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Designed to be fun, decorative, and eco-friendly. Vàs brings the joy of gardening to even the smallest of spaces.
Designed to be fun, decorative, and eco-friendly. Vàs brings the joy of gardening to even the smallest of spaces.
253 backers pledged $17,581 to help bring this project to life.

About

Vàs: Modular Vertical Planter project video thumbnail
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$17,581

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Our Story 

In the start of our spring semester in 2015 the three of us came together with a common interest in pursuing more sustainable design. Within one of our elective courses, we were assigned a three-week project with a rather open ended prompt: to create some type of modular installation. We were an easy pairing of partners for the project; all somewhat quirky with a love for the outdoors and our local community.

Meet Team Vàs: Brian Pughe, Mitchell Harris, Morgan Matt
Meet Team Vàs: Brian Pughe, Mitchell Harris, Morgan Matt

A refined form of the planter came to life as we lasercammed, ironed, and notched our product together. By the end of the assignment, the three of us had created a product that was modular, sustainable, AND aesthetically pleasing. 

With positive feedback from our peers, several offers for purchase, and a sincere love for our product, the three of us made a pact to push our studio project further; determined to bring it to market.

In the past several months we have been working hard to bring Vàs to the next level and to get it ready for manufacturing. 

We addressed fitting problems by creating double cuts for our flaps. Now every part fits wonderfully, creating beautiful, clean seam lines
We addressed fitting problems by creating double cuts for our flaps. Now every part fits wonderfully, creating beautiful, clean seam lines

We went through a lot of trial and error to find the perfect type of felt for our Vàs planters. It had to have the right blend percentages, moisture properties, density, and thickness. Turns out, the exact type of felt that we were looking for would be nearly impossible to find. 

We found our felt superhero: 1/8" thick, F3 density, polyethylene terephthalate and wool blend
We found our felt superhero: 1/8" thick, F3 density, polyethylene terephthalate and wool blend

We tried to source through several manufacturers’ clients, made around three dozen phone calls to textile stores, messaged online felt groups, and grew a few premature grey hairs along the way...

We eventually found what we were looking for; sourcing from two different, small New York textile stores, but there was never a moment of time that we were willing to settle for a different quality of felt. We knew what we needed and certainly didn’t rest until we found it.

... Ask our local coffee shop.

The next step, finding a manufacturer, didn’t prove much easier. We knew we wanted it to be local, but because felt is such a unique material, finding the people with the right equipment and experience was tough. Although we’ve made a lot of financial sacrifices, at the end of the day, we feel that there was no better way than to manufacture Vàs locally and sustainably. 

Why Felt?

When most people think of felt, the first things that usually come to mind are memories of grade school crafts. What most people don’t realize is that felt is actually an extremely rugged and durable material. Felt is traditionally made by beating wool fibers together, so as the fibers tangle further, the felt gets even stronger.  

Felt is one of the most sustainable materials, hands down. Traditional felt is made from all-natural sheep’s wool, but modern manufacturing methods have made it possible to blend the wool with fibers produced from recycled plastic. Felt not only supports local farmers, but also gives old plastic bottles a new lease on life. 

Felt also has pretty amazing moisture properties. It’s dense but porous, like a ceramic pot, allowing air and moisture to move freely in and out of the soil without anything leaking. Unlike ceramic, however, you’ll never have to worry about cracks, shattering, or sharp pieces. 

Felt is pure, soft, and safe.

Don't Worry. It Doesn't Leak.

As mentioned, felt typically handles moisture well, but our original prototype had some drawbacks when pockets were over-watered. We wanted to ensure that water would never muddy up your house, so we did multiple test runs pouring small to very large amounts of water with and without any soil.  

No water seeped through the felt itself, but a tiny hole in the bottom of our triangle pockets dripped slowly. We went hard to work, prototyping new notches and inserts to guarantee a leak proof product.

Water beads right off, meaning it won't seep through; no wet walls or floors. It's all well contained!
Water beads right off, meaning it won't seep through; no wet walls or floors. It's all well contained!

