Press Kit Here: http://www.highamwhiskyboards.com/press-kit.html
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FOR EXPLORING SCOTCH WHISKY
The Original Whiskyboard® was designed as gift for Roger Higham on his 60th birthday by his son Chris. They shared an after dinner tradition of comparing malts from Scotland's different whisky regions. It was about spending time together, sharing knowledge of the malts, listening, learning and trying to notice the subtle, or not so subtle, differences between these drinks from different glens. The Whiskyboard® was a way to enhance this social experience. Long forgotten malts from different regions are dug out from the cabinet, placed on the board and compared in turn.
OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
The primary purpose of this campaign is to proceed with full-scale manufacture of Whiskyboards. We have spent a great deal of time prototyping and adjusting designs. That stage has reached completion and now its time to see who's interested and hopefully raise enough money to finance the first batch for manufacture. We want to share the joy of this product with you and our Customers, and create something that will last a lifetime.
We are grateful beyond belief for any interest, praise, criticism, feedback and donations that we might receive from this kickstarter campaign. If we reach our funding target we will head straight into manufacture and delivery all our products before Christmas. Our realistic shipping date is on, or before, November 1st 2014.
All Whiskyboards ship from central Scotland and we are able to offer free shipping within the UK. Postage to other destinations is heavily subsidised but still costs a little more due to the size of our products. For Europe please add a further £10. Sweden is an exception because we have connections there so can offer free shipping. For The United States and Canada please add a further £20. For the Rest of the World please add £35 or alternatively contact us for a custom quote. We really are not making money on shipping!
Thank you for reading. Please see below for detailed information on the core products we are designing and how we're doing it.
SCOTLAND'S WHISKY PRODUCING REGIONS
The word Terroir is often used to express all the natural influences found in a whisky’s home territory. These can give hints and clues towards a malt's character and flavour. Unique local factors, such a distillery’s water source, have a subtle yet remarkable effect on a final taste. Then there are local customs, like the use of peat in the malting process, which give these neighbours their own niche and personality. We also believe the home region provides each malt with a family, a starting point and a place to begin telling its very own story.
The Whiskyboard® was an idea that evolved from this school of thought. Sitting late into the night, tasting and comparing the whiskies, exploring the story behind the dram in their hands. It became so popular with visitors that Chris was asked to make a few more and although there may soon be more than one, the first model with its circular, social shape, shall always be known as The Original.
The Traveller is a special Whiskyboard® designed to satisfy the hand baggage requirements of almost every major airline. It is the second board in the Whiskyboard® range and was designed for those who prefer something slightly smaller or more convenient for travel. The aim of both is the same: to get people talking, sharing and appreciating Scotch whisky.
WOOD IS GOOD
Each and every Whiskyboard® is made from solid high-grade European white oak; the same wood whisky barrels are made from. All of our wood comes from sustainable forestry practices and is PEFC certified. Before manufacturing begins we kiln-dry all the wood extremely slowly for over 2 months, until it's just right on the inside. This gradually lowers the internal moisture content and gives each board the very best start in life possible. The wooden staves are carefully selected and bonded together to create a solid product designed to last a lifetime. The final step is to give each board a light protective coating to help keep things perfect for years to come. To care for your Whiskyboard® we recommend showing it a little love, not leaving it in water and, where possible, limiting its exposure to big shifts in seasonal humidity.
We like to design products that last and our packaging reflects this same core value. It was designed as an extension of the product itself and we hope to choose to keep it. Our intention is to contribute as little disposable packaging to the world as possible.
¨THE ORIGINAL¨ - Product Specifications
• Smoked, solid European oak • Sustainably sourced wood - PEFC certified • Whisky regions featured: Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown and The Islands • The only Whiskyboard® to include The Shetland Islands • Product dimensions: 48cm diameter x 2.6cm • Packaging dimensions: 50 x 50 x 4cm • Average product weight 3.64kg • Average weight with packaging 6.04kg • Contributes to the 1% for the planet fund
¨THE TRAVELLER¨ - Product Specifications
• Smoked, solid European oak • Sustainably sourced wood - PEFC certified • Whisky regions featured: Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown and The Islands • Compact travel size - satisfies hand baggage size requirements of most major airlines. • Product dimensions: 48 x 32 x 2.6 cm • Packaging dimensions: 50 x 35 x 4cm • Average Product Weight 2.52kg • Average Weight with Packaging 3.96kg • Contributes to the 1% for the planet fund
OUR PRODUCTION STORY SO FAR
2001 - 2005: Chris studied product design at Heriot Watt University and Edinburgh College of Art. He graduated with 1st class honours, the engineering award and a scrapbook with a whiskyboard idea scribbled out in it.
