Travelling? Going to the gym? Taking a shower at home? More than likely, gentlemen, at any one of those points in time, you have the following two on you: a shampoo and a body wash/soap. Although your head and body feel refreshed after a clean shower, it doesn't go without a bit of trouble.
We've all experienced a shampoo bottle falling off the ledge into the tub, or the lid slipping open in the gym bag and making a mess, or going through the hassle of getting the TSA 3oz requirement travel bottles in order to get on the plane.
Being all well too familiar the noted situations, Mark Berlin and Azat Samigullin developed a product that they believe will help men all around. They're goal is to rid of the small headaches that we run into often, while provide an experience that will leave us clean both physically and mentally.
Called "Simply the best hair and body wash a man can get," One Soap is definitely an intriguing item. It's not shaped like a typical shampoo or body wash bottle. It consists of an 80g twist-up container, a solid core, and a suction cap. The suction cap allows the user to attach it to any flat surface, while the twist off piece makes it easy to handle and use without any trouble.
The main segment of One Soap is its core. It functions as both a shampoo and a body wash, as it eliminates the need of having two different products. With natural scents of lemon and mint oils, "the way One Soap feels in the shower is vastly different from a standard solid soap. High amounts of glycerin make sure that your skin is moisturized. It feels extremely pleasant on your hair keeping it nice and soft, just the same as a high quality shampoo would."
Aside from the clean feeling that it gives you, One Soap also provides a few other notable benefits. Its size small enough to fit in toiletry bags and not cause any suspicion at the airport. It won't spill all over your clothes in your gym bag, and if you use a bar soap at the moment, you'll be glad to know that it doesn't get soggy and slip out of your hands.
Every now and then, a product is introduced that even though its functionality is the same as other products in the category, its shape and format are completely different. It's so different that it takes you a minute or two to understand what exactly is going on. One Soap is one of those products.
Potentially, One Soap could become a product choice for men who are constantly on the go. It gets the job done, while taking away a few unnecessary headaches. It's no wonder that Mark and Azat believe that One Soap "makes taking a shower simpler, more convenient and a great experience, no matter where you are."
Overall, a 2-in-1 creative shower product POPs.
One Soaps Campaign Page
One Soaps Website
Who did you nominate for the Ice Bucket Challenge this past summer, before dumping a bucket of ice cold water on yourself? If you didn't, did you end up donating instead? Chances are high that you heard about and/or participated in the ALS challenge, which swept the social media world, raising well over $100 million.
The challenge aimed to raise funds and create awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder, commonly known as the Lou Gehrig’s disease. It drew the attention of many, from the general public, to athletes, to celebrities, and much more, creating one of the most successful fundraisers we have ever experienced.
However, as it brought in mountain-high funding for research, the awareness component about the actual disorder didn't reach as many individuals as anticipated. Yes, people donated to the cause, but not everyone took the time to actually learn about it. I, myself, am guilty of that action. Fortunately, a short film about the disorder is being produced, by a group of Chapman University students, to fill in the knowledge gaps of what ALS is and how those affected by it live on a daily basis.
Estimated to be a 10 minute short film, Adagio is based on a protagonist, "who loses a connection with her father after they lose their ability to play the piano together as his disease manifests. She transitions from a daughter to a caretaker role. The two ultimately learn more about each other than they ever anticipated."
The story line transitions back and forth from piano rehearsals that the protagonist participates in, starting from a young age, with her father in the audience. As she grows older and her father's health weakens, the film paints a picture of what life looks like for families that are taking care of a loved one with ALS. As expressed, the students' "goal is to create an authentic, genuine story about the evolution of a father and daughter relationship after he is diagnosed with ALS. We are drawing upon the inspirational and incredible stories of the families we have met with ALS and aspire to incorporate each one of them into our film."
I was able to speak with Adagio's producer, Mikaela Burton, about the vision they have for the film and why they decided to pursue the topic. She noted that the passion behind the film is drawn from individual experiences that a few of her team members have had previously with ALS. It also comes from meeting with certain families and wanting to share their stories. They hope that the film will generate further awareness about the disorder and how the lives of not only the individuals with ALS, but their caretakers change overtime.
Adagio has the potential of helping the momentum ,that the ALS Bucket Challenge created, keep going. By creating a fictional story, yet implementing actual situations that are ALS related, Adagio will have the opportunity to both educate and make a connection with its audience. Depending on its initial success, Adagio may find itself at film festivals around the country.
Overall, producing a film to drive further awareness about ALS POPs.
Adagio's Campaign Page
Dear coffee drinkers, we have officially hit the jackpot! We're about to embark on a new journey, when it comes to what we drink our coffee out of. You may want to sit down for this one.
Looking back, coffee mugs have evolved functionally, but they still have the same boring look to them. Sure, the designs on the mugs can be neat, but the shape of the mug itself isn't all that exciting. Neither are the tumblers we carry with us from point A to point B, while doing our best to do a million tasks at the same time, including spillage avoidance.
Fascinated with the mug concept, and passionate about coffee, the crew at Goat Story have revamped the style of the mug to not only cater to coffee lovers, but to also make them look stylish. From Ljubljana, Slovenia, The Goat Story team has developed a unique concept that is "practical and sustainable, but is also a fashion accessory and tells the primeval story of coffee." Now they are ready to share the design with backers, in order to make production happen.
Named the Goat Mug, the Goat Story's product child is shaped like a, yes you guessed it, a goat's horn. It's so unique that it takes a couple of looks to really understand its functionality. What's neat about it is the fact that Goat Story "designed a special holder with leather touch which simply turns into a coffee mug stand so you can easily keep the Goat mug on your desk."
However, that's not all that makes the Goat Mug different from the rest. Depending on the reward chosen, the mug also comes a with strap that is attachable to bags or can be pulled over the shoulder. As explained, "This way you can carry your books or bags and talk on the phone while carrying your coffee around."
The Goat Mug is 100% spill-free, which as most have us have found out is hard to come by. This prevents the accidental drips from the top, avoiding the unneeded spills on clothing articles. The Goat Mug is also environmentally friendly, as it is made from 100% eco-materials and can be fully recycled. Lastly, the mug is BPA Free and dishwasher friendly. Currently, Goat Story has met all of its stretch goals, opening up a great selection for backers , such as the Help Edition, Marsala, and the two classic looks, black and white.
