About this project
For years, people have commemorated the state of Minnesota in a variety of creative and unique ways - but something's missing. If you look at the shape of Minnesota, you will see that it shares many of the same characteristics as a pitcher - a flat bottom, a pointed spout - simply add a handle to the west border and you have a pitcher or better yet, a multi-purpose mug!
That's why we created the patent-pending Sotapitcher - a ceramic mug shaped just like the state of Minnesota. After working for months developing prototypes and refining the design, we have partnered with the iconic Red Wing Pottery & Stoneware, to create the 16oz Sotapitcher and 1oz Sotashot (Pictures Below).
Use the Sotapitcher to:
Enjoy your favorite Minnesota craft brew
Pour gravy or syrup
Enjoy a large cup of coffee/latte
Decorate your home
Since 1877, Red Wing Pottery & Stoneware has been a premiere ceramics maker. With a reputation for quality and excellence, Red Wing products are sought after and highly collectible. With their deep-rooted Minnesota history, having made everything from the “Little Brown Jug” to "home plates" for the 1965 All Star Game, we are uniquely positioned to introduce the Sotapitcher to Minnesotans everywhere.
We need your help to create the numerous molds required to manufacture the handle version of these one-of-a-kind pieces. By giving Minnesotans an opportunity to support its creation, the Sotapitcher will truly be a product made by Minnesotans, for Minnesotans.
We have refined and finalized a prototype of the non-handled 16oz sotapitcher and 1oz Sotashot. After producing a number of molds we have produced our first mini production run. In order to manufacture the handled 16oz Sotapitchers, we need to develop a master mold that will be used to make subsequent plaster pouring molds that will create each individual Sotapitcher.
By working with Red Wing Pottery & Stoneware, we are able to leverage their immense industry, production, and operational knowledge. They have been in the business since the late -1800's and have worked with a number of molds to manufacture various drinking vessels with handles. Since we have already gone through the process of creating a non-handled master mold and a number of plaster pouring molds, applying this methodology to the handled version should be pretty straightforward. Below is our estimated production timeline - please reference the Risks and Challenges section for information on factors that could push our estimated timeline back.
August 8: Kickstarter Campaign Ends
Late August: 3D Prototypes, 1oz Sotashot & Early Bird 16oz No-Handle Sotapitcher fulfillment begins
Mid-September: 16oz Handle Sotapitcher fulfilment begins
Early October: Hand-painted versions fulfillment begins
Evolution of the Sotapitcher
Although the idea for the Sotapitcher came in July 2013, the product did not gain traction until I presented the idea to Start Up Weekend Twin Cities 5. Over that weekend, local Minnesota entrepreneurs came together to share ideas and build products in one weekend. The team that formed around the Sotapitcher was instrumental in bringing out ideas, creating working prototypes, and setting the course for the development of the Sotapitcher. Below, you will see the evolution of the Sotapitcher from that weekend.
Special thanks to:
Karl Noelle for all the hard work surrounding the graphic design, branding, and filming, editing and re-editing of the Kickstarter Video.
Matt McVeigh for the incredible Sotapitcher logo designs.
My good friend Kyle Ronning for coming up with the idea for a mug shaped like Minnesota, and allowing me to pursue it.
Risks and challenges
One of the challenges to our project is shipping - shipping ceramic requires special care and additional packaging.
One risk to our project is receiving significantly more orders than we projected. If that is the case, we will need to push back the delivery date of rewards for subsequent orders. We will be sure to keep everyone up-to-date as our Kickstarter campaign progresses.
Another challenge is the humidity that Minnesota has been experiencing due to the recent rain. Humidity can significantly slow stoneware drying time and may lead to delays in fulfillment if our campaign is over subscribed. This should not be an issue if we simply reach our goal.
Finally, as with any manufacturing process, there is the small risk of equipment breaking down and other issues that could arise, resulting in unforeseen delays in production of the Sotapitcher. Given Red Wing Pottery & Stoneware's commitment to quality products and their deep industry knowledge and expertise, this risk should be fairly minimal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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