At Catania, We Are Inventors for Inventors

We are inventors for inventors

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We are inventors for inventors

Catania is founded upon the spirit of innovation because every member of the team is an innovator at heart. Most are also inventors. Christine Bralich is just one of those stories.

Christine has been working at Catania for a little more than a year. She is passionate about creating user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing products that provide solutions for customers. She is the perfect fit for the company’s mission and vision.

What is even more remarkable is that in her free time, she continues to create 3D designs and prototypes. In fact, she has equipped her home with a 3D printer just for the moment when inspiration strikes.

One example that comes to mind is Christine’s passion for surfing.

If you’re not familiar with surfing, just know that it involves wax. A lot of wax! In fact, aside from having a good board and some good waves, wax is the lifeblood of surfing. Surfers need to wax their boards before heading out into the ocean so they don’t slip off when that big wave comes. The problem with wax is that it melts, especially when it’s stored in a car with temperatures soaring into the triple digits. This waxy mess prompted Christine to design a surf wax dispenser prototype. The prototype collects the remnants then pushes them up from the bottom of the dispenser, creating a “wax stick” similar to a stick of deodorant.

After making a few adjustments to her dispenser prototype to get it working just right, she no longer has to worry about the wax mess and it is also easier for her to apply the wax to her board. Problem creatively solved!

When Christine graduated from University of Central Florida (UCF) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, she started her career working in the corporate world, but most days she sat at her desk and did little hands-on work, which hardly satisfied her creative spirit.

“I feel like my impact at Catania is a lot more than my impact during my previous experiences,” said Christine. I get to see every aspect of the design phase of a product. I meet with inventors to get their requirements, come up with concepts for their ideas, model their concepts with the 3d modeling software, and build the final product. I get to work on everything from initial idea to final product,” she said.

What this means for Catania’s customers is they get a team of inventors and innovators that bring them through each phase of the design/build process to get their own products ready for market.

“I cannot think of a job that would suit me better. A job where I’m allowed to utilize my creativity and be super hands on,” said Christine.

The engineers at Catania have a creative flair and artistic approach to every design they do. This helps them envision limitless possibilities for their customers. Simply put, they are inventors who help inventors.

“When you work with Catania to design a product or invention, you are hiring a team of passionate individuals that work together to bring you innovative ideas that ensure the end-user will love your product,” said Stefanie Catania, CEO. “Christine is the perfect example of that. Her life and her designs are meshed together. She is doing what she loves and bringing her creativity and passion to every product she designs for our customers.”

“The majority of our clients, they come to us with an idea, having no sketches, and some high-level product requirements,” remarked Christine. “We have to take those requirements and run with it. We come up with creative solutions to solve their problems.”

“We have had customers who have come to us with ideas and we get back to them with concepts and it is nothing like there is on the market already. We bring them ideas they haven’t even considered.”

If you are ready to hire a team of inventors to help with your own invention or product, “All you have to do is come to us with an idea,” Christine added with a smile.

Christine Smiling

Freedom Plus Creativity Equals Company Culture at Catania Enterprises

freedom plus creativity equals company culture at catania

Catania Enterprises’ company culture is based upon the premise that freedom begets creativity.

Ray Catania, CTO, Catania Enterprises, is a mechanical engineer who has always been passionate about creating innovative solutions. He and his wife, Stefanie Catania, CEO, started their business to help other small business owners and inventors turn their ideas into functional products with an artistic flair.

Before leaving his corporate engineering job in 2018, Ray recognized that the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour workweek (which has morphed today into an 8 to 6, 50-hour workweek for many technical companies) breeds stress in employees, from the “TGIF syndrome on Fridays” to “I hate Mondays” attitude. After his first son was born, Ray was permitted, by the company he was working for at the time, to reduce his schedule to a 36-hour, four-day workweek, giving him more time to spend with family. A nice by-product of that decision was that he was much more efficient in his work, and a lot happier, too.

The Catanias realize how a happy work-life balance sparks creativity instead of putting out the fire. Having learned firsthand how much more efficient and happy employees can be when given a flexible schedule, the couple encourages employees to design their weekly schedules in order to be more successful in both their work and their personal lives. Because employees are more productive with this type of work arrangement, customer satisfaction is often exceeded.

Therefore, balancing employee flexibility with meeting customer’s needs is key.

“We will never put our employees in a situation where they are being worked to death or aren’t being treated fairly by us or one of our customers,” said Stefanie. “On the other hand, we will never let a customer down and we always ensure their needs are put first whenever possible.

“Most importantly, we want our employees to feel the freedom of the job. If they want to work from a mountain top somewhere in Colorado for two months to go skiing, they can. We will work it out.”

Sometimes face-to-face meetings are necessary, or assemblies need to be made in one location. Many times, however, meetings can be held via Zoom.

The couple has always enjoyed traveling and realizes that changing the scenery once in a while can trigger creativity. Not sitting at a desk every day at the office.

“A lot of the ideas that we have, we get during travel. We will see something in a museum or see a part on an airplane that can give us an idea on how to solve a problem for a client. Or we will be travelling through an area of the country and see a shape of a building which could be the inspiration for the next design of a product we will be working on,” said Ray.

Before Catania Enterprises, both Ray and Stefanie were employed full-time. During their time off, they sailed down the Atlantic coast in increments from Boston to Florida in between their work schedules. Now that they own and run their own company, they enjoy living in their sailboat and traveling the East Coast. When they need to visit or work directly with customers, they live in an off-grid RV that serves as both their living quarters as well as their mobile design lab, which is set up for welding, soldering, 3-D printing, basic milling operations and prototyping assembly. This has allowed them to not only visit with customers face-to-face, but to also provide them with quick-turn and real-time design and prototyping services, without sacrificing their own dream of traveling.