2010: Fast-forward a few years. Chris started working on the Whiskyboard as he realised his father was turning 60 soon and this would be an original and fun gift he would love to receive. A few prototypes were made using scrap wood, hand tools and then later versions made by CNC router and CNC laser.
2011: The first Whiskyboard was finished and very happily received as a 60th birthday present. The first one was actually made of Cherry, but later we switched to Oak.
CNC lasering a prototype of The Original
CNC lasering the north arrow for The Original
2012: After a lot of positive reviews of the product Chris decided to register the company name Higham Whiskyboards Ltd and start doing some serious R&D. If it were to be a business then a lot of refining would have to be done to the designs.
2013: The re-design phase took a year, with lots of backwards and forwards between manufacturers both in Scotland and abroad. We knew we wanted to use the highest quality sustainable oak, precision CNC machining and luxurious oversized whisky packaging. Looking at our competitors all of this is done abroad and despite our huge interest in keeping everything on home soil we realised the facilities we needed simply didn't exist locally. Additionally the retail price would be pushed to well over £200 which seemed a hard sell. A lot of travelling was done throughout the world and finally we found a superb Shanghai factory specialising in the highest quality, sustainable wooden products for the UK market. They have been an absolute joy to work with and truly gone against the grain (excuse the pun) of what we expected to find. They understand our absolute obsession with quality and work with us on a daily basis to ensure there is zero compromise.
2014: Finally after several rounds of R&D we found exactly what we were looking for in our product. The size feels perfect now, the quality, the finish and the engraving. Even the brochures, barcode stickers, whisky-style packaging and delivery packaging has been designed and contracts put in place, not to mention the design protection and trademarking applications. There really have been a million little things we have had to setup but that's why we waiting so long to launch. All we need now is that simple little thing called money to fund the production of our first batch. We could have gone to a bank or private investor, and still can, but the concept of Kickstarter really appealed to us. The thought of having a product funded by customers who believe in it is a fantastic idea. Rather this than being funded by a bank only interested in making interest on a loan. That's my 2 cents anyways.
When will we ship products to our supporters? Well here is our plan and it's pretty well thought out.
May - June: Kickstarter campaign
June - August: As soon as we reach our funding target (fingers crossed!) then we immediately put the wood in the kiln to begin the slow drying process.
August - September: The manufacturing process begins on our boards and packaging, with quality control every step along the way.
September - October: Products ship from our manufacturer to us.
October: Products arrive with our distributor in Bathgate in central Scotland. We give everything a double check.
November 1st: This is our expected date to ship products to all of our supporters. In reality we hope it can be a couple of weeks before this date. It will certainly be well in time for Christmas though, by all means. Delivery within the UK takes a couple of days. Europe is usually 2-7 days. US & Canada around 4-10 days. The rest of the world 5-21 days, depending how far away from sunny Scotland you live.
SHARING A LITTLE LOVE
All of our products will also contribute to the 1% for the planet fund. A brilliant simple concept that helps protect the natural world with every company that signs up. We'd like to encourage more start-ups to get involved with this movement from day one.
SEE OUR PRETTY PROGRESS GRAPHS AND STATISTICS
Risks and challenges
We already spent a very long time working on the design. That was our key priority. It had to be a piece of art and it must also withstand the test of time. We have spent the last year trying different wood drying techniques combined with different coatings. The aim of this was to find a mix that looks beautiful but also keeps its form over time. Wood likes to move. It does this as the seasons change and it is the classic nightmare for the furniture designer. So finally we believe we have landed on the correct balance for our product. There will always be a slight risk though as wood is a natural product and can never be 100% tamed. All we can say is we will give your Whiskyboard the very best start in life possible!
We are now almost completely ready to pull the trigger on manufacture. What is lacking is the funds and it would give us confidence to know the demand before manufacture begins. As this will be our first batch there may of course be unforeseen delays, that comes with the territory, but we have done our homework and think we've got every part of the process planned out. We cannot see into the future to promise you this, but we sincerely expect that by November 1st 2014 we will be mailing out our first Whiskyboards. We're excited! And we will keep you informed of our progress and any temporary setbacks at every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)