Windowfarms in 2012
Manufacturing in America
The new year started with a bang for Windowfarms as we wrapped up our successful Kickstarter campaign, thanks to the support of all of our backers. Our team immediately got to work on the big job ahead. It has been an exciting and busy time. We want to share our progress with you to date.
Since last you heard from us, we’ve been crisscrossing the country, visiting factories and seeking out manufacturing partners here in the States that are committed to environmental and ethical practices. It has been an eye-opening experience. We have learned firsthand of the challenges facing the American manufacturing industry. We have had the opportunity to visit factory floors, meet the workers, and learn exactly how every single part of our product is going to be made. Since half of the money from Kickstarter is going to making several gargantuan ton-weight precision metal molds (like the one pictured above) that produce hundreds of thousands of windowfarms to come, it has been critical to commit to partners who we know will share our passion for environmental innovation and who we will love to work with for a long time. This experience inspired us more than ever before to stand firm in our belief to have the new windowfarms manufactured in the USA.
Inspired by our favorite TV episodes from childhood of factory tours on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood (listen to the NPR Marketplace story about the disappearance of Mr. Rogers’ factories), we are creating our own factory tour video that will give you an inside peek at how your windowfarms are made . . . coming soon.
Who is Windowfarms? Meet the Team!
Windowfarms is a now a team of four! As a start up business, we all wear many hats and collaboratively work on almost every facet of the business together. Many of you know Britta, the founder of Windowfarms—our fearless leader. She is equal parts design visionary, tech nerd, maker, and artist. She runs our opensource d-i-y project and collaborates with top designers, engineers, and programmers on the new products coming your way.
Now, meet the rest of the team. Shivani (pictured on the left) is our CFO, a startup finance rockstar who works with social enterprises to create effective, sustainable business models, teams, and infrastructure. Our Operations Manager, Pirapha (pictured in the middle), has the organizational skills and execution of a military commander. With a background in the industrial design, years of experience in art production, and passion for food, Pirapha could build a kitchen and then prepare five course meal in it for you, all in days work. In January, we welcomed Destiny (pictured on the right) as our newest team member, who is focusing on community, customer service, and marketing. Destiny will be doing her best to keep our backers regularly updated with progress reports. Destiny grew up in rural Texas and spent her childhood tending to her grandparents' garden which produced enough fresh vegetables to feed her whole family and sometimes the neighbors too. After moving to NYC more than a decade ago to pursue a career in the non-profit world of art, education, and development, Destiny is thrilled that Windowfarms is making it possible to grow and harvest some of her own food again. We all love our jobs!
My.windowfarm.com: A Customized Webpage Just For Your Windowfarm
Your green thumb is on its way, but you may have to use both thumbs to get it. Your windowfarm will come with it’s own smart gardening webpage! In a few weeks, each and everyone of you who bought a Windowfarm will receive a custom link for your windowfarm.
We have been working with some top programmers on a new website dedicated to indoor food gardening. You will discover which plants best suit your conditions, determine your window’s microclimate profile, connect with other windowfarmers as you care for your micro-crops, and contribute to a new kind of almanac for the future of indoor home agriculture. You will learn together with windowfarmers around the world, all delighting in the gorgeous, delicious and particularly nutritious edible plants livening up their homes. We can’t wait.
Getting All Your Questions Answered
New industry, new product, new manufacturing process, new way of funding . . . whew! This all generates a lot of questions! We have found out the hard way that Kickstarter is not really built for handling new product logistics, it’s really a creative project funding platform that we are pushing to its limits.
Handling shipping, gift delivery, and payment information via one-off emails and comments from thousands more people than we expected is not an ideal way to start off our business. So, in an effort to keep all your information in one place, we are building a way of capturing your Kickstarter information, comments and special handling instructions into your My.windowfarm custom webpage, mentioned above. You will gain access to that and be able to tie up all the loose ends there in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, check out our Kickstarter-specific frequently asked questions page on our website at www.windowfarms.org/faq-kicks.