Our inserts are made from recycled painters tarp, and designed to fit perfectly into the Vàs design templates. Not only do they prevent the possibility of dripping, but they make planting a breeze.

Every planter purchase comes with a pack of our inserts
Every planter purchase comes with a pack of our inserts

If you’re planting indoors, hold the insert over the sink, fill with soil and plants, and place it right into your Vàs planter. No dirt or water spills; a double whammy!

American Sourced.  Locally Made.

The Vàs team aims to create all-around eco-friendly products. By ordering our materials and manufacturing within the United States, not only do we decrease our carbon footprint, but we support jobs in our own backyard! 

We source our felt products from some of the best suppliers in the business. Mood Fabric, located in New York City, is a popular fabric store for fashion designers and students alike! 

Our materials are then shipped straight to our manufacturers in Roanoke, VA, where the parts are cut- only 45 minutes from our design space in Blacksburg, VA! 

Our manufacturer, Cardinal Rubber, was founded in 1973 and has become the foremost distributor of custom gaskets, hoses, and extruded rubber products. The employees are beyond wonderful and accommodating to our production needs! 

Product Features

Vàs is designed to be flat packed, thus minimizing our carbon footprint
Vàs is designed to be flat packed, thus minimizing our carbon footprint

What Makes it Different from other Vertical Gardens? 

  • Modular
  • Decorative 
  • Eco-friendly

Most felt wall planters on the market are designed to be hidden by the plants that grow in them. Vàs is designed to be both a decorative wall piece and a vertical planter, balancing the natural beauty of green life with a modern aesthetic. 

Vàs also stands out by taking advantage of its modularity. With a vast array of different combinations and arrangements, Vàs is suitable for any size plant in a plethora of different spaces.

Because of its modular shape, the pattern variations are virtually endless!
Because of its modular shape, the pattern variations are virtually endless!

Sizing and Color Options

Vàs is available in various sizes and colors!

The single Vàs pouch is available in 8 and 10 inch variations.
The single Vàs pouch is available in 8 and 10 inch variations.
Vàs comes in charcoal grey with your choice of either ivory or burnt orange flaps.
Vàs comes in charcoal grey with your choice of either ivory or burnt orange flaps.

Rewards

Stretch Goal 

Now that we've reached our goal of $12,000 we have an exciting stretch goal! We've listened to our backers and added color options! Based on votes, one color will be added at the end of the kickstarter if we raise $15,000. Let's Do it! 

Check out the potential color choices below. See one you like?!

From let-to-right: Sky-Blue, Teal-Green, Vanilla-Yellow
From let-to-right: Sky-Blue, Teal-Green, Vanilla-Yellow

Getting Started

Steps for using your Vàs planter and caring for your plants.

Assemble

The tabs on the side make assembly a breeze!
The tabs on the side make assembly a breeze!

Hang

Choose how you want to hang your Vàs: use nails, tacks for an office cubicle, or command strips for a clean setup
Choose how you want to hang your Vàs: use nails, tacks for an office cubicle, or command strips for a clean setup
Every corner contains a grommet, making it easy to hammer a nail through
Every corner contains a grommet, making it easy to hammer a nail through
It's like hanging a picture frame
It's like hanging a picture frame

Plant!

Worried about spilling dirt? Fill the provided inserts with soil and a plant of your choosing over the sink to keep tidy!
Worried about spilling dirt? Fill the provided inserts with soil and a plant of your choosing over the sink to keep tidy!
Care for your plants by watering them regularly and exposing them to light. Enjoy as they continue to grow and liven up your living space!
Care for your plants by watering them regularly and exposing them to light. Enjoy as they continue to grow and liven up your living space!

 If you're growing herbs, cut, store, and cook! Check it out! 

Not only are the geometric modules beautiful, but they can store your cut herbs while they dry!
Not only are the geometric modules beautiful, but they can store your cut herbs while they dry!

Where will you hang your Vàs Planter?