The Goat Mug is one of the coolest revamps I personally have seen of an everyday used product. The design is different, yet it doesn't take away from its primary function. It's an item that makes you scratch your head, baffled by how someone who could ever think of something like this.
Considering the success it has already had (over 8,600 backers, +$350k at the time this article was written), it shows how welcoming coffee drinkers are to the idea. Potentially, this new style will find its way quickly around the globe, due to the wide popularity of coffee. It'll be interesting to see where the Goat Story team takes their new venture, as I'm sure this won't be the last we hear about them and their baaaaing ideas.
Overall, enhancing the coffee mug in a new form and fashion POPs.
Goat Story's Campaign Page
Goat Story's Website
How many times have you heard the expression that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover? It's what's on the inside that counts, right? What if we geared that mentality towards clothing articles, specifically outerwear? Sure, the outside of the coat or jacket would have to be stylish, but what about its lining? Would a focus on the inside elevate the essence of expression?
For Rel Lavizzo-Mourey of San Francisco, it does. By integrating her two passions, fashion and art, Rel is on the verge of introducing a new style of outerwear and accessories for men and women. Partnering up with long-time friend Cassandra Kaldor and Bay Area artist Kelly Ording, Rel is pursuing an opportunity that will fit the that model crowdfunding backers look for - personalization and uniqueness, while contributing to the community.
Labeled Silver Lining, Rel's clothing line is simply described as creating "classic, luxury jackets with brilliant custom linings to help support Arts Education." The neat component about Silver Lining is the designs implemented within the jackets. By utilizing Kelly's artwork, Rel believes that each item is a true work of wearable art, as each one represents things that Kelly finds fantastic in the form of freedom, wonder and escape.
With warm and delightful art designs, Silver Lining has a variety of products that can appeal to many. This year's collection includes jackets and coats, along with ties, scarves, and handbags. Each item has an elegant touch to it, as high quality materials are being used for production. Also, to ensure well developed items, all products are manufactured here in the United States.
Silver Lining is going to be successful on two different fronts. First, it'll be able to draw in individuals based on the outerwear it provides. The jackets and accessories are stylish, and the designs on the inside make them extraordinary. During my conversation with Rel, she noted that her vision for Silver Lining is to introduce new artwork, by an artist from a different city/area, each year. It's a well thought out strategy. as it has the potential to keep Silver Lining's new seasonal releases fresh, while it grows and matures into a prominent brand over time.
Second, it will be successful based on its efforts in the community. Silver Lining is working with Root Division, "a San Francisco based visual arts organization that provides free art classes to over 500 students, using working artists as teachers." The collaboration will help ignite potential creativity for students, as it will set them up for future endeavors.
Overall, the integration of artwork within luxury jackets POPs.
Silver Lining's Campaign Page
Silver Lining's Website
Lately, I've really enjoyed finding new and upcoming bands that produce great music and unique sounds. Fortunately, crowdfunding has been a great tool for that. The industry has also been great for artists looking to raise funds in order to make their first album happen. As the crowdfunding industry continues to grow, more and more artists are drawn to its concept. Veteran musicians have also began finding their way to the crowd, as they find the process more efficient, while having the opportunity to further connect with their fanbase.
The Steel Wheels, a band from Harrisonburg, VA, is one of those veteran bands. After spending a good portion of 2014 on the road, this independent band is back in the studio, working on producing its next album. With ten years of collaboration and music production under their belt, The Steel Wheels' new album looks to have a promising sound to it.
Labeled Leave Some Things Behind, The Steel Wheels' new album "explores the themes of travel and movement in the modern age." As the crew explains, "Leave Some Things Behind reminds us that growing is learning what things are important to us and letting go of the things that are not important." The focus of the new sound is about the band's travel experience on the road. As expressed, "Our sense of home is constantly evolving to include a broader community of friends and fans than the one of our residence."
With a fanbase that has helped them get to this level, The Steel Wheels understand their followers are the ambassadors for their music. Therefore, they're providing a little bit more for the backer community during the campaign. As stated on their page, "Available only to campaign supporters, the recordings provide a unique glimpse into the process of forming an album and even include some songs that didn't make the cut! "
The Steel Wheels have produced great music in the past decade, and they show no sign of stopping. With Ben Surratt, a Nashville recording engineering, working with them, the crew is off to create a heart-felt album.
We can all relate to Leave Some Things Behind, as it is described meaning that "the past is gone and we have no choice but to let it go." Potentially, the new album from The Steel Wheels will be another favorite for the band's followers, while bringing in a new fans from the backer world. I'm glad that I ran across their campaign and look forward to the new sound being released soon.
Overall, communicating about moving on through music POPs.
The Steel Wheels' Campaign Page
The Steel Wheels' Website
When it comes to dress shirts, does quality only relate to the fabric used? What about its functionality and the purpose it was made for? I have shirts that are my size, yet still look a bit baggy. I also have fitted shirts, but they often come across as if I just watched a Hulk movie and am about to burst out of my shirt from an adrenaline rush.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure where the problem lies. Maybe it's because we're not looking at the formula for making shirts the right way, or the fact that we haven't evolved our production methods. Regardless of what it may be, it appears that Bryan Davis of New York may have found a solution for it.
During a trip to Bangkok, Bryan explained to me that he met with a tailor that specialized in making fitted shirts for the police force. He did so because after getting pulled over, he realized that the police officer's shirt fit him so well that he had to know how it was made. Bryan realized the style that the tailor was using to make the uniforms was a bit different. Instead of using buttons down the center, the tailor was using a zipper instead. Surprisingly, this process is common for making police shirts across the globe. However, Bryan noticed that the methodology wasn't being used for regular, everyday use by consumers, which has led him to his new endeavor, Teddy Stratford.
After partnering up with Carl Goldberg, a master of shirt making for over 30 years, to test the idea, Bryan developed the new line of fitted shirts for Teddy Stratford, called The Zip Fit Shirt. With two patents pending, The Zip Fit Shirt "creates a clean, athletic fit without making you feel like you're busting out of your shirt."
