Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Heirloom: the World's First Tomato for Cameras's video poster
Play

The Heirloom goes places where your tripod won't go. Sometimes freedom comes in the form of a big red tomato. Read more

115
backers
$11,924
pledged of $43,000 goal
0
seconds to go

Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on .

The Heirloom goes places where your tripod won't go. Sometimes freedom comes in the form of a big red tomato.

About this project

New $20 Heirloom!

If you can wait until April 2015 when the overseas supply chain is established, you can get an Heirloom for $20. All other rewards are still made in the USA and still shipping in 2014.

New T-Shirts!

Get an Heirloom T-shirt for $15
Get an Heirloom T-shirt for $15

 Background

The Heirloom is an updated version of the bean bag, a tried and true tool of photographers for as long as there have been cameras. It works very well with smartphones, point & shoots, and DSLRs. I created the Heirloom for people who want the stability of a tripod without having to carry one around everywhere they go. Many times photographers will avoid taking the time to set up their tripod and settle for a handheld shot instead, but as a result their pictures suffer. With the Heirloom, all you do it plop it down and setup is done. You don't miss any opportunities to get a great shot.

Turn the Heirloom's stem to mount your camera
Turn the Heirloom's stem to mount your camera

The Heirloom is made of only two parts - 

  • Stem: The stem uses a standard 1/4 inch bolt to mount securely to any camera. You can mount phones to the Heirloom using an smartphone adapter such as the Glif. But you only see half of the stem in the video. The other half lives inside the bag and grips onto the beans to provide the bulk of the stability. No other product on the market does this! This is the magic that keeps your camera still. It works so well that you can tilt most cameras more than 45 degrees and the Heirloom will keep it still.
  • Body: The body is made out of a single piece of Cordura (similar to what backpacks are made of). I did this in order to use minimal fabric and to create as little friction as possible while turning the stem. The turning action is very smooth.
The Heirloom body is made out of a single piece of Cordura using a unique flower petal pattern. This makes it possible to turn the stem without any friction or sticking caused by unnecessary seams. Shown here is an actual sample that I took apart.
The Heirloom body is made out of a single piece of Cordura using a unique flower petal pattern. This makes it possible to turn the stem without any friction or sticking caused by unnecessary seams. Shown here is an actual sample that I took apart.

The Heirloom travels well. If you need the extra space in your suitcase, the zipper opens so you can empty the bag before you leave on a trip and fill it up again when you get to where you're going. Or you can simply leave it filled, and it only weighs about a pound. It doesn't take up much room in a backpack. You can fill it with whatever you want. I prefer small-ish beans (currently using navy beans).

I use it often to film myself playing guitar. It's really helpful to have a clear, steady video so I can review my technique. How will you use it? I'm excited to find out!

Rewards

The Heirloom you will receive. This one is a prototype. Yours will be cleaner and more polished overall.
The Heirloom you will receive. This one is a prototype. Yours will be cleaner and more polished overall.
Glif: Tripod Mount & Stand for Smartphones (courtesy of Studio Neat)
Glif: Tripod Mount & Stand for Smartphones (courtesy of Studio Neat)
                                                               
The color of the limited edition yellow Heirloom
The color of the limited edition yellow Heirloom

Design Process

I have been working on the Heirloom for about 2 years, experimenting with different sizes, shapes, and materials. I've hit the sweet spot with size, durability, and weight so that it will support any camera size up to and including DSLR. The bag is made out of a single piece of durable, water resistant 1000 denier Cordura.

Just a few of the early shapes, sizes, and materials for the Heirloom
Just a few of the early shapes, sizes, and materials for the Heirloom

I started prototyping ideas for camera mounts in Sketchup and getting bags made in NYC's Garment District. The initially small camera mounts were cumbersome to turn and not very stable, so after I began increasing the size of the mounts and experimenting with various shapes, the whole thing started to resemble a piece of fruit. The Heirloom was starting to sprout!

With the help of multi-talented product designer Mike Knuepfel at Brooklyn Research, we refined the design into its current form. He was able to bring to life to what I could only see in my mind, help give the Heirloom its charming character, and make it ready for production. I couldn't have done this without him.

$43,000

Our funding goal is a break-even number that includes the cost of the plastic molds, plastic parts, bags, packaging, and shipping of 1000 pieces. This is a small run made entirely in the USA.

Production Plan

Domestic manufacturers (and backup manufacturers) are already in place. At the end of the campaign, I essentially flip on the switch; molds start to get made, then the plastic stems, and red Heirloom bodies will be manufactured as quickly as they can be made. Then the Heirlooms are assembled, packaged and shipped to you.

Risks and challenges

I have made every effort to mitigate risk through diligent planning. My project would need to exceed 10x the funding goal before I need to alter the plan by scaling production to stay on schedule and meet demand. I have backup vendors in place in the event that current vendors exceed capacity.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • The Heirloom is much more versatile than the Pod. It is appropriately sized for small cameras up to SLRs in a single shape and is extremely stable for all of them. Because the Heirloom is spherical you can get great tilt and angles that aren't possible with the Pod, and you can level your camera on non-level surfaces. Finally, to me the idea of turning the entire body or camera to attach it is akin to turning the lamp to screw in the lightbulb, so the Heirloom is more ergonomically correct.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, rice works as well as beans. Or, for a little creole flavor, use both!

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    8 backers

    Your name will appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    0 backers

    NEW REWARD - Heirloom T-shirt! Get a really awesome Heirloom T-shirt, shown on the left. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    3 backers

    NEW REWARD! Get the same great Heirloom, just a little bit later than everyone else. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    51 backers Limited (199 left of 250)

    EARLY BIRD: Get your very own Heirloom at an early bird price. You will be in the first group to receive their Heirlooms. Get it just in time for the harvest! Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    33 backers Limited (67 left of 100)

    EARLY BIRD: Limited edition yellow Heirloom. Sometimes tomatoes are yellow. Sometimes Heirlooms are yellow too! I am making 250 limited edition yellow Heirlooms. 100 of them are available at the early bird price. You will be in the first group to receive their Heirlooms. Get it just in time for the harvest! Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    1 backer

    Get your very own Heirloom at the regular price. Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    1 backer Limited (149 left of 150)

    Limited edition yellow Heirloom: Sometimes tomatoes are yellow. Sometimes Heirlooms are yellow too! I am making 250 limited edition yellow Heirlooms 150 of them are available at the regular price. Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    2 backers

    Get your very own (pre-filled with beans) Heirloom at the regular price.

    Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    3 backers

    Heirlooom + Glif (as shown in the video).

    Don't have a Glif? You should. It's an awesome tripod mount that works with all smartphones. Get one Heirloom and one Glif with this pledge.

    Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    8 backers

    Heirlooom (pre-filled with beans) + Glif (as shown in the video).

    Don't have a Glif? You should. It's an awesome tripod mount that works with all smartphones. Get one Heirloom and one Glif with this pledge.

    Your name will also appear on the official Heirloom web site as a supporter. US shipping included.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (39 days)