCandy, while raising awareness for the Surfrider Foundation, an organization that is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches. At the event, DomeCandy will sponsor a raffle to win items such as one of its unique boomboxes, artwork by Shnaz and other gear. The company will also give a 20 percent discount on purchases of its boomboxes on the day of the show. Through this event, DomeCandy hopes to broaden its market while adding to a creative culture in Myrtle Beach in supporting local artists.