A Stretched Goal: Alternative Caps
Hi, Kickstarters - Many of you fed back that an alternative cap-tip would be desirable. We like those ideas a lot too, and would like to realize them. They would truly perfect the Eco-Essential Pen:
Tip #1: a non-nib cap. For those who feels writing is putting ink onto paper.
Tip #2: a Wacom nib -compatible cap.
What we like to do is to throw these optional tips into your package as well, free-of-charge. But after we summed up our total costs (BoM COGS + included International Shipping), we realized we couldn't afford it in the current pricing structure.
Inspired by "Stretch Goal" approach, we discussed this with our metal shop, and they've figured out how to help us afford it if we could hit certain volumes. Here it is:
If we hit $35,000 - Tip #1 is included
If we hit $45,000 - Tip #2 is ALSO included
So, if you like what you see here, kindly pardon us in asking for more of your support. Please help by informing Your Pen-Loving Friends about this very good-looking and high-quality writing instrument. Let’s work together to see how far we can take it, thank you !
Eco-Essential Pen: a natural selection.
Eco-Essential Pen is a fine writing instrument that you’ll be proud to call your own. Its solid construction & bamboo barrel are pleasing to the senses, and writing with it is an absolute joy, thanks to the precision & smoothness of Hi-Tec-C inserts.
Who We Are
We are three dudes in unconnected professions – Hung in art & architectural design, Issey in sales, and Jack in manufacturing. We share a taste for good product designs. Inspired by Kickstarter, we are banding together to give our ideas a chance. We named our brand “now&then” because every now & then we think we conceive worthy ideas …
We want to bring about better products, underlined by considerations to Spaceship Earth and sustainability. But what is “better”? In our fledging start, our criteria are: 1) serves a desired functional purpose and serves it well, 2) is comfortable, and 3) to our own liking, enough so that we’d put our money where our mouths are.
Hung is a designer by training and a self-professed pen geek. Upon seeing the now-ubiquitous pen on Kickstarter, Hung immediately started itching for his own signature. Hence, our Eco-Essential Pen was conceived.
Starting With Bamboo …
Bamboo, like wood, exudes comfort and serenity. The natural texture personifies professional luxury and executive style. Unlike hardwood, which takes 20 ~ 120 years to attain harvestable maturity (defined as 30cm diameter at eye-height), bamboo matures in 4~6 years and self-replenishes after harvest (as being a grass, its roots remain intact).
Sū Shì, 12-century Chinese Poet, considers Bamboo a spiritual essential. His poem, "On Qian Seng's Green Bamboo Skin Veranda", is translated here.
In addition to being ecologically-responsible, bamboo is renowned for its light weight and superior strength. In Asia, bamboo is long revered for its beauty and considered a requisite companion to the soul. In Taiwan, bamboo is native and utilized extensively, bequeathing an abundance of superb craftsmanship. Globalization has taken bamboo onto international stage. From Gucci bag handles to exclusive trim option offered for BMW X6, bamboo is affirmed as a luxury yet eco-chic material.
To us, the key was its contribution to comfort. Bamboo remains nice-to-touch at any ambient temperature, and you'll appreciate its light weight and better protection against nicks & dings. So comfortable, Eco-Essential Pen shall quickly become the pen that you carry everywhere.
Then, Add On Modern Features
On the basis of its timeless bamboo body, we incorporated design considerations essential to modern needs:
- Engineered for Pilot Hi-Tec-C pen inserts, which is renowned for writing precision and available in wide variety of color & tip thickness options.
- High-sensitivity yet durable Stylus nib, facilitating work transition between paper & e-paper.
- Color Ring as distinctive yet subtle identification.
- Free-form Pen Pouch. We believe the best packaging are those that see second life. We hope this flexible design will entice you to find creative use for it.
Where We Are
We are ready! After four months of design & prototyping iterations, we’ve got an amazingly practical yet beautiful pen. Frankly, the end result surpassed our own expectations.
We’ve lined up a well-qualified supply chain in Taiwan, headed by a maker with 20+ years of luxury-pen experience. We’ve planned out the shipment packaging and fulfillment logistics. Now, our remaining hurdle is amassing enough funds to kick-start our dream into reality.
Kickstarters – your sponsorship is much, much appreciated!
All rewards come ready-to-write with a 0.4mm black Hi-Tec-C cartridge. Or, drop us a note along with your pledge on your choice of options: a) BLUE / RED / BLACK. b) 0.3mm / 0.4mm / 0.5mm. Your support includes worldwide delivery.
We sincerely appreciate you taking the time to check us out. We hope you’ll become the proud owner of Eco-Essential Pen soon. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
This is our first project on Kickstarter, we did not realize the amount of details involved in bringing a product, simple as a pen, to market.
Design wise, we pored over specification & options in every aspect, and made prototypes for daily use. Repeat twice, over four months. In this process, we found our Eco-Essential Pen samples becoming indispensable. While we would like to think that this affinity is due to superb usability, there’s always the risk of our blinders.
Manufacturing, often cited as a Kickstarter project challenge, is actually our forte. During development, we simultaneously conducted sourcing work and now enjoy the support of a workshop with 20+ years of luxury pen experience. And, thanks to Jack's supply chain expertise, having managed such function on behalf of Apple and other tech companies, you can rest assured that your reward shall be produced in quality and delivered like clockwork.
Side Note: to our supporters seeking further assurances of our execution ability & quality standards, please google P-Bag Mallet Bags -- a designed-goods attempt that Jack made 10 years ago. The P-Bag Orchestral Bag was well-praised, and continues to serve percussionists today. And, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then P-Bag Orchestral's worthiness is proven again in 2012 by an identical copycat, released by percussion big-brand Humes & Berg, as the GalaxyGrip Bag.
Back to our Eco-Essential Pen. Presentation & Marketing is actually our weakest link. We lack the skills and budget to produce the marketing visuals that would do this Pen justice. We simply hope that you don’t judge a pen by its marketing materials. Please sponsor us to put this pen in your hand. And then you’ll agree. Thank you !Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)