David Preiss and Javier Santana didn’t set out to change the face of high fidelity portable audio when they decided to quit their jobs and open their own online marketplace in 2012. They went about decorating their new offices in the old-meets-new aesthetic they both enjoyed. They fashioned an immense conference table using old plumbing pipes and reclaimed barn wood. They repurposed antique sewing tables as work stations, the heavy iron wheels still attached.
But what caught visitors’ attention again and again was the custom sound system Preiss and Santana had built, which featured speakers nestled inside two 1950s-era suitcases. It was only after multiple people asked if their suitcase speakers were for sale that the pair realized they had a potential business on their hands.
After months of development the eventual result was Curious Provisions’ first generation Thumper. It was an embodiment of Preiss and Santana’s shared design aesthetic, integrating modern high fidelity technology with the quality midcentury workmanship they both prized: a unique, portable, vintage fashion statement that thumped. As proud as Preiss and Santana were of their new creations, they were amazed at the responses they garnered. Customers would take one look at a Thumper and insist on buying it on the spot. Curious Provisions was clearly tapping into an unmet desire in the marketplace.
From a consumer’s perspective this is hardly surprising. In recent years speaker designs have tended towards ever-more streamlined, minimal, and conservative styling – but Thumpers are emphatically the opposite: they’re attention-grabbers. Rather than blending in with their surroundings, Thumpers naturally serve as decorative centerpieces. And because they’re handmade, no two Thumpers are alike. In a mass-produced world where every gadget is identical, customers quickly form an emotional attachment to these one-of-a-kind boomboxes – their sumptuous leatherette, travel-worn fabric, and solid construction – not to mention the history of the cases themselves.
Hard though it may be to believe, Thumpers sound at least as great as they look, if not better. Each and every case is custom tuned to exacting audiophile specifications, ensuring crisp highs, vibrant mids, and booming, thumping lows that have to be heard in person to be believed. Now in their fourth iteration, they feature much longer lithium-ion battery life (as much as 10 hours), Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, and improved efficiency and frequency response for even higher quality playback.
Russell Fry, the third partner at Curious Provisions, immediately recognized the Thumpers’ immense potential and made it his mission to extend Curious Provisions’ reach. Together, the team met with considerable success, getting Thumpers into the hands of such world-famous influencers as Shaquille O’Neal, DJ Kaskade, Cee-Lo Green, and Bruno Mars, who will be performing at this year’s Superbowl.
Fry also spearheaded a major deal with the Gansevoort Hotel Group, coordinating the installation of custom-built Thumper Suitcase Boombox in each of the 187 rooms at the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC, a luxury hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. With their tastefully appointed, travel-minded design, the Thumpers are a natural compliment to the hotel's décor.