Spice up your cubicle with some greenery! Vàs hangs easily onto the soft walls with push pins.
Spice up your cubicle with some greenery! Vàs hangs easily onto the soft walls with push pins.
Who's hungry? Take your cooking to a whole new level, adding fresh herbs within reach of your cutting board.
Who's hungry? Take your cooking to a whole new level, adding fresh herbs within reach of your cutting board.
Vàs is a great addition to any pre-school environment, teaching responsibility and a love for nature!
Vàs is a great addition to any pre-school environment, teaching responsibility and a love for nature!
Assembly is just like putting together a puzzle, aiding in the development of fine motor skills! Perfect for kindergarten!
Assembly is just like putting together a puzzle, aiding in the development of fine motor skills! Perfect for kindergarten!
We can envision Vàs planters in design studios like ours, everywhere!
We can envision Vàs planters in design studios like ours, everywhere!

Risks and challenges

The main risk for Vàs is definitely manufacturing. We've been working closely with Cardinal Rubber in Roanoke to get our templates cut. Unfortunately we've already had to consolidate several manufacturing processes to our "in-house production facilities," AKA Mitch's living room. But that's actually the good news! We are so entirely dedicated to delivering this project that we are willing to spend countless hours installing grommets, ironing flaps, and packaging every single product entirely by hand. We’ve already got a music playlist and everything.

Another risk we may face will be material supplies. Because we're buying in bulk we are concerned that we may buy out all of our suppliers' stock! While this certainly wouldn't be the end of the world, it could delay our delivery slightly.

As with any venture in life, there may be unforeseen challenges. Should something arise, rest assured, our backers would be the first to know. We promise that every drop of blood, sweat, and tears will be properly photographed, uploaded, and appropriately hashtagged for your viewing pleasure.

Despite any uncertainty, we are sincerely excited about the journey ahead and we can’t wait for you to join us!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    - The Tip Jar -

    Back the project if you like what we're creating! You'll receive a personal thank you from the Vàs Team!

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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    - The Grab Bag -

    Show your support for Vàs with a keychain made from our left over felt from production. Get a screen printed, mystery packet of herb seeds and a postcard from the Vàs Team!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    - The Seedling -

    The simplest form of the Vàs system. One 8” triangular module, the perfect size for growing herbs, and other smaller plants. It’s an easy way to quickly liven up any small office space. Includes a packet of herb seeds to get you started.

    *Choice of burnt orange or ivory module.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    - The Sprout -

    Sometimes you just need a little more oomph. The 10 inch single module is the perfect size if you plan on buying pre-potted plants to hang on your wall! Includes a packet of herb seeds to get you started.

    *Choice of burnt orange or ivory module.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    -The Vàs Classic-

    The quintessential Vàs wall planter. With a shape that looks good in any orientation and can hold three different plants; this tier is perfect if you’re just getting started growing plants indoors! Also includes a packet of herb seeds to get you started.

    *Choice of burnt orange or ivory module.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    - The Dynamic Duo -

    **Early Bird Special!**

    We think Vàs looks best with multiple modules. With this pack, you get two modules that can be arranged in an array of different patterns. Includes a packet of herb seeds to get you started.

    *Choice of burnt orange or ivory module.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    - The Dynamic Duo -

    We think Vàs looks best with multiple modules. With this pack, you get two modules that can be arranged in an array of different patterns. Includes a packet of herb seeds to get you started.

    *Choice of burnt orange or ivory module.

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    Limited 84 backers
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    Pledge $325 or more About $325

    - The Mural Pack -

    This package is perfect if you’re really looking to cover a wall and make people say “wow!” Use the 10 Vàs modules to define a living space, add artistic value to a lobby, or add fun to a school classroom!

    *Choice of burnt orange or ivory module.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    - Custom 10 Pack -

    Don’t see something that suits your fancy? With this tier, we invite you to work with us personally to customize your order! Get 10 Vàs modules made to fit your needs. Got a color scheme you’re working with or specific dimensions? Let us know, and we can make it happen!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    - Collaborate on a project!-

    Receive 10 of the first 100 Vàs planters ever manufactured and our full Grab Bag tier.

    Work with the Vàs Team one on one to design an eco-friendly product. Collaboration will be in August '16

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Funding period

- (30 days)