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Live better and work happier with a standing desk that looks as good as it feels.
172 backers pledged $28,117 to help bring this project to life.

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StandStand Grand: a beautiful standing desk project video thumbnail
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$28,117

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“Up!”

Movement is a key to good health. As Walt Whitman put it 150 years ago, “To you, clerk, literary man, sedentary person, man of fortune, idler, the same advice: Up!” More recently, study after study has shown too much sitting to be detrimental to our health. A standing desk engages the muscles and prevents the metabolism from slowing down. It also allows the small movements that are so effective at burning calories. Beyond the health benefits, people love to talk about how their standing desk makes them more productive, makes them more collaborative, or even makes their day more fun.

So you want to stand at your computer but haven’t found anything that matches your style? StandStand Grand instantly transforms any table or desk into an a beautiful standing desk that won’t dominate your work space. Like a work of art, the patent-pending design combines graceful lines with incredible strength. All rewards ship in August 2016.

StandStand Grand is:  

Easy: The panels lock together in seconds!

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Flexible: Set up your desk with up to two 24" monitors or however you like to work. The large working surface is also perfect for paperwork or drawing. The logo's smile helps with cord management. 

In addition to multiple monitor configurations, you can remove the monitor platform to create a large flat working surface.
In addition to multiple monitor configurations, you can remove the monitor platform to create a large flat working surface.

You may be asking, "Will it fit on my desk?" The main desk surface is 30" wide and 20" deep. Underneath, the three base panels fit inside a rectangle that is 27" wide and 13" deep. The removable monitor stand rises 4" above the main deck and measures 28.5" wide by 9.5" deep.

Super sturdy and strong: The interlocking designs prevent wobbling or twisting. (While not approved for anything other than normal desk use, StandStand Grand is really, really strong.) 

StandStand Grand holds 830 pounds of iron and 178 pounds of Luke without complaint!
StandStand Grand holds 830 pounds of iron and 178 pounds of Luke without complaint!

Lightweight and portable: StandStand Grand weighs less than ten pounds and packs flat for transport. 

Made in the USA: Proudly manufactured at Rob’s Custom Cabinetry in northern Wisconsin, where we grew up. 

Best of all, beautiful: StandStand Grand turns your desk into a work of art. It looks good from every angle to make your work space a happier place to be.

Cookie Meets Angle 

We are excited to launch two additional products to use with StandStand or on their own.

StandStand Angle helps overcome the ergonomic flaws of a laptop, which require you to look down at the screen. Flip it over, and the notches on the back fit a tablet. Use it on its own, with StandStand Grand, or with our other products available at StandStand.com

StandStand Cookie lets you keep an eye on notifications or watch videos wherever you go. Use it with phones (or phone cases) up to .55" thick. 

We have your size!

StandStand Mouse comes in four sizes to match the height of the user. Tables and desks come in a standard height (29-30”), so you don’t need an adjustable StandStand, you just need the one that fits you, like a t-shirt!

Choose the 9", 12", 14", or 16" model, depending on your height.
Choose the 9", 12", 14", or 16" model, depending on your height.

The best way to find the size that’s right for you, place enough books on the table under your laptop so that is at a comfortable typing height. Then measure the stack of books and order the closest size. There’s definitely an element of personal preference, but elbows at 90 degrees and neutral wrists produce the most ergonomic typing position.

The sizes that work for most people are listed below. You pick the height of your StandStand Mouse in our backer survey in August.

When you start out, it’s important to alternate between sitting and standing. When you sit with StandStand Grand, simply bring your laptop or keyboard down with you. 

Rewards 

All rewards ship in August 2016. Choose any of the three products on its own, or get a great deal on all three. All reward levels are 20-40% below retail price, and your pledge will help us cover the costs of launching the new product. A win-win!

 

 

If you want to order a second reward, simply add the appropriate amount to the level of your pledge and provide the details in our backer survey in August. We will contact you for additional shipping if necessary.

Sadly, the cost of shipping a large ten-pound object is surprisingly high! (Especially international shipments, which may also have a local customs charge.)

Kickstart with confidence!

Have you heard that PayPal no longer guarantees projects backed through Kickstarter?

StandStand has proven that we ship our products and meet our deadlines. Visit our first Kickstarter campaign to read the comments and the updates. You’ll see the story of some of the challenges we faced and how hard we worked to meet them. One of our first backers was so pleased, he commented:

“I'm impressed. Impressive updates. Impressive progress. Impressive schedule. Nicely done. I wish all of my backed projects [97 at that time!] were half as impressively run as this one.”

