I missed my Halloween deadline (which I'm really bummed
about) and I need to bring you up speed where I'm at.
So, the project closes and we surpass the goal. Very
It's going to be about 3 weeks until the funds are
released, but I have a lot to do. I find an engineer and he starts creating the
CAD models for manufacturing.
I also need to start getting bids and estimates
on all the other aspects(packaging, shipping, UPC codes, etc.). My head does
not usually work in such an organized fashion, so I reached out to a friend (and
backer) to help me. He put together this magical thing called a spreadsheet and
we started going over the numbers.
About this time I was contacted by a writer for the Food
Network magazine about putting the cutters in their December issue. Very cool.
With the great support of the Kickstarters and now this outside confirmation we
started looking at turning this into a real business. I have 10 designs total
that I would like to sell, and with the focus and encouragement, I'm sure more
But there were 2 problems with making the cutters out of
plastic. The setup costs are $3,000 to $5,000 for each cutter design, and the
perceived value of plastic cutters is low because China cranks out millions of
plastic cutters for pennies.
A Change in
So, we looked into metal. The metal cutters looked and
felt a lot better than the plastic cutters, and they had some other benefits.
There was no huge setup fee, and no need to order thousands to keep the costs
We found a couple places in the US that could make them,
and sent a design out for a bid. The bids came back higher than expected, and
we realized that a lot of it had to do with the complexity of the design. A
typical cookie cutter is a closed loop. They cut one length of metal, bend it
into a shape, and weld the ends together. This is how they've set up their
manufacturing process, and it works well for them. My Christmas cutter would be
6 pieces of metal and 7 weld spots. There's more labor involved, but the main
difference is that the whole process is specialized for each cutter.
Not deterred, we got some metal and equipment, and made
some prototypes. They looked good. The metal was too thin, we needed to clean
up the edges and be more precise with our welds, but we felt confident that we
could do the manufacturing in-house.
Time to Put the Pedal to the
The money is available and we order 200 pounds (half of
what we need) of Stainless Steel. We buy a bunch of tools and equipment. The
tools we really need won't fit into the budget, so we get creative.
Everything takes 2 weeks to get here.
We're getting samples of printing and shipping boxes.
Writing a provisional patent application and researching bulk shipping
The metal comes in and we start to work with it. The
weight and thickness feel really good, but the rigidity is making it harder to
work with. We wanted it to be as rigid as possible, because with the repeating
pattern in the shape, it needs to match up with each cut. We have to replace some
equipment, and we start working on designing the most efficient process to build
We make the printed package design and get it off to the
printer, order supplies for level bonuses, and start baking test batches of
cookies with the new prototypes.
We cut hundreds of lengths of metal and start to hem(top
folded edge) and shape them. The edges that stick out have a sharp point on
them and rounding them off with a grinder. The individual shaped pieces look
great and are starting to pile up, but we're having problems with the welding.
The first spot welder we bought worked great on the thinner metal, but at the
highest setting, it's not making a solid enough bond on the thicker material. We
buy a second, more powerful spot welder, and it's scorching and melting the
While going through that, the printing and supplies come
in and look great. I get your addresses, and I'm ready to get product out in
time for Halloween, but the welding thing has me stalled in the home
So, where are
Once I get this welding problem cracked, we'll be able
to start the final assembly and packaging for shipping. That's where 100% of my
focus is right now.
We’ve accomplished a lot in 75 days, and we're getting there, I really appreciate your patience and
p.s. Oh, and sadly after working with them for a few
weeks, they ended up cutting the piece in Food Network magazine. Kind of a
bummer, but I have a contact over there, and I'll hit them up again in the
spring with the new designs. :o)