About this project
Mug Muscles is revolutionizing the ridiculous idea that you can't get a good workout while enjoying a frosty cold beer. We did not set out to merely make a beer mug, but turn on its head the traditional nonsense that drinking beer and exercise are mutually exclusive. We have cast away our shackles of conformity with our own program, the Beer Exercise Revolution Program, better known as B.E.R.P, and Mug Muscles is the first incarnation of this new program. It's time to get Sippin' 'n Rippin'.
In The Beginning...
Mug Muscles was spawned by a patriotic dream. On July 4th, 2011 while sitting on the couch enjoying a cold beer watching TV, our Chief Muginator and Inventor, John Lynn, had a vision: "What if I could find a way to drink beer and work out at the same time?" After another couple of beers he realized the answer was right under his nose, a beer mug, but with a built in grip exerciser.
He spent the rest of the weekend writing a provisional patent, and then filed it. He began to tell his friends, and hilarity ensued. John came up with the beer mug's tag line, "Sippin' 'n Rippin'". His friend Beau Ross liked it so much he agreed to be the CFO. Then he approached me, George Hillhouse, for advice. Based upon a long illustrious career as a beer drinker, I begged him to be CEO, and John eventually relented. Eventually Mug Muscles was born, and then we got to work. In the garage. With a drill press. And beer.
The first task was to combine a beer mug with grip exerciser to see if the concept was sound. Success! Now that we proved out the beer mug, we sketched our dream on the back of a napkin:
We chose the classic and iconic American style beer mug with faceted sides on the lower half and a smooth round upper half. Then we handed it off to our friend and engineer Redza and he created the digital incarnation of our mug:
We then met with and sent the CAD file to a number of manufacturers. Two made acceptable prototypes, so we picked one.
For durability we decided to make the Mug Muscles mug with food-grade polystyrene, a BPA free plastic with good weight and density to give a nice heft to the mug.
At the same time, we were testing grip exercisers and found just the right one, not too soft, not too hard, something that provided a nice workout and stabilized the mug while drinking. The testing of grippers was exhaustive:
How Hard Can It Be?
Apparently making a beer mug is easy, and making a grip exerciser is easy, but when you combine those two things, it starts to get tricky. What we learned is making thick mugs is hard, and then doing it while a grip exerciser is in the mold is even harder. Over a six month period, after multiple tooling changes and many series of production samples, we realized we had to change factories, it just wasn't happening.
Fortunately our second factory was able to break the code, and we started to get acceptable samples. The family that owns the factory has been in the injection molding business for two generations, and it shows. We were initially told by one factory that we visited nearby that it was impossible to mold a beer mug around a grip exerciser, but our guy from our second factory guaranteed us they could do it, and they did. By changing where the mug was injected, and the shape of the tool around the grip exerciser, they were able to pull it off. We were there, almost.
After a year of dedication, Mug Muscles is almost a reality, but we need your help to finish bringing it to life. We did not compromise, it was worth the wait! The mugs look great, feel great, and provide a great workout. Seriously! The springs have been selected to give a good workout while you are enjoying a brew.
All that is left is to do is place the first order with the manufacturer, but we have to pay up front, that is why we need your help. Your support will allow us to place an order with the manufacturer and start production, and make Mug Muscles a reality. It's time to get Sippin' 'n Rippin'!
As soon as we get the pre-orders, we will be able to place an order and get in the factory's production schedule. Then 40 days later the mugs will be made, and we can start shipping them to our fulfillment partners. Once they arrive at the fulfillment center they will be picked, packed, and shipped. Then you will receive the very first Mug Muscles to be made. We will ship the mugs either UPS or USPS, depending on what level of award you choose.
Who We Are
Chief Muginator and Inventor
Originally from West Virginia, John spent the majority of his career with DuPont, specializing in patents and intellectual property. John has over a dozen patents to his name. Since DuPont, John has created a number of inventions that have become the basis of stand alone consumer products companies. Squid Soap is a children's soap with a dispenser that marks children's hands with ink when dispensing soap, thus requiring them to fully wash their hands. Similarly Soap Time is a children's soap product that plays content to keep kids engaged while they wash their hands for thirty seconds. John can also chug a beer while standing on his head. No, really!
Director of Operations
Camille is our Cajun Tequila Queen, and certified GSD. Prior to joining Mug Muscles Camille was one of the early employees at Republic Tequila, helping manage their growth and success. Camille's specialties are logistics, accounting, and throwing parties. Camille makes sure the trains run on time, and folks get their mugs.
A native of New Orleans, Beau is no stranger to peculiar drinking traditions, and therefore the perfect fit for Mug Muscles. According to Beau, "I grew up in the Big Easy, now I work for the Beer Squeezy. Working for Mug Muscles is like my own personal rennaissance. I'm now part of a cultural movement that gives my life new meaning". When Beau first dropped out of college, he aimlessly travelled the great rivers of America working as a deckhand on riverboats. He later dropped off the grid and into a trailer-home in the Texas outback where he attempted to write the Great American Novel on life's meaning, but became too distracted by computer games and beer. At some point, Beau ventured back into academics and gained a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance and Accounting. Since then he has worked as a management consultant for a global consulting firm, started his own software implementation company, and supported many startup companies in various other positions.
Having grown up in Alabama, George idolizes redneck drinkware. Prior to assuming the helm at Mug Muscles, George spent most of his career helping startup companies. George worked for a seed-stage venture company that helped startups find funding and people to get to the next level, ultimately helping over thirty startup companies get funding. George has also managed a family owned business for over twenty years. When not making beer mugs George can be found with his sons teasing redfish with fly rods.
Risks and challenges
Honestly, we have spent over a year dialing in these mugs, so they are ready to go. We have the packaging, logistics,and fulfillment lined up, so we know we can get them to you at the reward amounts quoted.
The real risk is one of timing and being too successful . If the support we receive is far beyond our wildest dreams, then fulfilling the later pre-orders could take longer, but not too much longer. In that case we would order (on our dime) a second mold to be made so that we could run two molding machines at a time, and it takes 45 days to make a new mold. The more likely delay might come from the grip-exerciser manufacturer that supplies the mug manufacturer. Therefore although the pre-orders would be filled, it could take a couple of months longer if the response is significantly beyond our expectations.
For those that choose to host a Boot Camp, fear not. We know how to throw parties, errr, training camps, so that will happen in Austin, TX. We have two special locations lined up, one on Downtown Austin and one on Lake Austin, so it will be a blast.
Ironically, having team members who have manufactured and shipped consumer products before, we feel confident about the mugs; our single greatest unknown in this project is cost-effectively getting our mascot, Mugsy the BERPing Mug, to be able to burp out the names of Hall of Famers on our new updated website. We have already checked into a couple of ways to do this, and validated that it can be done, but if there is anyone out there with new burp voice synthesizer ideas, we are all ears, pun fully intended.
So are there other risks? Sure! The factory could burn down, the trucks could swerve off the road, the delivery man could do a Mexican hat dance on your mug while dropping it off. Barring all of that, and an explosion of orders, we are very confident that everyone will enjoy their mug, a frosty brew, and all the other wonderful things this summer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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