By simply implementing a zipper behind the placket, the shirt enables "men to wear better fitting shirts without experiencing the 'Bratwurst Effect.' Whether you’re in tip-top shape or could stand to lose a few pounds, the result is a slim, athletic fit that is unmatched by traditional men’s button downs."
After taking all aspects of the upper body into consideration, The Zip Fit Shirt was designed to give us an athletic shape, by fitting proportionally well around the body. Whether it's the narrow yoke, raised arm holes, chest tapers to the waist in a V shape, or shorter shirt length, the shirts will provide a great feel and experience.
Bryan's Teddy Stratford line of Zip Fit Shirts are different, and I'm a fan. They make us challenge the way we look at how shirts are made. He's taking the status quo straight on, simply by taking a step back and asking how he could improve the experience.
The zipper component of the shirt may come across as weird or cheap, but I completely disagree. Since we're not used to it, we're quick to reject it. The Zip Fit Shirts brings quality to the table, not only fabric wise, but with functionality as well. Potentially, Teddy Stratford shirts could become a hit for the well developed young professionals. It has the features and durability to last all day, while enabling a well fitted experience.
Overall, adding a zipper to make shirts fit better POPs.
Teddy Stratford's Campaign Page
Teddy Stratford's Website
To me, crowdfunding provides us neat opportunities to express ourselves in a different manner, specifically its fashion category. For those of us participating in projects, we get excited about products that are new and unique. We express and personalize ourselves, knowing that only a few others have what we have backed.
The watch sub-category is a prime example of this. Although watches all serve the same purpose of providing time, they are different in many ways. Recently, one particular watch company, called Azula Watches, gasped my attention. Composed of Alex Gallagher, Nathan Resnick, Shelby Dern, and Brandon Prussak, Azula has found a way to integrate its experience in executing a successful crowdfunding campaign (also watch related) with the passion it has for helping underprivileged children.
How are Azula's watches different from other watches? Well, what separates Azula from others is the fact that its watches are fabric faced. Instead of using printed faces, Azula is utilizing organic fabrics from around the globe on its watches. Although many doubted the idea of being able to implement fabric as part of the equation, due to thickness, the Azula team managed to get passed the hurdles and make it happen.
What's also neat about the Auzla watches is that each watch will be 100% unique due to the cut of the fabric. However, as I mentioned, Azula is more than just producing a creative watch. It has a purpose, which revolves around working with Kids Alive International. Each watch is named after an underprivileged child, as Azula focuses on supporting the children with their educational needs. Led by Shelby, Head of Philanthropy, the crew is on a mission to help change the lives of these kids for the better.
With previous experience in running a successful crowdfunding campaign, the Azula team has the knowledge and expertise it needs to reach its goal. During my conversation with Nathan, Head of Supply Chain, he emphasized on Azlua's mission, stating that it's about the style and uniqueness of the watches, along with the ability to support children around the globe.
When I asked him about the future of Azula and the brand, he noted that they hope to see it grow by adding apparel products to the mix. With a one of a kind product, Azula has the potential of not only helping you look stylish, but also the potential of being able to impact the educational level of children. It will draw the attention of many backers looking for a new concept, as well as the ability to be philanthropic along the way.
Overall, the idea of developing a fabric faced watch POPs.
Azula's Campaign Page
Think back to your childhood. How often did you spend time playing outside? I remember as a kid, a time where technology wasn't as advanced and smart phones weren't around, the amount of time I spent outside the house playing games was pretty high. During the school year and summer time, my friends and I wouldn't go home until it was too dark to see.
Unfortunately, times have changed. Today, kids are more invested in their video games than we'd like. Too often we find their heads tilted down, thumbs ready to fire, with 110% of their attention on an iPhone screen. The sad part is that they're not the only ones. They learn by watching us. We're not leading by example. It's not hard to look around at tables in a restaurant and see all members of the family hooked on a screen that makes them more "connected" than the loved ones around them.
It's time we did our part to help the individuals that are doing what they can to encourage kids to go outside and play. We've reached a level that it's beyond the fact that they'll have fun playing games. It's about making sure that they get the much needed exercise, as the rise of child obesity is getting out of control.
Judd King is well aware of the numbers. A teacher, and an Eagle Scout, Judd has found a way to ignite a want to play outside. Instead of recreating the wheel, he has expanded on a classic outdoors game that aims to keep the younger generation outside and in play mode. However, the twist he has added to the game allows kids to stay outdoors and engaged, even in the dark.
What's the classic game I'm talking about? Capture the Flag. A game that we are all well familiar with. Judd's spin on it doesn't change the structure of the game, rather the time of the day it's played. He calls his concept of the game Capture the Flag REDUX, which is meant to be played in the dark. As Judd puts it, "Rather than capturing a flag, players steal glowing Orbs of Light. Imagine flashing red 'War Lights' forming borders between territories, and envision players wearing luminous wristbands to identify team loyalties."
With LED lights lighting up the orbs, teams can set up their territories, hide their team Orb, and know who's who in the darkness. The REDUX kit comes with "over fifty game pieces: Two Orbs, eight Prison Markers, six War Lights, forty Glow Wrist Bands, batteries, and an instruction book." To top it off, the REDUX is not only oriented towards Capture the Flag, Judd has set up the kit in a way that it can be utilized for other games, such as Werewolves & Hunters, Mr. President, and more.
As Judd puts it, "Capture the Flag REDUX inspires individuals to spend time outdoors, collaborate, and embark upon a futuristic experience. It celebrates stealth, strategy and teamwork. And it offers something fun, safe and active to do after nightfall." When I spoke to him, he emphasized the significance of this game stemming from his childhood. He also explained the importance of getting kids outside and keeping them active, and that's why he is pursuing this idea.
The REDUX has a lot of potential and could become a valuable asset for many programs and households that are working towards keeping kids active in the evenings. It's a product that parents can take an advantage of, not only for their kids, but for themselves as well. Not only will it open up the opportunity to get the kids outside, but for us to put down our smart gear as well and spend some much needed time with them. You'll be surprised how much "kid" you have left in you.
