TL;DR (aka "Too Long, Didn't Read")
This is a Kickstarter to make enough money for a single run of a beverage and soap holder called The Hang Over (because it hangs over your shower door or rod).
The minimum pledge is $1 and you get a "I DRINK IN THE SHOWER" bumper sticker.
The Hang Over is available at the $33 incentive level. I have offered several of the same Hang Over options so the expected delivery will be staggered enough for me to fulfill the orders.
There are other things available besides a sticker and a Hang Over. If I am able to make things before the delivery date, I will send them early.
What Is This?
This is The Hang Over:
It's a beverage and soap holder designed to keep your beverage and soap away from the water, while still making it easy to enjoy in the shower.
How many times have you tried setting your beer in the shower caddy, or worse, on the soap holder?
As careful as you are, you still can't keep warm water out of your beverage!
Or maybe you reached for your bloody mary, but instead, it slipped out of your hands and went spraying all over the bathroom:
With the Hang Over, your beverage stays out of the soap and water. It's really the only way that drinking in the shower makes any kind of sense.
How This All Happened
I make soap for a living. Weird soap. Soap for the kind of people who would rather wash on the smell of campfire, whiskey, gunpowder, and dirt than wash it off. Soap for the kind of people who drink in the shower. About our soaps, Urban Daddy recently wrote “If you could somehow fuse the general feel of colonial America with the general mad genius soap-mastery of Tyler Durden from Fight Club, you’d get... something really weird. Like these soaps. Which, by personal hygiene fragrance standards, are a little weird. Good weird.”
We sometimes get requests for specific soaps... a friend recently said he wanted soaps like ours, except with pumice so he could use ours instead of LAVA. We went into production with that on 7/22.
A month or so ago, my friend Erin requested a soap for her friend Mook. Mook drinks in the shower. She wanted a soap shaped like a cup holder so it could hold Mook’s beer.
There are some problems with this concept:
- The beer would be super soapy and slippery, potentially causing hazardous situations in the bathroom (especially if you’re drinking from glass)
- The beer would get warm from sitting in a pool of sudsy water
- The beer would probably even get sudsy water inside it, which causes...
- The beer would be watered down and taste like soap. Icky.
But it has the makings of a very good idea.
Ah ha! What we needed was a beer and soap holder!
Something that would keep the beer out of the water (but still easily accessed) and would also hold the soap in a way that the water could quickly drop off and evaporate away.
(I’m not actually sure either of the people are getting what they were hoping for, but WHO CARES? IT IS A GREAT IDEA!)
I got to work thinking of what we needed to do... and of course I called my friend Terry. He works at a place called Techshop (http://www.techshop.ws) and has access to all sorts of fabrication, cutting, and whatever-the-fuck-else machinery. It’s overwhelming magic to me, but when I told him my hopes for the yet-to-be-named engineering triumph, he said, “oh sure, that’s easy. I’ll send you some sketches tomorrow.”
And he did!
It really have any way to adhere to the wall, but the idea was there! I requested that it hang over the shower rod or door (we now offer three options: rod, door, or suction cup). Voila... the "Hang Over."
And then a couple days later, he showed up with the FIRST GENERATION PROTOTYPE (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=678196758864601&set=pb.577784945572450.-2207520000.1374520346.&type=3&theater).
Over the following weeks, we made some adjustments to the design (fitting a bigger cup, better holding the soap) and completed the second generation prototype. And then our friend Amber, who works for That Thing in the Desert, brought the second generation prototype to the group showers there and installed it in a “deluxe shower stall” that comes with a free beer.
She said, “It's awesome!! We have had coffee mugs, beers and a tiki mug in it so far. And it slides easily back and forth on the shower bar when the curtain is pulled open or closed. I've never been so happy to have a Hang Over.”
And the people have asked -nay, DEMANDED- that we offer them for sale. Which is why you find yourself reading this now.
They are somewhat labor intensive at this point, requiring the work of a highly trained entertainment website Product Manager spending hours over a laser cutter and then lovingly folding the acrylic into the delightful shape, thus:
Amazing, no? (tiki mug included in some levels of incentives)
Who are we?
I'm Danielle Vincent. Hi. Howdy. I'm writing this. Bios are hard, but I know it's important that you get to know us a little, so here goes...
Terry Sandin is amazing. He's a manager of Techshop. He is one of the most brilliant engineers I know, not to mention a very close friend. Also, he lives down the hall. And he was in my wedding as a groomsman.
He was in a TV show on the Discovery Channel called "Prototype This," which should basically lay down his perfect qualifications for executing the prototypes for the Hang Over.
