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59 backers pledged $1,696 to help bring this project to life.

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The McKinLeash - the first customizable, utility dog leash project video thumbnail
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$1,696

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The first utility dog leash

Most dog owners carry multiple items with them on their walks. Then why hasn't a leash been designed with this in mind? A leash to carry all the things we bring with us— that understands how we operate when we walk our pups. Many of us are walking around with fanny packs around our waist or jamming fetch toys into our back pockets.

I was sick of walking home with a muddy tennis ball in my hand or forgetting my apartment keys. So I made the McKinLeash.

What is the McKinLeash?

The McKinLeash is a super-versatile dog leash outfitted with detachable bags for all the items needed on a typical walk with your dog— treats, fetch toys, garbage bags, and other common pet accessories. No more forgetting your keys or stuffing gross tennis balls in your pockets!

How does it work?

The McKinLeash is modular.

It comes with two removable ripstop nylon bags. The small bag has one divided pocket in the top section - making it easy to reach down and grab treats or your keys, but keeping them separated. The bottom section is designed to perfectly hold a standard size roll of doggy bags.

 

The large bag is tube shaped and large enough to hold two full-size tennis balls.

Both bags are removable, and the extra eyelets allow you to attach the accessories you may already use and love.

The handle of the leash un-clips, making running quick errands and tying up your dog safer.  

When your dog is off-leash, you can turn the McKinLeash into a utility belt, freeing up your hands while your pup runs around the park.

In total, the leash has seven eyelets running along its length for complete customizability.

Is this the final version?

Nope! 

I'm using this campaign to gauge interest around the idea and refine the concept. If the campaign is successful, I aim to turn the McKinLeash into a finished product.

For this campaign, I'm going to make 35 prototype leashes that I will send to all of you. This will help me refine the concept, get to a final product faster and turn the McKinLEASH into a reality!

Why are you making this?

The idea came from walking my high-energy dog McKinley around Central Park every morning. Before heading out the door, I spent too much time organizing and packing (and forgetting!) the items I needed for our walk.

I was also sick of stuffing my jacket pockets with all my dog stuff—particularly the tennis balls that get really dirty at the park. And in the summer, when I don't need to wear a coat, bringing everything with me is a challenge unless I bring a bag or backpack.

I decided to pursue this idea as part of a class for my Master's Candidacy in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for about 6 months - and it ended up being the perfect project to pursue as part of one of our 2nd semester classes.

Who is this for?

The McKinLeash is designed for people with active dogs— those who like (or need!) to go on long walks or play fetch in the park. It's for anyone who has to carry dirty fetch toys with them, or who doesn't want to wear a backpack or fanny pack on their walks.

Development

I’ve been working on McKinLeash for about three months. I started out with some really rough prototypes to get a feel for the concept and shop the idea around. I circulated both the idea and the prototype, and was amazed at the response I was getting - so many dog owners felt the same way as me. I knew I had something worth pursuing.

 

Over the past three months I’ve learned industrial sewing techniques and basic bag design from industry professionals. Using these new skills (and with much help), I’ve been able to take the prototype to this point, but I want to take it further.

 

 

Early testing of the McKinLeash has been really positive and I’m excited to get it in more people’s hands.

How I use McKinLeash

On all of my walks with McKinley, I keep the small bag attached. I keep a spare set of keys clipped inside at all times, so I'm never locked out of my apartment. I also keep treats in the top pocket and garbage bags in the bag holster at the bottom.

If I'm going to play with McKinley at the park, I attach the large bag and put two tennis balls inside. This means I don't have to put the dirty tennis balls in my jacket when I'm done—they go right back into the bag!

What's the $$$ for?

I'm going to use the funding to get feedback from up to 35 people who will get a prototype of the McKinLeash. This will help me turn the prototype into a finished product and find a manufacturer.  

If any of these problems have rung true with you, help me continue to push the idea forward by being one of my 35 testers and exploring this space with me. Help me make McKinLeash into the ultimate dog tool I know it can be.

Don't need a leash, but want to support the cause? Check out the McKinLEASH keychain!

The keychain is also handmade and is a great way to support the concept without investing in a full McKinLEASH! Only $15!

 

Can I see more pictures?

Yup!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

Product design is a new endeavor for me. I've never built a product that was manufactured at scale.

I am in the early process of prototyping. There are many things that can and will change about the design of the leash.

The goal of this campaign is to get me to a final prototype that I can start to shop around for manufacturing. I don't plan to go to manufacturing with this version of the McKinLeash.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Chihuahua

    Thank you!!

    Your name will be added to the list of supporters that will be sent out with the first batch of leashes. We will also keep you posted with behind the scenes photos.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Havanese

    1 handmade McKinLEASH keychain dongle (scroll down for pictures)

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    9 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Beagle -- EARLY BIRD

    1 handmade McKinLEASH. Choose either 4ft or 6ft.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Bull Dog -- on time bird

    Same as the early bird - you just didn't get here fast enough.

    1 handmade McKinLEASH. Choose either 4ft or 6ft.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Golden Retriever

    Choose the colors of your McKinLEASH. Choose 4ft or 6ft.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Great Dane

    1 completely custom McKinLEASH. Choose materials, colors AND get your pups name embroidered on the leash.

    Choose from leather, nylon, polyester webbing, or climbing rope. We’ll decide all this together.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    The McKinley

    NYC ONLY

    Get a completely custom McKinLEASH and we’ll go on a walk with our dogs to ensure that I make a McKinLEASH that is perfect for YOU!

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    Limited 0 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Product Consultant

    If you have a background in product design and you believe in this as much as I do, let's work on McKinLeash together.

    We'll speak weekly as we work towards the final design. You'll get one current version of McKinLeash and any subsequent new versions.

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Funding period

- (14 days)