Overall, expanding on a classic game to help keep kids active POPs.
Capture the Flag REDUX's Campaign Page
Capture the Flag REDUX's Website
Well, it was bound to happen, and I'm excited it's happening now. This marks the first (and definitely not last) shameless plug that we will be doing here at The Freshpreneur. As both Justin and I prepare to launch our individual projects in the first quarter of 2015, I've decided to learn a few lessons by utilizing crowdfunding as the means to raise funds for a movement that I believe in.
2014 marks the fifth year that I have participated in the global movement called Movember. Movember, a combination of mustache (or Mo') and November, is focused around the idea of men growing mustaches during the month of November in order to raise awareness and funds for prostate and testicular cancer research. At beginning of the month, we all start out with a clean shave, and throughout the month we water, nurture, and care for our upper-lip friend.
Fortunately, this cause is more than just about growing a fine Tom Selleck mustache. It's about the impact that we can all have towards changing the face of men's health. Now, before jumping into what Movember has been able to accomplish, let's take a look at a couple important facts:
Since 2003, Movember has educated many, while raising a substantial amount of funds that have gone towards research and awareness. In 2013, over four million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas (ladies that support the cause) participated in the movement and raised almost $580 million combined.
As I have done the past five years, I plan on raising as much as I can to contribute to the movement's total amount. Thanks to family and friends, our team was able to raise over $1,300 last year. This year, I'm doing things a bit differently. By using the crowdfunding website Tilt, I have decided that I'm going the all or nothing approach. Plain and simple, either I raise my goal, or fall flat on my face. My project tilts (is successful) at $512.88, with my target goal being set at $1,000.
When it comes to rewards for your contribution towards my goal, boy are you in for a treat. Aside from a thank you note, you'll also will be receiving a picture of the following:
Let's face it, having only one leg shaved is extremely ridiculous and even more embarrassing.
This isn't a typical game changing project that we usually post. However, it's a project that I have put my efforts into, going back to 2010. It's crucial that young men are aware of testicular cancer,and it's just as crucial for older men to be familiar with prostate cancer. Regardless of age, men need to get checked each year, in order to make sure that they are cancer-free, or to be able to catch it early on.
The potential of this project may not mean much to the overall picture, but it's still piece of the puzzle. I would be flattered to have your support on this journey, as I do my part to help change the face of men's health.
Overall, growing a mustache to fight cancer POPs.
Shawhin's Campaign Page
Pictures of Tom Selleck's Notorious Mustache
Let's get to the point. No need to beat around the bush. You, yes you, are a sophisticated person. You're an ambitious, adventurous, energetic, entrepreneurial, go-getting, gym addict. You're a machine--an unstoppable force. You are simply, 10 different people in one body. You wear many hats during the day, and you get it done.
Okay, chances are, I may have stretched the above section a little. However, it can't be too far from the truth. Regardless of who we are and what we do, we're always on the go. We jam pack as much as possible in the short 24 hours that we have in the day.
One notion is pretty clear. As we transition from being a professional, to a gym rat, to going on adventures, or just simply moving from point A to point B, we take many necessary items along with us. Which brings up the question, does it make sense to have a different bag for each occasion? Not really. Efficiency is key.
Just ask the guys over at Bomber Barrel. After coming to the realization that the Less is More theory can be integrated into our carry-ons, they set out to make a product that fits the continual change within our fast paced lives. Meet Vincent, Andrew, and Edgar. They're three passionate and ambitious entrepreneurs looking to make our lives easier.
Vincent and the crew have developed a duffle bag that meets the style and quality of our everyday activities. With two products ready for manufacturing, they are releasing the Bomber Barrel Duffel Bag, along with the mini bomber travel kit. After many prototypes, the Bomber Barrel was produced "not to only be used for its functionality, but to match your personal style and be perfect for any occasion."
The Bomber Barrel is for the professional in you:
"It has a spacious interior to carry your laptop, iPads, smartphones, polished dress shoes, and travel necessities."
The Bomber Barrel is for your athletic endeavors:
"One spacious compartment holds your clothes and shoes, and an interior side pocket keeping your phone, wallet and other small valuables close-by. Be active, be confident, and train HARD with Bomber Barrel."
The Bomber Barrel is for the exuberant boldness you give off:
"With its premium nylon ripstop, Bomber Barrel is not only stylish, but also resistant and lightweight. It's handheld, adjustable and removable leather padded shoulder strap makes it extremely practical to use. Bomber Barrel is the perfect companion for your most daring adventures."
Let's put it this way; the Bomber Barrel will be the only bag you need, no matter the situation.
Go ahead and checkout Bomber Barrel's campaign page. You'll automatically notice the amount that it has raised so far, with still over 30 days to go. It's a product that resonates to the needs of many. We are constantly moving, and we need a bag that can keep up with us.
Bomber Barrel has the potential of becoming the go-to-bag for individuals looking for a product that looks sharp, yet it delivers on quality and functionality. The Bomber Barrel team has developed a product that will help us focus on using our brain power to make major decisions, instead of trying to figure out which bag we'll need for our next activity.
Overall, integrating simplicity and style to serve multiple activities POPs.
Bomber Barrel's Campaign Page
Bomber Barrel's Website
Before you take the time to read this segment, I suggest you take a few seconds to checkout the ingredients label of the laundry detergent that you use to wash your clothes. How many of the words can you pronounce? Do you know what they are and what they contain in them? Is there a real need for every single ingredient in your detergent?
Lauren Singer of The Simply Co. doesn't think so. Actually, she knows so. As a former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, a NYU Environmental Studies graduate, and as a contributing blogger for Trash is for Tossers, Lauren lives on producing zero waste (impressive), as well as organically making her own everyday products, such as toothpaste.
After realizing that her products work just as well compared to the products out in the market, Lauren started the Simply Co. in order to share her products with others who are looking for more sustainable products. Her product line is ready to launch, as she looks to utilize crowdfunding as the source of its ignition.
The first product for Simply Co. will be its Laundry Powder. Instead of mixing in an abundance of ingredients together, Lauren's product will be made up of only three ingredients. Yes, you read that right, only three. She has found out that there is no need for a million ingredients in a product in oder to get the job done.
