If you are the kind of person who also wants to know how it all began, and where it is all going, read on...
The back story:
"Why would you put a stuffed animal on an iPad?," you ask.
If you own an iPad, you've probably shopped for an iPad case...
We own a few iPads and like protecting them. After all, they are cool, sleek, and a daily character in our lives. But, we struggled to find a case we thought was deservedly personal or functional. The leather cases are woefully inadequate, suffering from bulky frames, poor leather quality, limited lifespan and minimal protection from falls despite their outrageously expensive prices. The plastic backs had no cover, the magnetic smart covers kept falling off...so, we decided, if we can't get a super sleek one that rivaled the iPad's personality, we would embrace the "opposites attract" mantra.
So, we went fuzzy, friendly, cute, and full of personality!
We created Peluche for our iPads. (Peluche is a word for stuffed animal in French...and one of us is French--watch the video, we'll let you guess which one!)
Why you, the Kickstarter community?
We loved our little animal cover prototype as a friendly departure from the largely boring and shockingly similar options out on the market. As our Peluches accompanied us to meetings and conferences (we both have day-jobs that include far too many conference tables) we experienced overwhelmingly positive responses. We found Peluche to be an ice-breaker, a badge of confidence that, well, let's face it, elicited jealousy, and best of all, a little cheerfulness. Moms thought their kids would like it, teens wanted them, coworkers were jealous...
Since we started getting the "where can I get one of those?" questions from a broad selection of people, we decided to go for it. We decided to make Peluche available in the marketplace. So, we thought: Kickstarter!
An idea begins to take shape:
We knew what began as a singular response to a frustrating shopping trip would have to be so much more to take it to this community on Kickstarter and earn your support.
We officially committed to making the somewhat comical cover we started with, and to making it a perfectly functional cover full of personality! We committed to making Lenny the Lion for the Kickstarter community.
The path to Lenny included multiple animals. We tested different features and fabrics, and addressed many manufacturing challenges. We've talked to kids, engineers, moms, coworkers, seamstresses, designers, manufactures, and the list goes on. We've sewn our own and are now narrowing down manufacturing options for the first production run.
Lenny represents a realistic representation of the ultimate design and functionality of Peluche. We are still working out a few of the details to make it truly perfect. But we are very close.
So, now we turn to you, the Kickstarter community, for the moment of truth:
Do you want Lenny? You can go to the backer rewards to the right of the screen and pledge your support now.
If you would like to know even more about how Lenny came to be, feel free to read on...
Our first Peluche...I'm not really sure we can call this a prototype, but it's the first one, anyway...
This shaggy lion is our first real prototype. Unfortunately, our limited sewing skills are evident and the lion looks more like a bear dressed up for Halloween. The fabric pilled too quickly, and the mane continues to shed all over the office, car, apartment, purse... Also, using on-the-market frames proved unsuccessful. They didn't flex well with the head and legs and the typing angle scrunched the head too much.
So we continue to learn and narrow down the details to bring you the best Peluche possible.
The hippo is our first truly functional cover. The top works the way we want: flexible and sturdy, the typing angle is great; the magnets keep the cover closed and keep your iPad off when closed; we found a way to embroider the holes for port access so the fur doesn't inhibit port access; the fur is just the right length and softness and after much use and is holding up well; we found a new type of hidden zipper for the feet so they are more incognito than in our first lion prototype which we like much better.
Now that we've identified the necessary functionality and resolved the design, we needed to decide on the animal of choice and identity a quality manufacturer. We really developed a soft spot for the lion, so we chose a lion for the final Kickstarter limited edition production. We've been working with a manufacturer and we've given the lion a name: Lenny.
Finally! Lenny the Lion
We are so excited to have reached this point! There were many obstacles along the way, some of which seemed to explain why something like this isn't on the market already, but we persisted!
We are thrilled to introduce to you our Kickstarter prototype, Lenny:
Fuzzy and friendly:
And fantastically functional too!:
The head is just the right size, placement, and density to provide support for perfect, sturdy comfortable typing angles.
He has the magical power to turn off your iPad when the cover is closed.
Functionally manicured fur allows access to all important ports.