That first time around, we didn’t really know what we were getting into, and we had no idea that we’d have to learn a new machine, develop a workflow, and ship 1800 StandStands in under one month. After almost two years of making StandStands, we are fully ready to incorporate StandStand Grand into our production cycle. The skilled craftspeople in the shop have experience with every step in the process, and summer is a good time in the year for a cabinetry shop to make a lot of StandStands.

Local manufacturing: a core value

The cost of labor in the US is much higher than overseas, and many people ask why we don’t aim for bigger margins by manufacturing in Asia. But one of the original goals of launching StandStand was to find a way to build a stronger connection to my hometown of Superior, Wisconsin. I wanted to work with my high school friend who now runs his father’s cabinetry shop, the shop where I worked for two summers in college. I also wanted to support jobs in the community that supported me along the way. Finally, after a decade of school that took me far from home, I wanted a reason to make frequent trips to the town where my parents still live.

In the past, places of unique geographical advantages haven’t been very business friendly. The Twin Ports of Superior and Duluth were far from centers of business and finance, and slower communication made it harder to keep in touch with the broader world and market a product. But with the connections available through today’s technology, there’s no reason not to manufacture in a city where you can be in the factory at 3:30 and camping on a lake at 4:00. You’re closer to the outdoors. And when you live in a smaller community, you see your impact in the jobs you create, you borrow from the credit union where your neighbors deposit their paychecks, and you take greater satisfaction in the connections you are building. 

Now, whenever I visit the Twin Ports, I’m like a kid in a candy shop as I look out the window at the unique tapestry of natural beauty, historic buildings, homes, and shipping industry. I can’t get enough of it! Superior and Duluth boast a remarkable blend of nature and industry, which intersect and weave throughout livable neighborhoods. As we play our small part in that ongoing story, we’re committed to supporting a balance between economic development and a sustainable future.

Luke with StandStand Mouse in Canal Park: I like the lake!
Luke with StandStand Mouse in Canal Park: I like the lake!

Why partner with a small US manufacturer? 

StandStand partnered with a small American manufacturer to produce our products. We understood that our “cost of goods sold” would be much higher because workers in the US receive higher wages than they do overseas. But in addition to the satisfaction we feel from building the local economy, there are some real benefits to this type of arrangement.

Lower risk: One important benefit of partnering with a small US manufacturer is that it lowered the risk for our initial production run. We were able to work together to match our production to the number of orders on Kickstarter, and after that, on our website. Manufacturing overseas would have required ordering thousands of StandStands to meet the minimum order for a factory and justify the cost of overseas shipment. So we would have needed a very large initial investment before we were sure about the demand.

Access to the production process: Because StandStand is manufactured locally, I can get inside the shop and participate in every aspect of production. This not only saves costs, but it helps ensure quality control and constant improvements in our process. It also means that when I have a new idea to test out or a new design to prototype, it can happen immediately.

Inventory flexibility: Since production and shipments don’t take months, we can manufacture StandStands as needed, keeping ahead of demand just enough to ship when an order comes in. That means we don’t need to have a lot of capital invested in inventory that is sitting on the shelves for weeks or months. It also means that our inventory won’t be outdated if we make an improvement to the design.

More support: Because the cabinetry shop manufactures a range of other products, the team that makes StandStand has a diverse range of skills and experiences. That gives them insight into how to make StandStands most efficiently. Their expertise and suggestions solve production problems and contribute to the ongoing design process.

StandStand is not the only one to benefit from this arrangement. The American manufacturer benefits too. 

Diversification: Just like a diversified stock portfolio, manufacturing a variety of products creates a more robust system. The cabinetry shop already produces cabinets, drawers, custom tables, and millwork: by adding StandStand, they incorporate one more element to ensure that the team can keep working at full capacity even if there’s a temporary dip in demand for one product.

Flexibility: Manufacturing StandStand has led the cabinetry shop to hire two new workers and add an evening shift in the finish shop to eliminate the biggest bottleneck in the production process. Those workers and that second shift would not be possible without the extra revenue that StandStand brings, and they give the cabinetry shop additional flexibility in meeting deadlines for their core products.

New options: Working on StandStand expands the skills of the cabinetry shop team because they are working on a new process and paying attention to different details than they see in the other products. They now have access to StandStand’s CNC machine, which can be used to expand their range of designs. In both these ways, the partnership enhances the cabinetry shop’s capacities in a significant way.

