Story of Stretch Shapes 15 Years

Shaping the Industry

In the early 2000s, the event production industry was evolving technologically, presenting new opportunities for innovation in scenic fabric. Traditional fabric solutions were bulky and hard to ship, and preventing wrinkles was a major burden for the AV industry. Solutions needed to be developed, and the seeds of this change were planted in the creative mind of Niko Mantele, a visionary with an eye for transforming spaces and creating memorable experiences through stretch fabrics.

Basement Beginnings

Born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, Niko’s fascination with creating immersive and energetic environments began in his parents’ basement when he was just 13 years old. There, Niko built his first disco installation amidst his dad’s old speakers, tangled cords of Christmas light, and decor made from bedsheets, tinsel, and flickering lights, setting the stage for a lifelong passion for event production and innovative designs. His early interest in transforming ordinary spaces into extraordinary experiences led him to pursue a formal education in theater set design and construction, where he honed his technical skills and formed a base for his career.

From Raves to Waves

Into the late nineties, Niko channeled his endless passion into organizing electrifying house parties locally. These gatherings quickly gained widespread popularity, and it wasn’t long before he was throwing raves in Portland, Oregon, drawing crowds up to 5,000 people strong. Niko’s events were renowned for his ability to create unforgettable and mesmerizing experiences not just through music but with a focus on transformative environments.

As Niko’s reputation soared, he started receiving requests from other event promoters to decorate their venues. This led to the launch of his first official business, Space Shaping, which offered stunning decor, intelligent lighting systems, and lasers.

After several years of focusing exclusively on large-scale rave events, Niko recognized his true passion: scenic design with stretch fabric. He realized the potential to expand beyond dance events and ventured into the corporate world. In 2009, Stretch Shapes was born.

A Vision Takes Shape

Starting a business from scratch was no easy feat for Niko. He faced numerous challenges, from marketing the concept of stretch fabric as a solution nationwide to switching his mindset from a large-scale fabric artist to a business owner. However, it wasn’t just Niko’s determination that drove the business forward. It was the collective effort of a small but dedicated team that shared his vision and passion. With a focus on trust and truly caring for each other, the team worked tirelessly in a small Eugene shop to perfect the design and fabrication of the original line of Stretch Shapes products.

This philosophy of prioritizing team care and building trust created a supportive and collaborative environment where everyone could thrive and contribute their best ideas. Long before it became a trend in the corporate world, this innovative way of running a team was a significant factor in their success.

With a focus on adding value and creating installation efficiency for clients, every stretch fabric product was meticulously crafted, tested, and refined to meet high standards of quality and versatility. His commitment to excellence and the team’s dedication paid off as Stretch Shapes quickly gained a reputation for their innovative products, exceptional customer service, and on-time delivery.

Established in 2009, Stretch Shapes filled the event production industry gap. The company’s mission was to revolutionize event decor with versatile, reusable products that could transform any space and address clients’ needs. Event planners and designers across the country noticed, and the company’s portfolio expanded to include a wide range of stretch fabric solutions that broke through the noise.

Solution Driven

Stretch Shapes has revolutionized the event industry by turning Niko’s vision of immersive environments into reality. The company continually expands its product range, pushing the limits of stretch fabric with innovative designs like modular structures and large-scale projection surfaces.

Commitment to customer satisfaction and creating actual solutions to the problems its clients face has been a cornerstone of its success. By truly understanding the constant uphill battle AV professionals face, listening to their needs, and continually innovating to meet them, the company has fostered loyalty and driven the development of new products and solutions. This customer-centric approach has led to high-profile event features and recognition as one of the fastest-growing private companies by Inc. 5000 two years in a row.

Team & Trust

The journey of Niko and his team—from a basement in Eugene to a leading position in the event design industry—exemplifies the power of creativity, teamwork, and trust. Their story inspires aspiring designers and entrepreneurs, demonstrating that even the boldest dreams can become reality with passion, dedication, and a focus on team values.