The combination of the protective interior case and the fur provide extra protection for the iPad from scratches and moderate impact (really, no one should throw their iPad on the floor, or their stuffed animals, for that matter, but it happens).
Best of all, the feet are zippered and just the right size for head phones in one foot and a usb cable or small wall charger in the other.
Kickstarters, it's up to you!
We pledge to you:
To keep you updated as we make final adjustments, select our final manufacturer, and get Lenny made, packaged, and shipped to you!
To deliver a loyal, lovable iPad cover of great quality and functionality
To make you proud of being a backer of Peluche, and Lenny specifically
And, you pledge to support Lenny:
We are coming to you, the Kickstarter community, to validate our efforts and the product. Do want a Lenny of your very own? Do you want to give one to your kids? Your niece or nephew? ...your boss?
We hope you will express your validation by becoming a backer.
We need to raise $47,000. We've chosen 45 days for the fundraising window. This is the time we estimate we will need to refine the last details and confirm with our manufacturer, produce and approve final prototypes, and finalize the branding for Lenny. The $47,000 will allow us to complete one minimum run of 1,500 professionally made Lennys. If you want more, we can do more--that depends on you!
If you can get us to this funding goal, we will make one run of Lenny the Lion. Lenny will only be available on Kickstarter. After Kickstarter, we would love to continue making Peluche for iPad. We have many animals in the menagerie just waiting to get out. The Kickstarter community will lead the way with Lenny.
You can see the rewards for becoming a backer on the upper right of this screen. You are welcome to sign up for multiple reward levels. If you like the project but really can't think of someone in your life who would love Lenny, you are welcome to give money and sign up for no rewards. No matter what, you'll be hard-pressed to avoid our eternal appreciation and a thank you card from us!
In short, Kickstarter is all or nothing: If we reach our goal, your pledge is fulfilled by Amazon charging your credit card, then we move forward and you wait as patiently as possible to get your Lenny. If we don't reach our goal, you won't get charged, we won't make the Peluche Kickstarter lion, you won't get one or get to give one, and we will go back to our conference tables at work with no fun project to go home to...so please tell your friends, connect Lenny to your networks, and let's do this!
P.S. The backer rewards are for Lenny the Lion only. The first three prototypes (the lamb, hippo, and dark brown lion) are not available. Trust us, Lenny is the best!
iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.; no endorsement implied.
We are currently targeting iPad 2 and 3, but are working with a manufacturing process that would allow easy expansion for other devices including an iPad 1 or a Kindle, for example. We will keep you posted as we confirm this. Lenny, for now, is only a perfect and safe fit for an iPad 2 or 3.
We hope you enjoy the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from helping us launch our project. Not only will we be forever grateful, we will mail you (yes, non electronic mail) a nice thank-you card signed by us!
Sharing is Caring:
Two (2) covers are on their way to you as soon as they are released from the Menagerie (just in time for the holidays)! Plus, we'll include an extra Peluche thank you card so you can write a nice card to the recipient of your gift.
Please add $20 for international shipping to ship both covers to the same address.
Or, if you want, we will send the second one to someone else for you. We will write the card for you and ship it to your niece, friend, relative, boss, etc. Please add $10 for shipping to two addresses in the US (we will ship them both to one address for free). Please add $30 for two international addresses.
Join the Family:
Come join our company family for a home-cooked meal and a behind-the-scenes look at how Lenny came to be. Plus, enjoy five (5) covers for your family, friends, your company holiday party... You must get yourself to the San Francisco Area to enjoy the personal part of this reward. Shipping is included to ship all five covers to one address.
Add $35 for international shipping of the five covers. Other shipping arrangements can be made, if you prefer to ship them to various addresses.
Distributor Pack: Just in time for the holidays! Be the first to offer these adorable and functional fellas in your store. We'll send you 25 covers, packed and ready for display. We'll even include handy hanging tags, just in case your displays need them.
Shipping to be arranged by you, the backer.
The More the Merrier! (bigger distributor pack):
Ok, you know more people than we do, so please enjoy sharing Lenny with your customers, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, students, friends, family... We will send you 65 of these limited edition covers as soon as they are available.
These will be packaged for display, including hanging tags, just in case.
Shipping to be arranged by you, the backer.