Here is a photo of Terry:
Terry knows how to operate all this stuff, but doesn't know how to go about coming up with a concept and then building a plan around it.
Danielle Vincent is amazing. I am a soapmaker. Before this, I spent most of my career as a digital Product Manager, working for Oprah, ABC, ABC Family, Microsoft, and many other really huge companies. You can see my LinkedIn profile here. My product management background helps me execute projects like this, though I don't have the engineering brain power to do so.
Here is a photo of me:
I am a creative person and I'm also incredibly organized, but not all that mechanically or technically or engineeringly savvy.Thankfully, Terry has done all the hard work for me by figuring out how to make this whole thing and sending me the files. After that, it's all crafting, which I will now describe.
How do we make this magical thing?
Dwarves would be the natural choice for this sort of craftsmanship, but we had a dispute with the dwarf union and we'd need a much bigger Kickstarter to even begin to repair the damages we've already done.
So, as I mentioned, I have to do it myself. Making it myself has a lot to do with a Techshop membership and spending a full day at Techshop doing this. According to their site, "TechShop is a playground for creativity. Part fabrication and prototyping studio, part hackerspace and part learning center, TechShop provides access to over $1 million worth of professional equipment and software. We offer comprehensive instruction and expert staff to ensure you have a safe, meaningful and rewarding experience. Most importantly, at TechShop you can explore the world of making in a collaborative and creative environment."
In other words, Techshop is a community workshop where regular people like me can use laser cutting machines to make brilliant stuff.
Acrylic (also known as plexiglass) is what we use to make the Hang Overs. Acrylic comes in a variety of colors, but all of them are plastic, so we've got a fairly limited range of choices. For the first round, we'll only be offering three color choices (red, black, or clear). In the future, we may be able to offer additional color choices and textures.
The acrylic comes in massive sheets. The suppliers have to cut these sheets down to fit into the laser cutting machines.
Once we put the acrylic in the laser machines, we can open the design in Adobe Illustrator and start cutting (just like printing, really, but with a third dimension). These laser cutters literally burn through the acrylic sheet and cut out the shape, below.
Terry put together the sketches in Autodesk Inventor:
I took a couple courses and learned to operate both the Trotec and the Epilog laser cutters. Here's one of the things I made in my first few experiments with lasers:
Pretty swanky, right? I can carve or etch nearly anything into anything else. It's pretty amazing. Thank you, Techshop.
Once I cut the shape of the Hang Over is cut from acrylic, I remove the extra bits (like the little spaces between the slats in the soap dish) and shape it into the final form using a heater bendy thingie. Our Hang Overs have six bend points and each bend point takes about 3 - 5 minutes to execute, which is fairly time consuming.
But I think we all agree that it's worth it.
So, to recap how it's made:
1. Source the acrylic (we have two local sources)
2. Have the acrylic cut to laser-friendly sizes
3. Reserve the laser cutting machine for several hours
4. Open the autocad sketch
5. Use the laser cutter to cut three Hang Overs from a single piece of acrylic
6. Repeat 11 times
7. Remove all the Hang Overs from the not-Hang Over acrylic
8. Take the Hang Overs to the heater thingie and painstakingly heat and bend the acrylic (in six places) to our specifications
9. Repeat 33 times
10. Celebrate our inventiveness with a fine Irish whiskey at the corner pub
The whole process will take a full day (6 hours). If it takes longer, I will go back the following day... and the day after that... and the day after that... until all the Hang Overs are done.
The soaps are made in my shop and you can read about that process here.
The stickers are already ordered from The Sticker Guy and will be delivered to us in the first week of September. We will mail them out shortly after they are delivered.
What Does It Cost? Where Is the Money Going?
The Hang Over is available at the $33 incentive level.
This campaign is to get enough orders of The Hang Over to justify spending a whole day in the workshop making them. It’s not a big campaign. I only want to raise $1,099. For that much, I’ll be able to make 33 Hang Overs.
This is not to create a huge business around Hang Overs. If we get seriously overfunded and the scale makes sense to find a more efficient process around these, excellent. We might do a stretch goal to get our own equipment, a place to hold said equipment (instead of renting it, which is part of the cost), and hire a couple friends to come over.
But today, we’re just making 33 Hang Overs. They are $33 each. You should get one.
The costs break down thusly:
Labor, Techshop membership, course fees, and laser printer rental: $17/item
Kickstarter & Amazon fees: $3
Further rambling explanation:
It took us about three weeks of R&D on the current prototype of the Hang Over (which is what we will be shipping as incentives).
During that time, we burned some materials.
I took a course on laser cutting (and am about to take another one on advanced laser cutting).
