It all started when Doug Stienstra's girlfriend asked for a "cute" flash drive. He couldn't find one, so he created his own. She loved it. So did her friends... and so did quite a few others.... and this simple gift idea soon turned into a full-time business, most recently featured in Entrepreneur Magazine's June 2012 issue. (note: Video music by Keegan DeWitt: www.keegandewitt.com)
Now FlashPals - the world's most endangered flash drives - need YOUR help! These wildly cute flash drives have stuffed animal designs that represent real animals facing real threats. Everyone seems to agree - Jack the Giraffe is indeed the world's cutest flash drive. Everyone also seems to agree - the world needs more FlashPals! Jack is lonely and needs some friends.
What makes FlashPals so awesome?
- Cute: Because they're so ridiculously cute, like your technology should be.
- Unique: Their unique plush design is the first of its kind, and you are so over boring flash drives... or lost them.
- Personality: They have names, personalities, and birthdays, like you.
- Keychain-equipped: Just snap onto your backpack or purse, and never lose your flash drive again.
- Protective case: Each comes with a sleek case for storage.
- Back-to-School-ready: FlashPals were made for the young and young-at-heart, and students love them.
- Support small business: The economy has taken a downturn, and America is relying more on its young creative entrepreneurs. Now you can help us remain a part of that.
- Save the wild: Each FlashPal represent a real animal species that faces real threats, and you should know about it.
How you help
Help us bring the next animal designs to life and shape the future of FlashPals. We asked individuals what animal should be next for production and the overwhemling response demanded.... drum rollll!..... Zena the Zebra! She's cuter than ever and ready for production, but Zena and Jack need a kickstart through your helpful contributions.
These novelty flash drives are the result of a detailed and labor-intensive production process involving customized components that make them unlike any other flash drives on the market. We've built strategic relationships with suppliers, designers, and fulfillment facilities to bring each FlashPal from idea to reality. Obviously each piece of the puzzle requires an upfront cost, and this project's funding will be used to carry out that production process and satisfy your demand for FlashPals.
Your contribution will allow us to acquire customized plush materials and flash drives, finalize artwork for packaging, and finally launch assembly right here in the USA. Everything is ready for production and will be ready for delivery already within a few weeks of the project. Help us pull the trigger, become a part of something bigger, and put yourself first in line to receive an original FlashPal.
Imagine, the possibilities...
So you would love an elephant flash drive, or a dog, or a teddy bear, or something else? Any amount contributed beyond the $2500 goal will go directly towards the development of more FlashPals designs. Help us go above and beyond our goal to bring your favorite animal to reality. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what designs you would like to see next!
Your drive. Your world.™
Each contribution of $7 or more will give you exlusive voting rights to help choose future FlashPals designs. You will also have the opportunity to share with us which causes you would like to see future FlashPals design support. How about a tiger FlashPal that helps protect this majestic animal from extinction? Or a dolphin drive that promotes a specific organization's efforts to help dolphins? Imagine a better world, and tell us about it. We have already partnered with the world's leading giraffe organization, The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), to support their efforts and would like to know what causes drive you as we envision the future of FlashPals and the world. Your drive. Your world. ™
*Endangered animals? How do you help them?" Each FlashPal represents a particular animal facing real threats; however, our efforts to help are beyond the scope of this project, and no funds raised through Kickstarter will be used towards this cause.
"What else can I do to help them?" The first and most obvious way to help protect these endangered species is to learn about them. Few people realize the immense threat that certain species of giraffes are currently facing and see little reason to help a species that seems so common. The reality is that the number of giraffes in the wild has diminished by over 40% since 1999, and some (sub) species have a population of less than 250. Zebras face similar threats, and Grevy's zebra has dropped from a population of 15,000 to less than 2,500 over the past few decades.
Here's a quick list of a few things you can do:
- Learn about the animals!
- Subscribe to the FlashPals Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr to receive regular updates and WILD facts about various animals.
- Start small! The global ecosystem is vast and interconnected. Try to create less waste, recycle, bike or carpool, and remain consious of the problem. These small efforts can collectively make a huge difference.
- Spread the word! Facebook, Twitter, and online communities make communication easier than ever. Tell your network about the cause, the efforts of organizations like the GCF, and what we're doing to help.
- Make a donation directly on FlashPals.com. Every dollar counts!
"Who uses flash drives, and why do I need one anyways?" USB flash drives are the most common way to save data on the go, and just about anyone who uses a computer uses a flash drive. Students of all ages are usually required to have a flash drive for school. Office workers use them to carry their work from the office to home and vice versa. The common computer user uses them to back up files, share files with a friend, have pictures printed, and much more. Let us know what useful, unique, and fun ways you use a flash drive feedback@FlashPals.com.
"What about the cloud?" Ah, of course, handing your valuable data over to someone else to have stored in some data farm in... well, somewhere, managed and accessed by... well, someone... is safe, right? Call us old-fashioned but we don't see flash drives going anywhere because there is nothing like holding your data in your hands.... especially when it's so soft and cuddly.
"I have an idea!" Great! We'd love to hear it. Please send us any feedback or ideas to feedback@FlashPals.com.
"Can I get some for my store?" YES! Almost everyone of every age group uses a flash drive nowadays, making FlashPals a perfect addition to almost any type of store. They are cute, unique, and USA-assembled, fueled by the passion of just one young entrepreneur. We can send you retail-ready packaging, complete with labels and UPC codes. Please contact sales@FlashPals.com to inquire about wholesale orders.
"Can I get a customized design for my organization, like a mascot or logo?" YES! How about a cuddly drive representing your company to send top clients or prospective customers for the holidays? Make your brand stand out. Contact sale@FlashPals.com to inquire about customized orders.
"What color is a giraffe's tongue?" We were wondering the same thing, like so many others. Find out here: http://pinterest.com/pin/190488259209360728/
Other questions? Send an email to support@FlashPals.com.
YES, we ship worldwide. We also appreciate the global support, so shipping is on us!
Yup, there are plenty of them. That's because most plain flash drives are pretty cheap to make, especially when they're completely manufactured in China. FlashPals use fully-customize components that literally make them unlike every other flash drive out there. It's a labor-intensive production process, and final assembly takes place right here in the USA. By supporting this project you can help us keep it that way.
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