Low risk: In exchange for their space and technical expertise, the cabinetry shop gets to work with a designer who brings in new energy and creativity. StandStand contributed the idea for this product and invested the time and money to prototype and launch it, and StandStand invested in the specialized machinery to cut out the panels. That means that the cabinetry shop did not need to take on much risk at all when adding these new capacities and accessing this new revenue source.

Taking part in the ongoing revival of American manufacturing is inspiring, and we’ve found a way that makes it possible. Is this model replicable? Do you know of other examples? Share your thoughts at our blog post on this topic!

Sunrise over the wood shop on the morning our CNC machine arrived.
Sunrise over the wood shop on the morning our CNC machine arrived.

Our materials

We started with Baltic birch because of its strength and bright aesthetics. Baltic birch is more attractive than most plywood varieties, and its core layers are more consistent, contributing to its strength. (There’s a good reason this type of wood is popular with the aircraft industry!) At first, we were hesitant to use an imported material, and we’d still welcome suggestions for domestic options. But after considering the differences between carefully managed forests in northern Europe and the rain forests of south-east Asia and South America, it was clear that the birch we selected was a responsible choice.

Our premium material, bamboo, is one of the most beautiful and sustainable building materials in the world. It has the strength of wood with the growth properties of grass, meaning that when it is harvested properly, the roots simply send up new shoots. Our bamboo supplier, Teragren, takes great pride in the sustainability of their process. With its gorgeous appearance, StandStand Mouse in bamboo makes a perfect gift—for yourself or someone else!

Even puppies and pirates like StandStand!
Even puppies and pirates like StandStand!

The StandStand Story 

A couple years ago, I started getting worried about how much of the day I spent sitting at my computer. I thought about buying a standing desk, but my job requires me to work in a lot of different places. One morning during a meditation session, the thought crossed my mind that I could make a portable standing desk, something I could carry as easily as my laptop and set up on any table and desk. Since tables and desks are found everywhere, I only needed to raise my computer about twelve inches.

I made my first prototype within a week. I thought a trapezoid would give stability, but it pivoted back and forth a lot. When I added two sticks to brace it, that was already six pieces—too many to carry easily.

So I got in touch with my friend Kenny, an MIT-trained engineer who now runs a lab for NASA. Kenny liked that I was using wood because of its high strength-to-weight ratio, but he said I should start with triangles, not trapezoids, since triangles provide strength in multiple directions. Sure enough, you find triangles in bridges and skyscrapers everywhere, and the triangles formed by the braces in my first model were what gave it strength. Following his suggestions, my next two prototypes looked like a hinged wooden book and something I called the “offset-T.”  

I liked the aesthetics of the offset-T, but there was a problem: if you knocked one of the bottom panels, the mortise-and-tenon joint would separate, even after I added magnets. My friend Paul suggested a clever combination of traditional wood joints to pass one base panel through the other. That locked the base together, and when I added the top, it provided even more rigidity by preventing the base panels from pivoting. I spent a week developing these ideas in the shop where Paul's dad had given me a job for two summers during college.  

When I decided to add a handle, the material I removed combined with the mortises to create a face, giving some unexpected personality to the design. Dimples appeared when we added dowels to hold the panels together for transport. (Hello there, friend!)  

We couldn’t figure out what to call it until my brother-in-law, Travis, proposed “StandStand” because that’s what it is: a stand that lets you stand anywhere you take your computer. After our first Kickstarter, we heard from people who loved the concept but needed room for a mouse. User needs led to the design of StandStand Mouse, and now StandStand Grand. 

 The Team

StandStand founders Paul, Lindsay, and Luke on the eve of the first Kickstarter launch.
StandStand founders Paul, Lindsay, and Luke on the eve of the first Kickstarter launch.

 

Risks and challenges

Manufacturing a product is really hard! Everything takes longer than you expect, and there are countless things that can go wrong--something we discovered in our first Kickstarter compaign when we had to make over 1800 StandStands in the month between Thanksgiving (when our CNC machine arrived) and Christmas (when we promised to ship). Even though it took some overnight shifts in the shop, full-time sanding by the wood shop crew, and lots of help from our parents (who came in to varnish StandStands in the evening), we are proud to have shipped 95% of the rewards on time. Check out the photo updates from our first campaign!

By now, we have almost two years experience manufacturing StandStands, and StandStand Grand will fit seamlessly into our manufacturing process. You’ll receive regular updates throughout the manufacturing and shipping process to let you in behind the scenes.

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    StandStand Grand in birch. (Early bird special.)

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    The works (birch).

    The works: StandStand Grand, StandStand Angle, and StandStand Cookie in birch.

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    StandStand Grand in bamboo. (Early bird special.)

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Funding period

- (60 days)