First, to help remove the stains and odors from the wash, Lauren is using Baking Soda, also known as Sodium Bicarbonate. She has also added Sodium Carbonate, aka Washing Soda, as a water softener to help remove stains from the laundry. Lastly, organic castile soap contributes to the mix by providing a cleaner wash. Now, depending on your preference, you have the option of choosing between two scents. You can either go with lavender, which is sourced from organic essential oils, or opt out for the unscented option.
I'm always intrigued when I run across projects focusing on sustainability. It's refreshing to see individuals and small companies introducing new products that produce the same results, yet they do so by focusing on the less is more theory. Lauren's vision of making Simply Co. a brand that provides consumers with organic and liable products is not far from becoming a reality. Considering her first project has already reached its goal, it's a matter of time before we start seeing her other products that she is working on.
Potentially, Simply Co. could grasp the attention of individuals that are focused on living a healthy lifestyle, using environmentally friendly products. To say the least, a laundry powder that is capable of getting the job done with only three ingredients is a lot more attractive than one with a long list of them.
Overall, being able to have clean clothes, while using a non-toxic laundry powder POPs.
The Simply Co. Campaign Page
The Simply Co. Website
Growing up in our late teens and early 20s, most of us experienced an ambitious stage. It was a defining moment, as we sought out in pursuit of our goals and dreams. Although many tend to settle for less, others drive through and reach their goals with the support and the resources available to them.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the needed tools and funds to aim higher. This holds true specifically for young females. According to Forbes, in 2011 an estimate of only "7% of all philanthropic dollars are allocated to address needs specific to women and girls."
Driven to open up the opportunities for further funding, Christie Garton is utilizing crowdfunding in order to build the support girls need. Christie is the founder of UChic, "A for-profit lifestyle brand whose product sales empower our teen girls through scholarships." With new product development, Christie hopes to help fund 1,000 dreams through the UChic foundation. To do so, she is ready to introduce her products for the brand.
For UChic, not only is the vision focused towards helping young women, but it also produces products that are geared towards the age group. The first product that will help generate funds for the cause is called the "Gracie." Named after one of the girls involved within the the foundation, "Gracie" is a neat and lively laptop case. Why a laptop case? Well, UChic knows "that every girl carries some kind of portable computer these days." Their "hope is that every girl -- and potential UChic supporters of any age -- will want to carry their device or valuables in" their case!
The case supports both tablets and laptops. It has an iconic pattern, which showcases the combination of a warm shade of blue and a single patch of pink. The outside of "Gracie" is made up of a combo of durable cotton and poly blend fabric to help protect it from water and spills. On the inside, extra padding has been added to keep valuables safe. And interestingly enough, the inside of the case also includes an inspirational quote from Gracie, herself.
Christie's goal to help 1,000 young women by providing them scholarships up to a $1,000 is ambitious. I'm a fan of her vision and her efforts in making it happen. With the first 10 young women selected to receive support through the campaign, UChic and its product, "Gracie," have the potential of changing many lives. With the product line growing, it's a matter of time that Christie will be able to reach her goal and provide the resources girls need to pursue their dreams.
With equal pay and opportunity campaigns receiving attention throughout the country, UChic could play a role in the direction we are heading in. Christie is doing her part to help these girls take the first step with confidence and passion. The results of her efforts will be nothing short of a domino effect. As the girls develop and pursue their dreams, they'll remember the support they have received and want to pass it forward later down the road.
Overall, using a business strategy to support young women POPs.
UChic's Campaign Page
It's that time of the year. Slowly, we breeze into the middle of
Fall and prepare ourselves for the colder weather. Before we know it, Winter will be here, bringing with it snow, ice, and everything in between. Whether you enjoy the cold or not, it's safe to say that regardless of where you live, you'd rather avoid one particular task in the mornings, before heading out. What am I referring to? Scraping off the ice from your windshield, of course.
Let's face it, instead of wasting time scraping your life away,
you could be using that time attending to other important matters in your life. You could take a longer hot shower, take the time to enjoy your breakfast, look at your vision board and visualize your goals, or spend a few extra minutes in bed catching up on sleep. The possibilities are endless. Instead, you'll be out in the cold, trying to get the ice off, while at the same time trying to maintain your balance on the ice you're standing on. The only benefit of this activity is the fact that you'll get a "great" arm workout.
Having tried out many products that fail to fully solve the problem, Dan Miller and Andy Wright set out to create a workable solution for keeping the windshield clear and ice-free. After testing different materials and several types of magnets, the duo put their windshield cover prototype to work during one of the harshest winters in England. After experiencing success in the European market, Dan and Andy are now raising funds to introduce a newer and improved version of their product here in the States.
Dan and Andy's evolutionized prototype has now turned into iceScreen, a magnetic ice shield cover that will keep your "windshield free from ice, snow and frost through the worst of winter." As explained, by using the iceScreen, "A clean window in the middle of winter no longer has to be considered a luxury, reserved only for those with a garage – now anyone can drive away with a clean windshield in less time than it takes to locate your scraper."
The cover is made from a high quality material that is tough enough to withstand harsh weather conditions. The edges of the iceScreen are covered with magnets that will attach to the framework of the car, keeping the cover stable and effective over time. Also, in order to keep the cover from blowing off due to high speed winds, the iceScreen comes with two flaps found on either side of it. The flaps are placed inside the doors to not only maintain the cover from flying off, but to also prevent it from being stolen.
However, that's not all. After getting introduced to the hot Florida sun, Dan and Andy decided to make iceScreen into a cover that we would be able to use all year long. During the summer heat, the deluxe edition of the iceScreen can be reversed and used to keep the inside of the car from getting too hot. The way that the team explains it, "Dark interior and leather seats are no longer an issue – no more burning or waiting for the air conditioning to cool things down!"
I had the opportunity to talk with Dan about their product and how it has progressed over the past couple of years. It's interesting to see the growth the team has seen. They started out hand making the product in their living room. Soon after, they began seeing growth online and did their best to keep up with demand. Now, iceScreen is ready for another round of mass production.
