This week has been a momentous one for us, as we're finally over the hurdle of the second factory-finding phase. We've contracted with a forging factory in Shenzhen, placed our first purchase order, paid for the tooling costs, and they started work on the tooling (molds) and production samples this week!
Here's a photo of one of the guys from our broker's team with the owner of the factory:
And here are some products that the factory has produced for other clients. While these are not samples of our spoons, they give us an idea of what kind of work the factory produces.
The sample process takes 20 days to complete. One detail worth pointing out is that these are production samples - what the factory is sending us will be exactly what can be made from the molds for a production run.
In our best case scenario, no changes will be needed, we'll approve the samples and move straight into production. In our worst case scenario, the samples will be missing some crucial element, and we'll have to re-tool and start the sample process over again. We are working with our manufacturing coordinator (broker) to make sure that all of our design specifications are understood, and this is unlikely to happen, but it's always a possibility.
Ok, lets check in with the timeline for delivery. If we receive our samples by the end of November and give them our stamp of approval, the factory can begin production. Production takes a minimum of 40 days, and then they'll need to be packed and shipped to us here in San Diego. Then we pack and ship them to you.
If you were planning on giving these as a Christmas gift, they will not be ready. Realistically we're looking at February or March if everything goes smoothly, possibly later if we have any delays.
We will be creating a downloadable gift card which you can print out and give in lieu of having the actual spoons to wrap up and place under the tree. I know this is a much less gratifying substitute for the real thing, but it will help communicate the concept of the spoons to the recipient, and give you something tangible to give away.
For those of you that weren't aware, you may still place a Pre-Order or Add-On to your pledge via BackerKit. We've extended the Pre-Order deadline until November 30th. At the end of the month, we'll close down BackerKit so we can calculate our final count for manufacturing quantities. Any funds added via BackerKit have not yet been charged to the card on file; they will be charged on November 30th (and we'll send a reminder email about that before BackerKit closes).
Thanks for hanging in there with us. For more details about our manufacturing saga, check out this blog post HERE.
Rachel Eva and Shawn Michael