New Marley venture

Published: Sunday | July 31, 2011 Comments 0
Rohan Marley - File
Rohan Marley - File

The House of Marley, a United States-based audio-electronic company with Rohan Marley as a director, will start trading in August - including the more than J$40,000 flagship headphone. The company, located in Michigan is the second US company directed by Marley, the son of reggae icon Bob Marley.

It follows the recent trend of pop-artiste branded headphones led by US rapper Dr Dre.

A reliance on wood, organic components and recycled plastics, separates House of Marley headphones from the typical premium brand, the company argues.

The company has been previewing its product line across the US, in anticipation of its mid-August release.

House of Marley will initially pitch its headphones to edgy sports and music enthusiasts, based on its planned distribution in music, street, ski, skate and surf shops.

"We've been working tirelessly since we introduced The House of Marley at the Consumer Electronics Show and MAGIC trade show earlier this year, to finalise a launch collection that Bob and his family would be proud to call their own," said general manager, Don Inmon, in a release posted on the House of Marley home page.

There is no data on its financials or business plan, and mailed queries by Sunday Business sent over a month ago to the House of Marley, were unanswered up to press time.

The first products from The House of Marley feature more than 50 different varieties of in-ear and over-ear headphones set for August 15 shipment to retailers, stated the company website.

Additional products, including docks for hand-held devices, will become available before year end, it added. The House of Marley said it adheres to the Marley-family core values: equality, unity, authenticity, sustainability and charity.

Marley is comprised of three collections - Jammin', Freedom, and Destiny - and features passive noise-cancelling in-ear headphones, over-ear headphones, docking stations, speakers and boom boxes, said the release.

Suggested retail prices range from US$29.99 (J$2,570) to US$499.99 (J$43,000), "offering superior audio products for 'young gongs' to 'conscious connoisseurs'," the company said.

The emphasis on the environment is reflected in its manufacturing and sales practices, it stated.

"We're holding ourselves to the toughest standards. Our products are made from the highest standard for wood and forest products. We also use recyclable aluminums and plastics. These kinds of standards are held for all of our products ... Our search for the highest-quality, lowest environmentally impactful materials the world has to offer, will always continue. That way, our children, and our children's children, can feel the joy of a beautiful Earth, just like we do," stated the company on its home page.

Rohan Marley is also the chairman of Jammin Java Corp, a debt-ridden coffee start-up, which last month announced it would embark on an ambitious marketing-and-distribution campaign costing nearly US$600,000 (J$51 million) over the next 12 months.

The projections require US$250,000 (J$21.5 million) for general and administrative expenses and US$345,000 (J$29.7 million) for marketing and advertising expenses, according to financials posted last week on the company's website.

These projections are significant for the US-listed company, which only recently started booking revenues and recorded a net loss of US$181,000 (J$15.5 million) for its April quarter, or seven times worse than year-earlier levels.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com

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