AUBURN — A new product called “The Flipside” is coming, and its creators say it will put a whole new twist on personal expression for Apple iPad users.

Adaptive Designs, Inc. (ADI) is a spin-off enterprise of Refurb Supplies at 225 First Flight Drive. That’s also the base for development, marketing and online merchandising for The Flipside.

Refurb Supplies’ owner, Joseph Elichaa, and his wife, Lisa, who is general manager, are aiming for a product launch within a few months.

The Flipside offers personalized covers for iPads, but it goes twice as far as currently available covers with an innovative design that lets users display any side in a variety of positions.

Customers will select, design or modify their cover ideas at the ADI website. Using their own photos or images, the process allows unique covers “that are as personal as a hairstyle,” Lisa said.

Furthermore, it has folding legs that flip out and hold the iPad in a position like a small table. That could be useful for a group of people who want to view the screen from several sides. A handy storage compartment inside the cover adds to the functionality, she said.

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A lot of research and development has already gone into The Flipside, and Joe Elichaa said he can thank a setback in health several months ago for forcing the couple to redirect plans and take a fresh look at their goals. They had spent several years building their telecom product refurbishing business when Joe suffered a stroke in California.

Although he doesn’t go so far as to call it a “stroke of luck,” Elichaa said he realized that “everything happens for a reason.”

The stroke, as well as a downturn in the economy, forced Joe to slow down, and it was decided to focus on consumer products for Apple iPads. The lack of any iPad cover on the market fitting their vision guided “a transition period” over the past few months.

Joe and Lisa Elichaa brought the Refurb Supplies business to Auburn, operating first at the former Falcon Printing building on First Flight Drive, and later moving into the former Spectrum Printing and Graphics building just across the street.

Lisa noted that The Flipside is also a product dependent on printing, so the graphics connection continues at that corner of the industrial park.

They explained that The Flipside cover gets its name and its “wow factor” from the ability to flip back and forth quickly to whichever side you want to show. It’s slim and lightweight, and the company’s leaders say they can see the market for it, ranging from fashion-conscious college students to business people who can make their iPad cases display logos or product images. It’s also a great way for kids to display their interests through images such as space or sports, and grandparents will find it perfect for family photos.

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The company’s leaders said their Auburn location will hire several additional employees, including personnel for research and development, design and marketing.

It will not require a large production line in Auburn. The basic product, assembled and ready for printing, comes from a supplier in China. The printing will take place in Auburn on a special printer.

The image is cured under LED lights to produce a durable and flexible picture.

Joe and Lisa Elichaa said Maine has proven to be just right for development of their innovative product, and it’s their own “flip side” of lifestyle from the West Coast to the East Coast.


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