What an adventure this has been! Our Kickstarter campaign has ended, and we are over-the-top thrilled to know that 343 people believe in our idea, and want to see it come to life. We can’t thank our Kickstarter backers enough for their support. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are EXCITED to bring UnbuckleMe to market in a few short months! Stay tuned, and follow us on social media! We will use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and of course, this blog to post updates about our progress. We love new followers!
Happy April Fools Day! Jokes aside, we have just 6 days left on Kickstarter. Wow! We are still pushing to reach our stretch goal to unlock COLORS! In the meantime, we are not sitting still. We are on a plane heading home from the annual AOTA conference in Philadelphia. With 13,000+ Occupational Therapists in attendance, it was amazing! We made some incredible contacts across the OT community, from students to educators to fellow entrepreneurs, including the legendary Fred Sammons himself. We got some exciting leads for distribution channels to reach therapists and clinics across the country. We have a quick turnaround and will be exhibiting at the Houston Baby & Kids Show tomorrow (Sunday April 2)! If you live in Houston, come to the Bayou City Event Center between 11am-6pm to visit us, and learn from other top exhibitors including Baby & Kids 1st, Britax, Bugaboo, UPPAbaby and Houston Swim Club! Admission is $10 for adults (kids are free), but BigKidsSmallCity is offering a $5 off promo code. We know it will be a fun day! Keep spreading the word, and HUGE thanks to all of our Kickstarter backers so far!
I was away from my computer/phone for a few hours last night (a rare event).. and was completely THRILLED when I finally learned that we reached our funding goal! My mom and I are overcome with gratitude and excitement as we approach the future of UnbuckleMe! Thank you X 10 MILLION for your incredible support. We obviously would not be here without you. We believe in our product so much, and it has truly been a game changer for my mom to be able to independently take my daughter out of the house. LET’S KEEP GOING! For anyone who is not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s not over yet! We still have 16 days to go, and we will be attending 2 big events in the next 2 weeks that should help us reach even more people. We set a STRETCH GOAL at the beginning of our campaign, and we hope you will be excited about it. Currently, we will be delivering UnbuckleMe in a bright, coral red color. BUT, if we are able to hit our stretch goal of $15,000, we will be able to offer COLOR OPTIONS TO EVERYONE! We picked out 2 additional colors that we love– lime green and aqua blue. If we reach this goal, everyone (including everyone who already pledged) will receive a survey after our campaign ends and will be asked to pick their color preferences! If you ordered more than 1 UnbuckleMe, you can select multiple colors for your order. Fun, right? Word from our Testers As you know, back in January, we sent out about 30 samples to testers around the country. These weren’t friends or family, but people we have never met. We connected with them mostly through Jamie Grayson (@thebabyguynyc), and for various reasons we thought they would be good candidates. You can read many of their quotes on our campaign page (we sent an anonymous survey to gather feedback), but two of our happy testers went a step further and posted videos on Facebook. You may have seen these on our Facebook page already, but if not, here are two links below. We hope you will be as thrilled as they were when you receive yours! Video from Tester #1 Video from Tester #2 So, thank you again, keep telling your friends, and let’s see how far we can take this campaign in the next 2 weeks!
I recently wrote an update for our Kickstarter backers, and wanted to share with you here. As always, thanks for your incredible support thus far. We are 85% funded. Woo! We would LOVE your help in our final push– keep telling your friends, family members, fellow parents / grandparents / nannies at the park… We need your help to keep spreading the word to meet our goal and guarantee that we can bring UnbuckleMe to you. We did our first Facebook Live event this week! If you missed it, be sure to check it out and share with anyone who could use a quick overview of Kickstarter, and how it works! We are gearing up to head to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Annual Conference and Centennial Celebration on March 29. Then we’ll be at the Houston Baby & Kids Show on April 2. We look forward to showing UnbuckleMe to more people, both in the Occupational Therapy (OT) and local Houston communities! If you are local to the Houston area, please consider coming out, we would love to see you!
Hi everyone! We are SO thrilled at our early progress on Kickstarter. This is a new experience for us, so we had no idea what to expect. We started with great momentum and buzz last Wednesday from baby gear experts, car seat technicians and mom bloggers! We were 43% funded on day 1, and today we are 70% funded and it’s only day 6! Thank you SO SO much to all of our supporters. We can’t wait to bring UnbuckleMe to you! Please continue to spread the word to your friends who need UnbuckleMe! We will continue to share press that we receive, and we anticipate some exciting product reviews and articles to be posted in the next few days. We are working hard to keep the momentum, and we are incredibly grateful for your support. More updates to come!
