After an all too brief celebration of our Kickstarter success, we were right back to work on all the details of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping the 2,302 Sensu brushes ordered by Kickstarter backers. Thanks again to everyone who supported us!!
Our commitment to all those who pledged:
1. You are our priority. We have several distribution proposals to consider, retail chains requesting samples, and a healthy interest from the press. We will not allow any of that to get in the way of getting beautiful brushes in your hands ASAP because we know we have you to thank for all the opportunity coming our way.
2. We will deliver. Lots can get in the way of hitting a specific date in producing a new product. We know that from a lot of experience. We knew before posting our project how and where Sensu was being made. Our target remains to ship mid-January and we are making good progress towards that goal.
Several things have fallen into place in the last couple of weeks, including that fact that Amazon transferred Kickstarter funds to us only a week after the project closed! Didn't expect that!
What are we doing with your money?
1. We placed our first official order with the factory for 4000 pieces.
2. We gave final sign-off on the rubber stylus nib and are quite pleased. We succeeded in arriving at a coating for the tip that "glides" more easily across the screen than most on the market which we felt were too "grippy." It should be a nice drawing tool. All aspects of the brush have received our approval and we expect to see our full, final samples in about 2 weeks.
3. We finalized design and ordered the couple thousand felt sleeves we need for Kickstarters. The wool felt is actually selvedge from a Chicago-based manufacturer of industrial gaskets. Just some more cool Chicagoans that we cold-called who got excited about our project. The Sleeves will be sewn one block from our studio at the Douglas Center, a sheltered workshop offering job training to adults with severe physical and mental handicaps.
4. We completed design and ordering of components for the gift boxes for the limited edition gunmetal brushes. Only 150 will exist.
5. We signed off on the gunmetal plating this week as well.
6. We booked an order for another several thousand brushes to arrive in February to go onto store shelves – AFTER you get yours.
A lot of other time has gone into the logistics of mailing all the brushes efficiently when they arrive. We've looked at a lot of what worked and didn't work on other projects' comment streams. We have determined that it will be more effective to survey backers for their addresses and other delivery questions, closer to the time of delivery so that more address info will be accurate. We expect to send our surveys out at the first of the year.
We will continue to update you as we progress through manufacturing. We'll get some images of our final samples up when they arrive in a couple of weeks. Thank you again for your support!
Rick, Kent, Trinedy, Marisol, Nicole, Maggie, and Joe
Over $50K with still a few days remaining! We continue to be amazed at the outpouring of support for our humble project. We've met cool people who have been a great help, and we have exciting retail opportunities brewing for the future. Our first goal is to be the best ever at fulfilling our Kickstarter orders and we're pouring a lot of energy into that already. We can't wait to get these into your hands and get you painting!
One very good bit of news for our backers is that we have finalized our costing this week and determined that the price of Sensu at retail will be $34.99. That makes the reward a really great deal at $25 or less per brush. Hopefully that news will get some fence-sitters to jump in and pledge. Maybe it's a good reason to come back in and increase your pledge to buy a few more.
Keep spreading the word! Thanks!!!
Wow! With two weeks still to go in our Kickstarter project, today we connected with our 1000th backer. A giant thank you to each Kickstarter who has pledged to make our dream a reality. So many of you have reached out to your networks and spread the word. We appreciate all that you've done. There's another big number on our Kickstarter page but the "1000" is the one that really gives us the most satisfaction and pride.
Thanks to the 1000+ of you from the 7 of us, Rick, Kent, Trinedy, Marisol, Nicole, Maggie, and Joe!
A few minutes ago we passed the 4-day mark in our project's life on Kickstarter. We also crossed the 200% line in our funding goal! Thank you to everyone who has pledged and helped spread the word! We've gotten great exposure on blogs all over the world. We've been Google-translating Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian to keep up with what bloggers are saying about our brush.
Kickstarter warns us that this is where things can slow down for us until the end where we can expect to rally a bit. Please keep tweeting, posting, and reaching out in any way you can!
The response has been so great that we are speaking with a couple of key sub-vendors about how we can move ahead with production earlier than planned. I make no promises at this point, but I will report back if we are able get any of our longest-lead time factories to fire up even before the project ends.
We have pledges for over 500 brushes already, but we face a first order minimum of 3000 to achieve our best cost. Every dollar pledged on Kickstarter makes that number more comfortably achievable. So again, scratch your heads and think of a friend or a network that you can recommend us to. We remain so grateful for all you've done already. We can't wait get Sensu in your hands – and ours!