The Super Punch - Coming Soon!
April 25, 2022
The Super Punch + One LAST vote on color
It's been a few weeks since my last update. We received the latest prototype (pictured above in Navy Blue) a few weeks back and I'm happy to report that overall we're VERY happy with the results!! The locking mechanism is working, the needle is fantastic!! I personally think it's better than the Oxford's needle. It was SO good, I almost started pre-sales.
Why didn't I start pre-sales?? We had some discrepancies in the sizing of the handle in comparison to the needle. In other words, our needles weren't fitting into the handles. We resourcefully re-used the handles to make it work, however, this made the adhesion of the handle parts not hold as we'd hoped.
In addition, our needle was originally designed to have a pointed end inside the handle (to allow for the guidance of the needle). This pointy edge was causing the yarn to be snagged, preventing smooth flow of the yarn through the handle. As you know, this is absolutely NOT okay. Ha!! The bonus of having a fellow Punch Needle artist designing products is that I get it. I know what we absolutely will not allow. And this one is a biggie. Luckily, it's an easy fix.
Because of these 2 items, I didn't feel comfortable putting it out there for pre-sales. I want you to know exactly what you'll be buying. So back to the prototyping we went. My design team has already made the adjustments on their end and sent it over to my manufacturer. They estimated 2 weeks to make the prototype and then we'll have 1-2 weeks in shipping. We anticipate this being our last prototype, but I don't want to promise too much either. So take that with a grain of salt.
A note on the color - Now that we mournfully say goodbye to the olive wood (you will sorely be missed), I'm back to color choices. The original color voting was done with trendy colors. I want this tool to be a classic color that will stand the test of time AND allow your art to shine. We have 3 classic colors to choose from, WHITE, BLACK or NAVY BLUE. I'd love to hear your preference for classic color. The prototype will be made with the winner! Please go to the survey below to vote for your favorite.
January 20, 2022
I feel like I don't have any new updates, yet at the same time I have a lot to share.
In my last update (in case you need a refresher as I did), I shared that my manufacturer was reaching out to wood manufacturers to see if they could make our handle. Unfortunately, they couldn't find anyone able to make our handle as we had wished. This led my amazing design team to come up with a new locking mechanism idea that our manufacturer could work with (hoping we could stay with them and make things simple). After much back and forth and a transfer to a more experienced engineer, they had to break the news to us that they just did not have the capability to make the tool with either of the locking mechanisms in a wooden handle.
While I've dreamed of a wooden handle, my intuition was telling me I needed to switch my focus. I was truly sad for a few days, but now I've come to appreciate the benefits a recycled plastic handle gives. It utilizes resources already in our environment (we'll be saving plastic from sitting in landfills for infinity), it will be cheaper and easier to make (less resources being used), and it will be lower cost to you allowing more people to enjoy the craft. And at some point in the future, we'll get to look at colors again!! Turtoiseshell was our winner last time, but it can't come from recycled plastic so I'd prefer to choose another option. More details to come.
So what next's? We've already found a wonderful plastic manufacturer that has been a joy to work with. They are currently working on providing us with a CNC'ed handle model for our prototype. CNC is a low-cost way to produce a prototype before shelling out the mold fees for production. Did you know a tooling mold costs $17,000??!?!? Yep. This is why I'll need your help with pre-sales. And once it's paid, you're set to go for hundreds of thousands of handles, by a machine, so no harsh working conditions for employees. The wooden handle would've required a bit more hands-on production, so yet another plus to plastic.
Another positive note for the plastic handle is that the locking mechanism can be set inside the plastic making it more reliable and longer-lasting.
Timeline? I hope to have the CNC handle with needle and locking mechanism (a full prototype!!) in 4 weeks. With Covid, Holidays, and delayed shipping, this may take more or less than 4 weeks.
November 17, 2021
And the winner is......
Kraft box with white ink won the color race! And....drum roll please..........tube box was the winning box type! I love that you think about the cost and eco-friendly packaging as much as I do!!
At this point, I don't have much of an update on the locking mechanism and the handle solution, but I thought I could at least let you in on what I know. The manufacturer that we were working with is more of a metal expert, which is good news in that our needle manufacturing is set up and ready to go. And the needle is VERY important for a high-quality tool.
When they couldn't make the wood handle work, they went out to other wood manufacturers to see if they could help. As of last week, they have wood handles and completed prototypes, but they aren't happy with the quality.