I can make 3 Hang Overs/hour. This includes setting up the machine, cutting the acrylic, removing all the little bitty parts that don't need to be there, heating and bending the acrylic, and packing and shipping to you.
A Techshop membership is $125/mo.
The speedy laser printer is $20/hour to use.
The intangible costs (labor, membership, course fees, and laser printer) on the Hang Over are about $17 per item.
I can fit 3 Hang Overs on one piece of acrylic.
One piece of acrylic costs about $23 (depending on the quantities).
That means that the materials cost of the Hang Over is $8.
Therefore, the cost of making a Hang Over is $25.
I have estimated the cost of shipping at $8/item (it could be more, and that would suck).
The base cost of making and getting a Hang Over to you is $33. Between Kickstarter and Amazon, fees are between 7% and 10% ($2.31 - $3.30 - avg $2.81).
So therefore the true cost of making one Hang Over is $35.81
I HAVE SUPER MATH.
Ok, I seriously suck at math, but that all seems to work out.
People have told me they like my soap and bumper stickers. Other people have told me that I need other incentives.
I decided to add these soap and bumper stickers to make other incentives and make up the difference from above (the Hang Over is available at the $33 level, which you now see is a SCREAMING DEAL).
Here's the bumper sticker:
It will make your mom so proud.
Here is the soap:
I make other soap, but we’re keeping things simple here.
If there’s revenue left over from the soap and bumper stickers, I’ll buy myself (and my business) some fancy schamancy Quickbooks to account for the mad windfall of cash that has come my way.
If there’s lots of extra revenue and tons of people dying to get Hang Overs, I’ll set up a system (like I said earlier).
I bet you’re wondering why I don’t just do a Kickstarter for like $15k and source some massive production from China or something. Why use my website Product Management, Social Media, etc etc brain to bend plastic for five hours? Why not let some guy making $0.24/hour bend plastic?
1. I enjoy the work. It’s different than my usual life so it gives me some challenges. I’ve left Product Management to make soap for a living (stop laughing, I’m serious!), so this gives me a chance to make something besides soap.
2. I don’t want to set up a system to make hundreds of these. I don’t think the market would bear it and we’d just end up with a lot of plastic stuff on our hands. No one wants more plastic stuff than is useful.
3. I don’t want some guy in China breathing plastic fumes for $0.24/hour. If I’m going to make someone breathe fumes for money, I’m going to hire an American and pay them a living wage.
If you have any other questions, please let me know.
Terry Sandin, who took my hand gestures, eye squints, and total technical ineptitude and actually designed the thing and even got me into Techshop to work on it.
Erin Drummond, who originally asked for a bar of soap shaped like a cup holder, which got me thinking of how to engineer this thing. Also, thanks for all your support and for proofreading this here campaign.
Amber Clisura, who has encouraged me this whole time and even took a prototype out to That Thing in the Desert to test with the DPW (a bunch of shower drinkers if ever I saw 'em). And thanks also for reviewing the campaign.
Don Low, who won the "what should we name this?" competition.
Mathew Reuther, Dave Le, Kevin Flint, and others for providing valuable feedback on this campaign.
Tackett Austin for believing in the dream and telling me the bumper sticker isn’t stupid.
Russ Vincent, for being the best husband ever. I wake up every morning wondering how I got so lucky.
I’m very blessed to have incredible and brilliant friends such as you.
Drinking in the shower is hazardous for a number of reasons:
- You could be drunk in a shower, slip, and fall
- You could drop a glass beverage and then you'd be cut up like a fricken' horror movie (or the Hang Over could break... we are not responsible if it breaks)
- You could really use a break from the drinking and maybe the 15 minutes you're taking a shower is a good place to start
We can not take responsibility for the decisions you make regarding this product, including the life decisions that got you to purchase the product, what happens when you're using the product, and things that happen in your life as a result of using the product.
Risks and challenges
First, as I've pointed out, I'm not a laser cutter person. I don't *do* laser cutting. I have a Techshop membership and I've made some stuff on the laser cutter, including (with the help of my co-designer Terry) the Hang Over.
It's going to be a frustrating day. I can only reserve the laser cutter for 2 hours at a time, so if I don't get the acrylic all cut in 2 hours, I'm going to be mad at myself.
However, I'll just go back and finish them in a few days. This is not insurmountable, it's just a pain in the butt.
Rest assured, you'll have a Hang Over.
If the project is overfunded and I need to make a ton of Hang Overs, I have accounted for that in the number of Hang Overs available. If I have to go back and spend a day of making Hang Overs to fulfill orders, I want to make sure I can fulfill them in the time you expect. So I'm happy to say I haven't overcommitted (for once).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (7 days)