About this project
Chesstache is Laura Landry and Spencer Anastasio, two friends who are obchessed. One night over drinks he taught her chess and shared with her his idea for a burlap, drawstring bag chessboard that he could easily carry with him anywhere. As a part of her ‘homemade’ Christmas in 2012, she made her version of his idea and together they decided to make this ‘thing’ happen. The name was easy, it was a chessboard you could stash and with her new found love of chess and her never ending love of mustaches, it was quickly named the Chesstache. Next the logo took shape; the rook being his favorite piece and the mustache, well... that was her. From there it was an evolution... Together they’ve developed what they believe is a product that will change how the game is played because it will change WHERE the game is played. Without further adieu, this is Chesstache.
Our mission at Chesstache is to introduce chess to a new audience or reintroduce it to those who may have forgotten. It is our goal to upcycle, reclaim, repurpose, and use minimal packaging wherever possible; convenience, style and mobility with an extremely low profile. Through the development of our handcrafted chessboards we believe we can make chess playable everywhere; from the coffee shop to the campground and everywhere in between. Each Chesstache will have its own personality and unique sense of culture-conscious style. Almost every step in production is done by hand and EVERYTHING is made in the USA. These points of difference will continue to be the driving force behind the development of our brand and goods.
The two boards currently available are made of cotton canvas. Specifically, repurposed Korean War and Vietnam War era military tarps and tents (The McArthur), and black cotton duck canvas (The Lincoln). We chose cotton canvas because of its durability and ability to withstand the test of time. We are looking to utilize additional fabrics in the development of future board styles, including mylar boat sails (The Hemingway) and leather (The Winchester), and we will continue to source other durable fabrics to make new boards from.
The squares are screen printed onto the boards using a flexible paint that will not crack or peel with the repeated folding and rolling of the board.
Do you have an idea for a fabric you would like to see the Chesstache in? Are we missing your favorite color for the squares? Let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment here on Kickstarter), we’d love to hear from you - you just might be the inspiration for a future board.
In order to make the Chesstache ultraportable we knew we had to rethink the traditional chess pieces. Originally inspired by Scrabble tiles, we set out to make our pieces out of round, flat, wood discs that we would stain and decorate with the shape or name of the chess piece. As our idea evolved we looked for a more substantial wood than the balsa, used for Scrabble tiles, and decided to source maple from Maine to make the Chesstache pieces. The final pieces will be stained, tumbled, and waxed with the shape of each piece heat branded into the wood.
The pieces are stacked in ‘The Stache’, a durable, soft-touch (rubberized) plastic tube with removable endcaps. The board is then wrapped around it and secured with a leather strap and buckle.
The images that you see below and on the video are only prototypes, The Stache and pieces are still in development and we are anticipating pictures of their final design in the coming days. We’re really looking forward to sharing them with you.
Each board will have a Chesstache label sewn into the side and include a leather strap and buckle designed to match the style of board it will secure. The Chesstache will utilize minimal outer packaging, which will be consistent for both e-commerce and brick and mortar store sales.
From the first burlap board that Laura made to where the product is today, it’s been an evolution. We’ve tested and retested, designed and redesigned. Below we’ve shared a collection of pictures to illustrate the evolution the Chesstache has gone through.
The Chesstache has been busy, here are a few pics of its adventures...
The below graphic demonstrates how we will allocate your funding according to our business model.
The boards you may choose from are pictured below with renderings of the pint glass koozie and decals. You will notice a few levels of rewards seem to be the same. We've used what we call diminishing rewards to encourage early pledging. For example, on "The Obchessed" the first 15 backers at this level will get their reward for $65, the next 25 backers will get the same reward for $75, for the next 50 backers it's $85, and all other backers will receive the same reward for $95. This also applies to "The Gift & Take".
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Risks and challenges
Challenge: This is our first experience owning and running a company. We believe however that our combined skill sets allow us to perform nearly all of the necessary functions within our organization, reducing the need to outsource to third parties.
“I spent the past decade as a cosmetic executive with experience in sales, education, promotions, e-commerce, product development, and procurement within the upscale and luxury retail environments. Expressing my creative nature is compulsive and ranges from chessboards to vegetable gardens to graphic design. Its not a question of will I create, it’s a question of what I create. Along with my professional acumen and innate creativity I bring to Chesstache my sense of unexpected, niche consumer goods.” – Laura
“My legal background was especially useful in the initial stages of setting up Chesstache LLC and securing rights in our intellectual property. This will continue to serve the organization well into the future, as we are able to minimize legal fees. My familiarity in the backcountry combined with my experience as a whitewater rafting guide and ski instructor lends itself to an ability to conceptualize innovative outdoor and travel products. Also having held positions across many industries I am able to quickly adapt and learn new skill sets for the job at hand.” – Spencer
Risk: As a scarce resource there is a finite quantity of the historical canvases we are interested in using. We will look to source as much as possible but understand that we do face some limitations and new fabrics will need to be found. We also think that this fact lends itself to the uniqueness of our product.
Challenge: Currently there are four hands that make Chesstaches (Laura’s and Spencer’s). Production and fulfillment of the Kickstarter orders may prove to be a challenge depending on the response to our product. The custom components we will outsource (The Stache and the pieces) will take six to eight weeks to arrive. We will use this downtime to produce the boards so that order fulfillment happens in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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