We are gearing up for our big launch on Kickstarter next Wednesday March 1st! We are thrilled (and a little nervous) that the date is finally approaching. In the meantime, we want to share an update on our manufacturing plans, since we haven’t specifically posted about this yet. If you recall, we spent weeks in Dec/Jan working through options for the best way to manufacture UnbuckleMe through injection molding. At one point, our engineers suggested “coring” out the sides of the peg to make the piece uniform thickness, but we didn’t love the aesthetics of this option. We continued to explore alternatives, and finally arrived on the design you see here. It’s pretty close to our 3D printed versions that we have been sharing and testing for feedback! The area covered in blue will be a softer “grippy” material to provide greater comfort and stability than the lightweight plastic body. When we manufacture, the entire piece will be the same color. And we even included our logo on the top! You may notice another design tweak here, which is the addition of a small plastic loop on the “neck” of UnbuckleMe. Many of our product testers told us that they wanted a way to attach it to a key chain or string to prevent it from getting misplaced. My mom still likes to keep it in the side door of her car, but if others have alternate ideas (like the diaper bag key ring, or on a hook in the garage), then we hope this loop will be useful. We ran it by a few of our testers, and they liked the idea. We also tested to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with function. So tell us, what do you think?
Friends, Family and Supporters! We are thrilled to announce that we will begin taking pre-orders for UnbuckleMe on March 1! Save the date, and tell you friends 🙂 We will offer a range of rewards, including bundles of UnbuckleMe’s at various price points, all below anticipated retail price. There will even be a limited number of “Early Bird” rewards at even lower prices, so be sure to visit us on March 1 to be the first in line. Between now and March 1, we will be finalizing our campaign page (including our video!) and trying to share with press contacts and bloggers that can help us spread the word. We’ve already had some awesome leads from some of our testers and supporters (thank you thank you thank you!) If you know of any media contacts, or social media influencers who may be interested in learning more about our UnbuckleMe campaign, please let us know! Email us at: email@example.com. Thanks again for all of the support! We are so excited to be nearing this big milestone!
We are excited to be heading to Austin this weekend for the 2017 kickoff of Gearapalooza, sponsored by Bump Club & Beyond. We are attending as individuals, not as a vendor, and we can’t wait to see these highly anticipated gift bags! In addition to learning about the latest and greatest baby gear, we hope to connect with some key influencers in the baby industry and explore ways to spread the word about UnbuckleMe, when we’re ready. We haven’t seen Jamie Grayson (@TheBabyGuyNYC) since ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas last October, and we would love the chance to show him our progress since then, and hear his thoughts. He was an early supporter, and we are eternally grateful. We also met Abbe Herman from Bump Club & Beyond at ABC Kids Expo, and we look forward to reconnecting. Off to pack and get ready for the quick 3 hour drive to Austin tomorrow. Stay tuned! p.s. Will you be there? Send us a message, or tweet us! @unbuckleme
For anyone keeping us honest here, we promised that when we had further evolved our design, we would re-test the force required to release the buckle, using UnbuckleMe. We last tested this back in September, and we are once-again incredibly grateful for the time and support of John Flanagan, the Science Department Chair at my high school in Houston. We brought our 3D printed prototypes, which are very close to our final design, and used a Vernier Dual-Range Force Sensor to measure the force needed to release the buckle. Good news to report, once again! We conducted 3 trials, and confirmed that by applying leverage, UnbuckleMe reduces the force required to release the buckle by an average of 57%! We are thrilled to confirm that our design improvements have maintained the same level of performance as our early prototypes. In other news, we have started to receive feedback from our product testers across the country. One tester said she was “impressed with how little effort it took to release the buckle!” We have also received a few ideas for improvement, which are much appreciated! We are sending out another round of samples to additional testers today, so we look forward to hearing more feedback, and working through our final tweaks before bringing UnbuckleMe to a city near you. Exciting!
If it feels like we have been slow to post updates on our blog lately, it’s because we’ve been busy! We are ironing out some “manufacturability” tweaks to our design, and we will give you an update on that soon (next blog post…coming up). In the meantime, we are focusing on rigorous product testing. We visited my elementary school carpool line (the memories!) because we heard that some of the teachers struggle to unbuckle kids when they arrive in the morning, particularly for the youngest kids <4 yrs old. When we approached them with our concept, they said, “yes, it’s terrible, my thumb always hurts!” We watched while they used UnbuckleMe during the morning rush. We learned that there is a quick learning curve to figure out how to slide under and align it against the buckle, but then it worked like a charm. They were thrilled, and all told us to “go on Shark Tank!” One of the moms driving her kids saw it and said, “I want one!” Given this feedback, we are encouraged, and also thinking about more photos/videos that show how it’s used. We want people to pick it up and immediately love it! We are starting to send out samples to additional testers for feedback. If you know someone (preferably in Houston) that would like to test UnbuckleMe, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be so grateful. Thanks, and stay tuned!