We keep getting the questions: Is this a real company? Where's your product? When will it get here? Why do you only offer pre-orders?... The list goes on. To set the record straight, we thought we'd give you a behind the scenes look at what's happened at PARKIT since the end of our Kickstarter campaign in June.
First, let's back up a bit. In May of this year we launched VOYAGER, the ultimate outdoor chair, on Kickstarter. For those who are un-accustomed to Kickstarter, the platform serves entrepreneurs by providing them with the opportunity to raise funds for their businesses through pre-orders, also commonly referred to as "pledges." A successful campaign hopes for thousands of pledges, resulting in a stockpile of funds that will be utilized to move the business from idea to fully functioning company. PARKIT's Kickstarter campaign was an incredible success, raising just under $500,0000 on kickstarter in 35 days. Even crazier, our story was picked up by Forbes, USA Today, Uncrate and received national coverage almost immediately. Our community absolutely blew us away and we've been hard at work ever since.
So Where's My Voyager Outdoor Chair?
We'll get there. First there's a whole myriad of steps to go through. Building the ultimate outdoor chair has a lot of components, all of which need to be carefully selected and built to the highest standard. Here's a look at the basics.
Final Drawings - Prototypes of outdoor chairs are useful for so many reasons but the most important of all is the fact that prototypes allow us to identify aspects of the product that can be improved. So we took one last look at our Classic Blue VOYAGER Prototype and called out a few spec changes. Each change was focused on building a durable, long lasting and comfortable outdoor chair that's perfect for the beach, the campsite and everything in between.
Factory Samples - Once we finalized drawings of VOYAGER, it was sample time. In June we started on a few samples with 3 different factories, Specifically focused on the structural integrity of the chair frame. Then 2 factories for the webbing samples which went through their own series of test to ensure durability and strength. Then we worked with another 2 factories for the cooler sample. Lastly, we brought in a plastics factory to help build the molds for tooling. By mid-July, the first factory samples arrived at our HQ and another round of refinements began. Small changes and updates can make a huge difference. Example: we adjusted the width of the cupholder and it now fits the insulated water bottles of pretty much every brand that makes a hydroflask style water bottle under 40 OZ.
Packaging - Beyond the actual production of the physical product, we also have to take into account the best way to package and ship an outdoor folding chair like voyager. The shipping & packaging process is a delicate balance of both cost effective shipping methods (shipping chairs isn't as simple as watches or sunglasses) and making sure that the product will be safe in transit so that it arrives to you perfect and ready for it's first adventure.
Tooling - This is by far one of the coolest steps (or maybe I'm just geeking out here). Check out the image below, these are the VOYAGER camping chair tooling molds. These will be used to build the key mechanical pieces of the VOYAGER outdoor chair. They will be used over the next few years as we build 1000's of units for customers across the country (and soon the world!).
Golden Sample Process - Once tooling is complete, we enter the golden sample process. The golden sample process is the stage where we work directly with the factory and utilize the tooling investments we've made to prep for mass production. We identify essential quality controls, product standards and if a product comes off the line below any of these standards it's cut. #YaDONE! Spoiler alert, we're starting the golden sample phase now!
Once the golden sample is approved, the order is placed and production goes into overdrive, pumping out hundreds of chairs per day as they prepare for their big trek across the Pacific.
So, there you have it. That's a 30,000ft view of what's going on behind the scenes at PARKIT. As you can see by the photos, we're real, we're serious and we've made tremendous progress building the ultimate outdoor chair. A lot of funds have been invested since Kickstarter to get to this stage and again, we can't stress enough how grateful we are for the support of our kickstarter backers. Their support this last spring and summer has absolutely changed the game in regards to what is possible for our brand. We'll continue to update you as progress moves along. Until then, #EnjoyTheExploration.
Interested in VOYAGER? Save 15% when you order today! Looking for more than one unit? You're in luck! You'll save an extra 5% when your order 2 or more!
Have any questions, hit us up here.