They sent the prototypes to my design firm last week and are scheduled to be delivered today. From here, my design and engineer team will inspect the prototypes and determine the next steps. I hope to hear from them at the end of this week.
October 27, 2021
Before we get into the packaging, a quick update on the prototype. Our current manufacturer is trying their hardest to find someone that can make the handle. From there, we're hoping the manufacturer they find will be able to make our handle and we can proceed. If not, we will start exploring on our own. They hoped to have 5 prototypes ready by Friday, the 29th. I'm hopeful they can make this happen, although a bit hesitant to fully believe it. Help me pray and send them all the good vibes to get it done!!
Now the packaging!!! There are 3 box options, tube, box, and hex shape. The box shape was the most expensive and I didn't think it popped like the other two, so I've thrown that one out. This leaves us with tube and hex.
The tube option is the cheapest (apparently this is the most readily available). It looks amazing with the tab at the top and the cut out! Inside, there is a post that allows the tool to sit and pose for its performance.
Another view of the main stage:
They also gave me the option to do it in kraft box color, which is more eco-friendly and typically cheaper than even a white box.
The hex box option also acts like a storage container for your tool. It has a elastic strap around the hex tube to hold your tool inside. This strap also allows for easier opening and storing of your tool.
It features this super cool string inside that allows the tool to slide onto (the open slot) and then twist. to lock it into place. You have to look closely, the string is there.
I like this option for the storage container capability. A box that can store something is 2 options in one. It also has square like corners which would allow for closer packing when shipping the orders to me. It is a little more price-wise than the tube box, but it could make up for this in less shipment boxes and less container space.
I'm really digging the white box! I love how it showcases the wood handle and the black outline really pops. The kraft boxes are more eco-friendly and still sharp looking, however, the wood doesn't stand out as much. Then I selected 3 of the colors they presented. We have a smokey blue, soft lavender, and a pink.
KRAFT WITH BLACK
KRAFT WITH WHITE
TIME TO VOTE!
It's time!! I created a survey for ease of voting. You will vote on:
Your favorite box option: TUBE or HEX
Your favorite color: WHITE, KRAFT WITH BLACK, KRAFT WITH WHITE, LAVENDER, or PINK
Head here to vote: Packaging Survey
If you'd prefer, you can also email me at shawna (at) northshorecrafts (dot) com or DM me on IG.
October 20, 2021
I hesitate to share this information today. I'm not quite over the news myself and I typically like to have some plans for the next step (to boost optimism, more so for myself probably than for you). But you, my followers, always make me feel better so here we go.
My manufacturer contacted us yesterday morning saying they are unable to make the handles for The Super Punch. They cited some issues with the wood and the locking mechanism and then basically said they cannot make it and to try somewhere else. My heart sank. I thought we were so close, days from launching, and now here we are needing a new manufacturer for the handle. Spiritually, I know to trust the timing and allow this to unfold. But man it's hard to be patient sometimes. I feel as if I'm disappointing you yet again and I'm sorry for that. I ask for your grace and patience, as well as your trust.
I did hop on a video meeting with my design team yesterday afternoon and it made me SO grateful to have them! Their experience and knowledge are a guiding light for me. They assured me this might be a hiccup but it's a small hiccup and it's definitely something we can work with. We still have an amazing needle molded and ready to go, so we are not starting at square one. And while I continue to hope we can make a wood handle, there is always the option to go with recyclable plastic in the handle. A plastic handle would ease production, lower costs, and possibly make it a heartier tool.
On a positive note, they got me some estimates for the packaging options they have designed and they are in alignment with our goals. Later this week, I plan to send out the 2 options I love and let you vote on your favorite!!
May you feel hope.
May you feel loved.
May you feel joy.
August 10, 2021
The third and final prototype has been received!! A divot has been added to the eyehole to prevent plucking of the fabric as it passes through. And it works!!! No plucking, nice and smooth! It's a dream!!
The last prototype had some unrelated issues that had already been fixed (overall, the wood was made smaller and the locking mechanism wasn't moving as smooth as we want). We've switched to a stainless steel locking mechanism to prevent the rigidity part. And the manufacturer is aware of their error in the mis-size.
