Interview With Saskia Ketz
Describe your product or service:
“Mojomox is an online logo and brand kit builder that allows startups and creators on tight budgets to create modern and professional-looking brand identities.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“We’re on a mission to equip startups with professional design knowledge in an empowering way and give them tools to easily create design assets to get them off the ground.
The Mojomox values:
Startups shouldn’t waste money on early branding. Good branding is rooted in business strategy. If you’re a company that’s just starting out, you don’t know where you’re going to end up. You’re going to change your strategy and pivot along the way, so any work you put into strong designs during the early stages really won’t be worth anything.
The ‘black dress’ theory of design: When it comes to startup branding, it’s best to strip it down to the basics—similar to a black dress: Simple enough that you can’t go wrong, but still sleek and professional, and with enough flexibility to adjust as things change for your business.
Solidify your business before you brand: If you can really understand who you are and what you’re doing, then you’ve laid the groundwork for any good design. We offer branding workbooks and provide personal guidance on the sorts of questions and priorities to focus on.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them!
“We’re a husband-and-wife team. My husband Darshan — he is a developer and successful entrepreneur. He sold two companies before: one to Facebook and one to Chegg. He’s also running a very successful casual gaming website, Solitaired.com (solitaired.com).
I’m Saskia — I used to run an agency working with Netflix and startups in NYC. I’m the designer/coder and marketer of Mojomox. I’m also the founder of A Women’s Thing (awomensthing.org), a publication dedicated to reshaping society’s ideas of “women’s things” within arts and culture, helping women get featured and show their work.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“I’ve always been passionate about design — I love strategy and creativity. I got a degree in design and visual communications, took a traditional job at an agency, and immediately found that wasn’t the path for me.
I started my own agency [and] worked with really great clients on amazing projects—from big brands like Netflix to startups with really interesting missions. And while the work was inspiring, I’ve always felt drawn to the idea of building a product — hoping to create something that would generate income detached from every work hour that I put in.
Independently from everything, I started doing free ‘office hours’ calls. A lot of startups would use this opportunity to pick my brain, and they wanted to work with me. But I didn’t want to cut my agency prices to meet their startup budgets. I also didn’t think they should be spending a lot on design work at this stage. Good branding design is rooted in strategy, and early companies still have so much pivoting to do before they understand their strategy.
That’s why Mojomox was born. We offer tools for creating logos that look modern, color palettes, fonts, and basic marketing assets.
To validate my idea, we developed an MVP and put it up on deal platform — we sold over $10,000 worth and make sales directly through our website.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“I wanted to communicate two aspects in our company name: fun and templates. I considered about 100 other names but ‘Mojomox’ — ’mojo’ for fun and ‘mox’ for mockups or templates — stuck with me and was available as a domain.”
What was the biggest obstacle you encountered while launching your company? How did you overcome it?
“Despite my advertising background, I’m a product person at heart. Realizing that you have to get out there, market your company and stop working on features for your app when you’re launching a company without a big team was a struggle at the beginning. I put Mojomox on various platforms—we started making money, got feedback and reviews, and I had to engage with people—this really changed how I look at marketing.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I’ve only been employed twice in my life — and not for very long. I spent all of my twenties freelancing, being part of work networks, and having my own ventures. I like to travel and explore the world. And while it can be harder to achieve as a business owner, I also believe in less work — at least you have the opportunity to set up your own schedule.”
Feeling inspired? Learn how to launch your company with our guide on how to start a startup.
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Besides startup founders and solopreneurs who come to our site directly, our clients are small agencies and marketing hubs that are reselling the logo and brand kits.”
What's your primary marketing strategy?
“Our SEO space is really hard — we’re putting a focus on niche keywords.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Our first 100 customers came in through long-tail SEO and AppSumo, a SaaS platform that lets creators sell their software as a lifetime deal in return for customer feedback and a first round of initial financing.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Our key metrics are ‘logos generated’ and ‘sales.’”
What is a song or artist that you listen to for motivation?
“Great question! I love a quiet room. I can think and motivate myself best when I can focus.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“Granted that this is a bit too much Florida for my personal style, but currently, I’m digging the ‘10X Rule.’ As for podcasts, I’m a big fan of the Swisher and Galloway combo — ‘Pivot’ is my go-to startup podcast.”
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
“I love Trello when it comes to working in small teams, but I recently discovered the ‘sharing a note’ button on Apple Notes and have been using it for two-people to-do lists. It can’t get better than that. Simple, free-form, real-time — perfect for running a startup!”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“I’m always surprised about all the things you have to do that you don’t necessarily want to do. For example, I wish I could just work on product features but building a successful business is 80% marketing. I use a little helper for this: moving 50 Q-Tips from one cup to another is how I make sure to get my daily outreach goal done fast.”
When did you know it was time to quit your day job to focus on your startup?
“There was a time when I realized I couldn’t be doing two completely different things every day — taking care of agency clients and working on my startup at the same time — neither got 100% from me and that didn’t feel right. I had the financial backup and motivation to focus on my startup.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“We had a kid about one year ago, and while work-life balance didn’t seem incredibly necessary for me before then, it’s something I found myself wanting to figure out — it’s fun to watch the progress he makes every day, and I want to see my kid grow. We set a schedule for the times we want to spend as a family every day: before, during, and after work — and it feels good.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“My dad came up with projects around the house that we as kids could take on if we wanted to add extra money to our monthly allowance. I painted fences and basement floors. I learned some business basics through it — working, negotiating, making money.”