With 20 days still left in the campaign, iceScreen has already reached 200% of its intended goal. As it continues to grow, it will attract the eyes of many, from car owners to sellers to producers. With the goal of building iceScreen into a dominant brand, Dan and Andy's line of products has the potential of becoming a major hit around the globe, serving many during all year long.
Overall, being able to hit the snooze button just one more time and not have to worry about scrapping off ice from my car POPs.
iceScreen's campaign page
Global warming is a hot topic these days. Is it real? Is it not
real? Whether you agree with the concept or not, it only
takes a few pictures from the drought in California to know the negative impact it is having. The dramatic shift from a year
ago is beyond noticeable. While some look the other way and carry on with their lives, others have taken it upon themselves
to do their part in slowing down the process.
A non-for-profit organization, called Project Drop-A-Brick, is aiming to "heighten public awareness about the need
to conserve water, especially during California’s drought emergency." Ignited by Ian Montgomery, and in collaboration with designers, advertisers, and manufacturers, Project Drop-A-Brick has a goal of saving as much water as possible across America. Their product, along with their hilarious marketing, will certainly grasp your attention.
Shaped and designed to look like one, Drop-A-Brick is an eco-friendly non-toxic brick with the intent of being dropped in your toilet's tank. As explained, "Drop-A-Brick will displace about half a gallon, thereby tricking your toilet into using less water." The methodology behind the process allows for less water to be used after each flush. How much water you ask? The brick can help a family of four conserve up to 50 gallons of water a week. With the drought at it's highest peak so far, being able to save this amount of water can be crucially helpful.
The Environmental Protection Agency stated that "Americans use more water each day by flushing than they do by showering or any other activity." And, considering the average flush in California is over a gallon about the national standard, it's agonizing to know that 203 million gallons of water are being wasted daily. Fortunately, Drop-A-Brick will help lower that amount, contributing to the initiative of bringing municipal drinking water to homes that are currently without any running water.
What I love about this project is the notion that it provides a contributing solution to a serious problem. The execution of this project by Ian and his team, in order to help local communities save water in a such a critical time, deserves nothing but support.
As it can be seen on the campaign page, Drop-A-Brick can help a family save up to $25 a year. Although that may not be a high financial saving opportunity, it's important to note that if everyone in California dropped a brick, a total of six billion gallons of water could be saved every 90 days.
Potentially, Drop-A-Brick could play a major role in water preservation in California, as the drought continues. And since the drought is affecting other areas of the country as well, we all can do our part to help with the cause.
Overall, using a creative product to make a difference during a climatic change POPs.
Drop-A-Brick's Project Page
Why do we care about the people around us? Why do we
contribute to our communities, helping them prosper? Simply
put, we show passion towards different missions, because at the end of the day, it's not about the individual. No, It's more than
that.It's about making a difference in the lives of those around us.
The debate on whether or not we, as a country, are still in a recession can go on for days. Regardless of which side you agree with, we can find common ground that there's still a lot of work to be done. Many communities are still feeling the effects, struggling to recover. And as the downfall continues, certain people take it upon themselves to make an impact.
The Edwards family, locals of Eden, NC, are driven do their part in uplifting their town out of its economic turmoil, as it looks to regain its economic stature. As history shows, this isn't the first time the Edwards family is playing a role in serving their community. They have learned from the impact their local grocery store had on the community for many years in the past, and now they hope to continue that same support in a different manner.
The family goal is to turn a piece of land that has been passed down for 100 years (four generations) into "a sustainably farmed, organic vineyard, fed by the same natural spring that has run through it." They're calling it Tacky Branch Vineyard.
When I spoke to one of the sons, Jordan Edwards, he noted that the land has been untouched throughout all these years, making it a perfect piece of land for developing a vineyard. Their goal is to make this vineyard a unique one, as they plan to "implement an eco-friendly, solar-powered irrigation system utilizing the natural spring water from Tacky Branch."
Jordan explained how this vineyard is more than just about them. By making Tacky Branch Vineyard happen, they further open up the opportunities to attract tourists to Eden. Also, the vineyard will help drive economic growth. The Edwards family is working with local businesses to help with the process of bottling up the wine and getting it ready for distribution.
Considering Kickstarter does not allow distribution of alcohol as a reward, Tacky Branch Vineyard is offering a few neat tangible items that are worth taking a look at. Whether you're looking for a new wine bottle opener, a comfortable winter sweater, or other accessories, you won't be disappointed with their selection.
It's one thing to want to make a difference by yourself, but the significance of doing it with the ones you love makes an ever bigger impact. During our call it was obvious to sense Jordan's, and his family's, intentions for wanting to make the vineyard happen. At the end of the day, Tacky Branch Vineyard is a family business, with a passion of wanting to make a positive impact.
Tacky Branch Vineyard has the potential of becoming a well know vineyard in the next few years. As attraction grows and vineyards become destination points for wine lovers and alike, the Edwards family will be able to continue their tradition of making a difference in city of Eden.
Overall, turning grapes into wine in order to reinvigorate a community POPs.
Tacky Branch Vineyard Campaign Page
Tacky Branch Vineyard Website
No matter the type, allergies suck, period. Although I have seasonal allergies, I consider myself fortunate for not having any known food allergies. With so many delicious foods out there, it would be devastating to not have the opportunity to enjoy them all.
Unfortunately, many individuals deal with food allergies, which
more than likely they developed at an early age. According to
allergist, "Food allergies in children are on the rise, affecting nearly
6 million or 8% of children."
The nut family contributes to the noted statistic, as many children find out the hard way that they are allergic to certain kinds of nuts, if not all of them. Missy Chase Lapine, Chief Mom Officer of The Sneaky Chef Foods, is all too familiar with this particular food allergy. Even though she's not allergic to nuts, she is well educated on the matter due to her daughter, Sami, having the food allergy.
Missy is known for her creative recipes and book series for implementing veggies within children's favorite foods. Using her experience, Missy set out to develop a new recipe/formula for developing the same peanut butter taste, without the peanuts, so that her daughter could also enjoy the spread. She integrated naturally sweet & nutty tasting golden peas instead of using peanuts. Her product, Creamy No-Nut Butter, has been well received by not only Sami, but by many consumers around the nation. Now, she's ready to introduce a new flavor for her 100% nut free-peanut free-soy free-gluten free-dairy free-non-gmo spread line.