Next, my amazing design team is combining two of our prototypes to make one fantastic working prototype so I can start prepping for the pre-sales. I'm also making a deposit for an initial order so that 5 fully working samples can be made. This will allow us to test for mass production. And allow me to get the tool into the hands of some big influencers in the Punch Needle world of art. I hope to use their inspiration to boost sales and make this campaign a success.
Pre-sales will be held on Kickstarter. The next couple of weeks will be all about getting a successful Kickstarter campaign up and running. Taping videos, prepping emails, reaching out to my tribe, reaching out to artists in the Punch Needle world. Working to get as many eyes on the campaign as possible. More sales = lower pricing = more women becoming artists = more women feeling alive and fulfilled. That is my mission.
If you would like to help in anyway, I would love to hear from you. Are you a video editor that has some extra time to edit a video? Or have a connection in the fibre art world of PR? Are you friends with someone with a large following that loves to make art? Do you have 2 or 3 friends that love to create art that you can pass along this message? Any and all help can moves mountains, no matter how great or small. I appreciate you, I love you, I'm honored to be here with you.
PS. If you have a way to help spread the word or assist me in my Kickstarter campaign, email me at shawna (at) northshorecrafts (dot) com.
May 4, 2021
I have received the second prototype and it's fantastic!!! We have one last tweak that needs to be made and we will be set for go launch. I cannot tell you how excited I was after trying this round of the prototype! It works, it's SO pretty (I mean look at that logo?!?! 🤩) and it is nearly ready. I was jumping little leaps of joy in my office. After 2 1/2 long years, it felt like I was finally in sight of the finish line.
What's next? The eyehole needs to be adjusting just a tad. The back of the eyehole is catching the fabric causing a plucking sound and we just can't have that. My design team is working on a solution and then we'll go back to the manufacturer for their go ahead. I will have more information after this process. I will also have a better feel for dates and timeline.
And that's it! One small adjustment away from a final product! I'm feeling so good about it all this time around. Like all of this was meant to be.
I received the prototypes!! Late January as expected. Overall, they are fantastic! The Olive wood looks amazing. The sleek design of the handle is spot on! The flow of adjustment is working great. And the locking of the needle is tight!
I did have a few adjustments to our needle. I want this to be damn near perfect so a few tweaks needed to be made. What tweaks, you might be wondering??? The eye needle hole needed to be bigger. The bottom back slot to hold yarns in was hindering the thicker yarns so we’re removing it from the Regular thickness needle and holding it for the Fine thickness when we get there.
And that’s it! Small changes...sooooo close now!
However, with changes come new molds which take time to make. 2-3 weeks to be specific. A spring launch!!! I’m diggin’ it! I’m going to hold off on any exact-ish timeline updates at this time, because let’s be honest, I’m not the best at them. I will know more after I get the next prototype and get more specific timelines.
I’m so excited for this update! And I think you will be, too!
A lot has happened since my last update. I have a lot to tell you. And things will be moving quickly!
Where to start?! Seriously, so much to tell you!
Long story short, January through July 2020, I had an engineer, he helped me learn things about my handle and a locking mechanism that fell short.
August 2020, I find and love a new product design company and we start working on The Super Punch AND The Simple Punch. They are currently in the idea design phase.
This new design firm is The Bomb! They appreciate design, think about art when designing our tool and they have some great initial locking mechanism ideas. This is going to be fun!!
Design phase will last 8 weeks, then we move onto the manufacturing phase which will take another 8 weeks.
Look to pre-order your Super Punch early October!!! Hoping for early 2021 to ship tools to you!
Don't forget to sign up below to get updates on The Super Punch!
Friends, The Super Punch is coming soon!! I'm so excited to be near the end of this journey. To get my very own tool into your hands. Think of an adjustable tool combined with the Oxford tool ergonomic handle + the open slot for easy threading. It's cool and I'm bursting at the seams to release all the details. Soon, so soon.
North Shore Crafts opened September 21, 2018. When I first opened my shop, I had difficulty finding Punch Needle tools to sell. And I felt like there should be more options. I loved the open slot for easy threading on the Oxford, but I wanted to be able to have different loop lengths.
From Day 1, I've been brainstorming ideas and concepts for my own Punch Needle tool. Many months of masterminding, brainstorming, trouble shooting, dead ends, hopeful beginnings followed.
I'm finally close to the end and many more details will be coming out soon.
If you'd like all the juicy details on the new Super Punch tool + get first dibs on purchasing your very own, sign up below.