We developed the Taper because we have a passion for unique, well made barware. We are frequent wine drinkers and wanted a superior quality product we could use everyday. From our knowledge and experience in product design we focused on simple elegance with functionality built in.
We knew we could design a stopper that not only was effective at sealing but also would look fantastic and be of superior quality. We decided to make each out of a solid piece of material.
We enjoy experimenting with new materials in the prototyping process and arrived at the first ever all soapstone wine stopper.
This campaign will fund our ability to buy the minimum order of soapstone required from the quarry and allow us to purchase the necessary tooling to manufacture the Taper on a production level.
The Taper is simple, elegant, and classic. The top is slightly angled, which allows the use of a thumb to push the stopper into the top of a wine bottle. It also adds character to each material and displays any engraving on the top.
Each material was selected to provide options to appeal to a wide range of personal tastes and styles.
We measured a variety of bottle shapes, styles, and sizes before creating the seal design. The Taper seals the mouth of the wine bottle with three FDA approved O-rings that are seated at three different diameters. This design ensures an excellent seal on most sized bottles.
The Taper collection was designed exclusively by Taftware after hours of iterations and prototyping. We started with hand sketches trying to come up with a design that was simple, elegant, functional, but not overstated.
We chose our materials based on their properties and looks. All materials are sourced in the USA. Here is a brief description of each:
Stainless Steel: We chose this material because of its excellent resistance to corrosion, rust, and other damage. A staple in the food industry for use in everything from counter surfaces, cooking equipment, to appliances.
Titanium: Four times stronger than steel, but 1/3 the weight. Titanium is a favorite for use in everything from aerospace components to lightweight hiking gear. We chose titanium because like stainless steel it has excellent resistance to corrosion, rust and other damage.
Signature Titanium: This material is polished to a mirror finish, ensuring there are no imperfections before being heated to 900 degrees creating the blue finish.
Soapstone: This beautiful, unique stone material produces one of a kind pieces. This stone is ideal for use in food grade applications because it is non-porous. It will not stain, absorb or alter the taste of anything it comes into contact with.
All three materials make a statement of their own. We wanted to represent a variety of material personalities to allow Taper to take on different forms, with each starting out as a single piece.
Metal Tapers can be engraved with either a single letter or up to three initials using two fonts shown below.
We are offering two choices of font types, example letters are shown below:
Each Taper is engraved using a mill and engraving tool, which produces a flawless result superior to laser or superficial engraving. This makes a perfect unique gift.
Taftware was founded in 2014 by Jon, Matt and Mike in Madison Heights, Michigan. We work out of a small manufacturing and design shop where we are free to be creative and look for opportunities to improve products around us.
We have a passion for good, classic design with functionality built in. We have a mix of business and engineering backgrounds and enjoy working with diverse materials and creating interesting concepts that we can bring to market. Each time we sell a product, we enjoy the custom aspect of our packaging and presenting the product to each customer.
At Taftware we have committed ourselves to designing and manufacturing superior products that are made to be enjoyed for a lifetime. We make all of our products by hand in Michigan and use materials that are made in the USA.
We are currently able to produce the Taper on the prototype level, but need your help to purchase additional tooling to enable us to reach production levels.
Soapstone and titanium are expensive and difficult to obtain and machine. The tools required to cut both of these materials are expensive and wear out quickly. We need your help to purchase the required tooling and place a minimum material purchase order to the quarry we are currently working with. Due to the small size of the Taper, our stone needs to be cut to a custom size. We expect the tooling to cost $500 and the minimum custom order required from the quarry is $800.
We have designed a clear acrylic tube package, which holds the Taper vertically with two wooden ends that fit the angled design. We hand make each tube to ship to you.
In addition to the included custom engraving, each Taper at this level is packaged in a handmade hardwood box. All of our wood is sourced locally, we cut, sand, assemble, and stain each box personally before shipping to you.
This set includes three Tapers in a handmade hardwood box. There are two material options at this level, soapstone and stainless steel (your choice of brushed, polished, or mixed). This set includes engraving for stainless steel, but does not for soapstone due to material limitations.
This set includes all Taper material types in a handmade hardwood box. At this level, if you add $15 to your pledge, we will custom engrave each metal Taper in the set.
This set is for vineyards and wineries which includes 25 stainless steel Tapers, with a choice of brushed, polished or a mix of both finishes. An engraved logo or brand name is included as well as a custom wood display shown below. The set is being offered at a lowered price for early support of the Taper.
We expect to be delivering The Taper to you in August 2015. See below for our timeline from concept to production.
Once the campaign is successfully completed we will order all required material and start manufacturing your Tapers immediately. Each backer will receive an email from us through Kickstarter to fill out a survey for custom engraving and supply us with a shipping address. After your Taper is manufactured we will personally package each one and ship them to you!
Risks and challenges
There are a few risks associated with the development and manufacturing of Taper.
One of our biggest struggles has been sourcing soapstone. There are limited numbers of quarries that are able to produce soapstone and ordering in the quantities we have been for prototyping and design purposes has been costly and difficult. We are confident that the quarry we have partnered with will fulfill our order to allow us to create The Taper.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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