If you like chocolate (seriously, who doesn't like chocolate?), then you'll want to try Missy's new Chocolate No-Nut Butter spread. As she explains it, the Chocolate No-Nut Butter "has all the rich, fudgy taste of the leading chocolate nut spreads without the nuts (and half the sugar)!!" For those cautious about what they are consuming, allergic or not, Missy's product doesn't have an endless list of ingredients. Simply, the Chocolate No-Nut Butter is made up of non-gmo powdered sugar, non-gmo canola oil, non-gmo yellow peas, non-gmo cocoa, non-gmo palm oil, non-gmo mono & diglycerides (vegetable source), salt, and natural vanilla.
Interestingly enough, what separates Missy's spread from other spreads is not all about what it is made from, but also where it is manufactured. If you take a look at many products, odds are good that a warning label is printed under the ingredients section, stating that the product was manufactured at a location that also processes nuts. Knowing that this was unacceptable for individuals allergic to nuts, Missy decided to manufacture her spreads at a 100% free peanut and tree nut facility.
During my call with Missy, there was an attribute of hers that stood out the most to me. Her drive and ambition to make a difference was very noticeable in her voice. She has successfully found ways to help parents implement important and necessary nutrition into their kids' favorite meals, without giving up the taste. She has taken an idea (No-Nut Butter) and turned it into a product that can be found in 500 retailers, including Target. Therefore, it's clear to see that she'll make the Chocolate No-Nut Butter happen one way or another as well.
Missy's new spread has the potential of joining the Creamy No-Nut Butter on the shelf of retail stores, as it will be a big hit for all chocolate lovers. While conversing, Missy and I talked about the fact that although her products do solve a problem, they're not only geared towards those allergic to nuts. Her products are simply mouth watering and can be enjoyed by anyone looking for an alternative to peanut butter. I know I'm looking forward to receiving my jar in the near future.
Overall, producing a delicious and chocolaty nut-free product POPs.
The Chocolate No-Nut Butter Campaign Page
The Sneaky Chef Website
"OMG, that pic is soooooo cute! LOLZZZZ! What filter are you
going to use? Make sure you tag me in it. #instabesties." That's
how I envision a conversation between two grown men after taking an Instagram selfie. I'm sure it's a terrific picture. However, let's consider one fact. Odds are high that the picture will get a
few "likes" (including one from each person's mom), and that's
as far as it'll go. The photo will get lost in the cloud, along with the
rest of the 60 million pictures that are posted each day. But, what
if it didn't? What if we could take these Instagram pictures, the
ones we cherish, and bring them to life?
I had the opportunity to talk with Justin Lemus and learn about how he is answering the noted questions. Justin explained that after being fascinated by an old school photo cube he had found at his parent's house, a light bulb went off in his head. By utilizing the photo cube, Justin is now focused on reviving the past-time favorite by adding a flare of today's technology, Instagram, in order create a more personalized experience for end users.
Called Cubee, Justin's product is an "illuminating photo cube that brings new life to your Instagram and mobile device photos." Cubee is designed beautifully to showcase five of your favorite printed Instagram photos. When ordering, you'll be able to upload the photos you want onto Cubee's interactive website. The preview feature of the site allows you to set up your Cubee exactly the way you want it to look. Once submitted, the photos are printed on KODAK Universal Backlit Film, placed in the Cubee, and sent your way.
Now, knowing it will be difficult to select just five photos, Cubee is set up so that the photos are easily interchangeable. There is no limit on the number of photos that can be ordered, as Justin has set up his reward system for backers to add extra photos to their reward(s). No matter which photos you want to display, you can simply change them in and out without any problems.
Aside from integrating Instagram photos, another important component that separates Cubee from its old school version is its LED lighting. To further help bring the pictures to life, Justin decided to install a single 12mm LED light in order to illuminate Cubee with a nice uniform glow. Considering Cubee is charged through a USB port, the device can stay lit continuously for about eight hours after being charged for 90 minutes.
I love it when entrepreneurs bring back classical products, add their own touch to it, and adjust the components to match today's lifestyles without hindering the original purpose. Justin's idea is a neat one, as he has found a way to introduce the past to the present. Cubee will be a wonderful hit within the market of individuals that are focused on personalization and giving gifts that portray thought and compassion.
During our conversation, we talked about the future of Cubee and the vision Justin has for his product. It was clear to see that Cubee has the potential of doing well for itself. It's a product that helps close the gap across multiple generations. What makes me reach that conclusion? It's because the next time you take obnoxious family photos at the beach and post them all over the interwebs, you can also bring them to life and give them as gifts to your loved ones.
Overall, updating a classical item POPs.
Cubee's Campaign Page
As we take a look back on history and the evolution of
human capabilities, it's easy to see that as we grow, our focus
is set on improving every component of our lives. It's no
wonder that many think about how certain processes/
products can be built upon and/or made easier.
This holds very true within the engineering community. Take
for example Michael Chou of Detroit, MI. Michael, a
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineer, continually evaluates
how certain everyday products can be improved upon. Over
the past three years, Michael has worked on and has put his efforts into designing a more efficient ice cream scoop. Recognizing that the traditional scoop places unnecessary pressure on the wrist, Michael came up with an idea and developed the ultimate ice cream scoop that will be the last one you'll ever need.
After 38 prototypes, and many nights working on the design, Michael is utilizing crowdfunding to introduce his product, the Midnight Scoop. Having a different look than the regular ice cream scoop, Midnight Scoop was produced with a few features that will provide the end user with a great experience.
Starting with the handle, "The ergonomically shaped curved handle and weight distribution lets you push the Midnight Scoop with your wrist straight and protected instead of twisting and bending it." Instead of powering through the frozen ice cream using your wrist, the Midnight Scoop uses your larger muscles, such as the chest and arm. And as you control the scoop with your palm, the neatly designed scoop digs through the frozen ice cream. The interesting shape of the scoop is "thin enough to cut through ice cream like butter, and thick enough to last. The base of the scoop design forces ice cream to curl into that appealing ice-cream-advertisement look, every time."
