The Handy Reach is a new innovative tool to help reach the cords or chains on ceiling fans and pull down attic stairs.
Benefits of the Handy Reach tool:
Eliminates the need for bulky step stools or ladders to reach ceiling fan cords or pull down attic stair cords that are out of reach
Helps to hide those unsightly hanging pull down chains, ropes, or cords
Ease of use requires no squeezing or pinching - ideal for those with gripping limitations
Allows for better grasp on cords and increased leverage by utilizing a full hand grip (not just a small ball at the end of a cord or the cord itself
Utilizes three slotted hooks to allow for users of different heights - anyone can use it
Functions for almost all ceiling fan or pull down attic stair cord elevations
Great for cords that no longer have the plastic ball/bell at the end
Reduces risk of injury from wrapping the cord around the hand
Prevents the slamming of the attic stair when closing it
Includes a velcro strip for easy storage behind a door or in a closet
Very light weight and simple to use
Requires no modification to existing chains or cords or installation of parts to existing attic access doors
As a contractor, I am always trying to find new inventive ways to solve everyday problems. While working on a renovation project, an idea, literally hit me in the head. Almost every home I work in has a pull down attic stair access with a rope or cord. These cords are always either hanging down in a hallway or are situated so high that you must get a step stool to access them. And even when you access them, they could be difficult to pull down, especially for people with gripping or hand strength limitations. My wife has rheumatoid arthritis and could never grasp a small cord or knot, much less wrap the cord around her hand to be able to pull the stairs down. The Handy Reach solves all of these problems. Once in product development, we realized that it also had a much broader use for reaching ceiling fan/light chains. We have 11' ceilings in our home and were never able to adjust the fan speed without getting a very tall ladder to do so. We needed a tool, that could adjust to several ceiling heights or different heights of the user. We also needed something that could be easily stored behind a door or hallway. Handy Reach was the answer!
I am raising the funds so that my American manufacturer can build the injection mold needed to produce the Handy Reach. The $39,000 is necessary to make the mold, and produce and ship the Handy Reach as a reward to all that pledged at least $20. There is no calculated profit in my goal - it all goes to being able to set up the product. Certain department stores have shown interest in buying the product to place on their shelves, but I must be able to manufacture them by having the injection mold.
• I was working on a home renovation and kept having to dodge the pull down attic stair chord. As I became more and more annoyed as it hit me in the face, I began to think that there had to be a better way to access the pull down stairs without the rope hanging down so far.
• Started researching the internet, not only did I not find a solution that I would have used, I found chat rooms of people complaining about decorating ideas to hide the rope. I also started thinking of how difficult some attic stairs pull downs are to access.
• I started sketching some different designs of a tool with a handle that could comfortably reach different ceiling heights.
• Once my sketch seemed to satisfy all of the identified needs, I built a wood prototype in my garage.
• I began researching manufacturers that could make injection molds, and found a manufacturer that recommended a company to produce CAD drawings.
• CAD drawings were produced.
• Then, we used a company to do a patentability search, which came back positive. We then proceeded to get our provisional patent.
• Since Handy Reach was now patent pending, I started to do my own market research, which gained positive results. Spoke to the managers of several big box chains that could be interested but had no idea of how to proceed with manufacturing.
• Discovered an even broader range of use when we discovered it would work perfectly to adjust ceiling fans.
• Received first prototype.
• Discovered that the injection mold to manufacture would be expensive to make – approximately $28,000, and then production could make up to 1,000 units a day. We knew there was no way we could personally finance the injection mold. This point in the process has been so frustrating in the past. Having a product you believe in, and not having a way to finance it to even get it to market can be heartbreaking. When we started researching ways to get Handy Reach into the market, we heard about Kickstarter and the whole crowdfunding movement. The concept was so exciting! What an awesome way to find out what market the product would bear, whether people would want them, and find a way to start producing!
So after you help us reach our goal, where do we go from here? Getting Handy Reach in the hands of our backers as a reward!
Risks and challenges
After the project is successfully funded and those who have helped support my product receive their own Handy Reach, the Handy Reach will be set up to mass produce. The manufacturer has given a time estimate of three months from funding to injection mold to production. The time length from funding to product may be a challenge, but I hope to stay on top of that through candid communication with my supporters. If the project is funded it will be my sole priority to get the Handy Reach into the hands of my supporters. After my supporters receive their reward, the challenge is to get purchase orders from the stores that would like to sell them and managing the future cash flow to be able to fulfill those orders.
I encourage you to leave feedback so that I can learn and grow from this process, and by opening lines of communication about the progress I hope to help others trying to do the same thing.