David Swift Talking Wall Maps, Framed Maps, Globes and More!
Video: Behind the Business With David Swift
David Swift’s has been interested in maps since he was a kid creating maps for his father’s real estate firm. His childhood passion helped him create the largest collector and decorative wall map company in the world. His favorite maps are A Pirates of the Caribbean-themed map and a United States Craft Beer map.
“I am David Swift and I am a modern day Magellan.”
The greatest praise any individual or company can receive is recognition from peers. In the world of online retailers, there may be no greater praise that receiving recognition from eBay. Started purely as a hobby, eBay has become the world’s online auction platform. Consumers and businesses come together to buy and sell goods in millions of consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer transactions every day.
Every once in a while, eBay takes a moment to shine the spotlight on one of its successful online partners. Recently, Swiftmaps founder David Swift was humbled with the opportunity to appear on the “Behind the Business” series on eBay. The online retailer uses the platform to call attention to small businesses breaking the mold and enjoying success on the auction site. For David Swift, his small business is about more than making money. It’s about meeting demand for a niche that is underserved, and following a romance he’s felt since a young age.
Falling in Love with Maps
Swift admits falling in love with maps at an early age. As a Florida native, he and his grandfather were regulars on the state’s waterways, constantly in search of their next catch. The nautical maps that Swift regularly worked with in the boats both caught his eye and inspired his mind. Amazed by the ability of a simple map to guide people to places, above and below the water, but not satisfied with the design of maps, Swift set out to change maps.
A Flexible Business
As a small business, Swiftmaps has exhibited the flexibility required to survive and thrive over the past two decades. With the rise of GPS technology in handheld devices and mobile phones, the need for common road maps diminished. Swiftmaps quickly adapted to the changing trend and began producing decorative and collector wall maps.
The company has a number of hot sellers, but among the more popular are its Pirates of the Caribbean Map and the US Craft Beer Wall Map. The former wall map gets its name from not only its depictions, but its appearance in the “blockbuster film “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” The movie’s producers approached Swift and expressed interest in using some of Swiftmaps designs as background decoration in the film.
Swiftmaps’ United States Craft Beer Wall Map is another popular seller. It offers a new look at America by placing the logo of a popular craft beer from each US state as the background image within the boundary of each state. The map is a must-have for every mancave, and makes a great conversation starter as beer enthusiasts discuss whether or not each state is accurately represented by its chosen craft brew.
From the moment American children are introduced to maps in civics and history classes in elementary school, maps play a pivotal role in educating children. Following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, Swiftmaps had an opportunity to help all Americans better understand the region of the world that America found itself embroiled in a bitter conflict in.
Swiftmaps began producing regional maps of the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iraq and Afghanistan. The maps allowed family members of US service men and women to see and understand the places in the world that their loved ones were deployed to. With names such as Fallujah, Kirkuk, Kabul, and Helmand mentioned on the nightly news, children and spouses of family members wanted greater familiarity with the places they were hearing about on a daily basis.
The Self-Professed Map Geek
Swift is quick to admit that he’s a map geek. Whether it’s the Pirates of the Caribbean Map, the United States Craft Beer Map, or a simple topographical map, Swift sees art and beauty in all of the maps his small business creates. From the simplest of maps with geographic lines and boundaries to the decorative maps that cover several square feet on a wall, each piece is about the artistry required to make each map unique.
Poised for Success
Swift is humbled by the attention his company has gotten from eBay. His interview as part of the “Behind the Business” series called attention to the beauty of his company’s designs. With its growing profile, Swiftmaps is poised to continue its successful run. Using eBay as a platform to reach map collectors and interior designers around the globe, Swiftmaps is prepared to continuing meeting the demands of its niche consumers.
Swiftmaps and Graphics is located in Clearwater, Florida, and operates a retail brick-and-mortar location as well as its own eBay store. The company was formed in 1992 with the help of leading cartographers and associates from major companies such as Rand McNally & National Geographic. In addition to its success on eBay, Swiftmaps is a top seller on Amazon, Etsy, and Groupon as well.