It's also significant to note the materials used for producing the Midnight Scoop. With the mentality of creating a product that is made to last, Michael is using hot-forged solid 6061 aluminum for production. Doing so provides Michael the opportunity to guarantee a lifetime warranty on any of his Midnight Scoops.
When I spoke with Michael, I asked him how he has been able to stay motivated for three years to finally see Midnight Scoop come to life, instead of pursuing other ideas that he has come up with along the way. He noted that he looked at which opportunity could make the biggest difference and an idea he truly believed in. Every time, the Midnight Scoop took precedent over the other ideas.
It's clear to see Michael's dedication and passion behind his product, as his Midnight Scoop has the potential of replacing a substantial amount of regular ice cream scoops found in homes. Considering the success his campaign has already had, Michael will now be able to work towards introducing his product in retail outlets.
Overall, revamping the ice cream scoop and making it more efficient and elegant POPs.
Midnight Scoops' Campaign Page
Midnight Scoops' Website
As we, The Freshpreneur, surpass our first year, we have come
to fully understand one major concept about crowdfunding.
We, as backers, support projects that are based on personalization and customization. The products that we back, for the most part, will not become well known global brands. Further, only a small group of people around us will know
about or own them. This allows us, to a certain extent, to
brand ourselves in a unique manner as individuals.
Now, a majority of the projects found on crowdfunding
platforms are not new ideas, yet project owners have found interesting ways of putting their own spin on certain products. They're not trying to recreate the wheel, rather make it more efficient based on their vision. Hence the reason why I decided to do a segment on Jeff Buettin and his team's project. Jeff, an experienced entrepreneur, and his fellow partners are releasing a new style of sunglasses. However, the capabilities of the shades are more than just protecting eyes from the sun.
With the fashion world taking over every aspect of our daily lives, today's sunglasses need to be more than just two UV/polarized protection lenses blocking out the sun. They need to be stylish, chic. But let's be honest, designer shades can get pricey. During my conversation with Jeff, he noted that when he was picking out a pair to purchase, he was trying to decide among three different sunglasses. However, he realized that the main difference among the three pairs was the color of the sunglasses' handles. As he came to this realization, and instead of shelling out $450 for all three, he decided to pursue an idea that he believed solved his problem.
His efforts have lead to the development of Sets, "Sunglasses designed with the versatility to customize them again and again." As explained, "Sets are custom sunglasses with interchangeable side arms and are guaranteed for life. The unique design of our frames allow you to quickly and easily change color combinations to customize your sunglasses however you want, whenever you want." With 12 different frames and 12 different interchangeable side colors, investing in a pair of Sets will give the end user the opportunity to express their own unique style.
It's also important to note that Sets is not only focused on the fashion components of a pair of sunglasses. The crew is fully behind delivering a well developed and great quality product. Made from stainless steel, Sets sunglasses are thick enough to provide a solid frame, yet flexible enough to prevent damage. Jeff is confident in the quality of each Sets pair that he provides a lifetime guarantee with each purchase.
People usually don't back their products with lifetime warranty unless they truly believe in their product. Sets sunglasses showcase great quality, while allowing the end user to express themselves with different styles without having to invest in multiple pairs.
Sets sunglasses have the potential of making their way into retail outlets, as the demand for them will continue to grow. And as the building stone for a lifestyle brand, Jeff noted that the sunglasses are going to play an essential part in building and growing their company, Sets Life.
When I asked Jeff if we should be on the look out for further crowdfunding projects from his team, after they deliver on the sunglasses, he noted that they'll definitely be utilizing the industry to further grown their brand. Next on the agenda will be to introduce both a female and a kids lines within Sets.
Overall, being able to customize a pair of shades without investing in multiple POPs.
Sets Sunglasses Campaign Page
What do you do when the Check Engine light comes on? No, seriously, what do you do? I personally have zero idea what I
would need to do, aside from taking it to the mechanic and
having him/her take a look at it. All the while I'm waiting, I'm sweating profusely, anticipating the damage my wallet is going
to take. Going to the auto shop is like going to the dentist, it's terrifying.
Unfortunately, I don't know much when it comes to
understanding cars. That's why a while back, I wrote about and backed the project Right PSI. And now, looking to further crowdfund-up my car, I have excitingly backed a product that will help diagnose my vehicle.
Knowing a better way must exist in order to understand what exactly is wrong with a car when the death light comes on, a few Georgia Tech friends have come up with an impressive tool to solve the problem. Rachel, John, Rikin, and Kevin of the company FIXD, are about to change how we perceive our car's problems and know when to take action to solve an issue(s).
Composed of two components, FIXD "helps you better understand your vehicle by translating check engine lights and tracking service intervals." By hooking up the FIXD Sensor to your car's dash (OBD-II port), it sends signals to the FIXD app on your phone. It provides you with information relating to your car's health and its stability.
FIXD will relay messages regarding the severity of the problem(s) with your car, so that you know how quickly you need to take action. As explained, "FIXD will tell you what is going to happen with your car if you can’t get it fixed immediately, and FIXD will give you an estimate of how much it will cost to get that problem repaired." And considering that you can leave the sensor plugged-in at all times, every time you start the vehicle, it will connect with your phone through bluetooth connection. This will allow you to have up to date statuses on how your car is performing. FIXD provides the capability of keeping tabs on your car's overall performance, so that you're aware of when to take action based on the maintenance required.
More than likely, we have all experienced the anguishing feeling of seeing a light come on in the dash. The light doesn't explain what the problem is, and opening up the hood won't help either if you don't understand car anatomy. FIXD will help us be aware of our car's status, and give us an estimated cost for any problems that have taken place.
Potentially, FIXD could reach many car owners who don't have new model cars with smart features already pre-installed. No longer will we have to tremble at the thought of what could be wrong with our car. By having FIXD, we'll be able to extend the life of our vehicle by attaining to its needs sooner than later. We're getting smarter in every component of our lives, so why not do the same in understanding our most important portal of transportation.
Overall, having the capability to maintain a stable car POPs.
FIXD's Campaign Page