.It’s Kickstarter time! I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter and crowdfunding for creative endeavors, and I hope that eventually the knitting & yarn community can be as rich and fruitful as it has been for folks who like fancy pens and papers. So following on the heels of the knitting machine kickstarter review I’m diving into another crowdfunding drive, the TINK Wearable Notions Bracelet.
The TINK wearable notions bracelet is a metal bracelet featuring a ruler, tapestry needle, stitch saver (aka mini crochet hook), needle gauge, yarn cutter, and row counter all packed into a tidy form factor. It also features slots for holding stitch markers and a set of stitch markers are included with the Kickstarter reward. It comes in a fabric “Needle Nest” needle holder by Undercover Otter.
What is the TINK bracelet, exactly?
TINK is a six-segment aluminum bracelet which features a number of different tools useful for knitters and crocheters. While some of the tools might only get used occasionally (like the needle gauge) others like the yarn cutter will undoubtedly come in handy every day. The ruler is even a nice thing to have in a variety of non-crafting situations.
The bracelet is on the larger side, approximately 1″ wide and 6″ long (around). The thickness isn’t specified in their campaign but it looks at least a quarter inch thick in the photos. While the machined aluminum keeps it light it’s still a pretty bulky bracelet, probably not one most people could use for everyday wear. It’s definitely a tool first and a fashion statement second.
Fashion aside they’ve managed to cram an impressive amount of tools into a small space, I almost wish it wasn’t a bracelet at all. Keeping all my knitting notions together in my bag is a pretty serious challenge and having a bar-o-notions would be great.
What are the risks for this project? Should I back this project?
Manufacturing is a complicated business, and this project has a few unusual hurdles.Each bracelet piece has to be individually machined from aluminum stock. This means that there isn’t much of an economy of scale when it comes to producing them. In fact, a large number of orders could actually be a problem. Bracelet segments are milled one at a time, so piece takes a fairly long time to make. If the number of bracelets ordered is high there may be significant delays in delivery of your reward.
There are a large number of custom manufactured pieces for each bracelet. The 6 individual segments, the custom crochet hook, and tapestry needles are custom made individually. All of this leads to a pretty expensive manufacturing process. The designer may only be breaking even on this project.
On the flip side, the fact that each bracelet is milled individually means there’s a better chance of fulfillment (even if it runs late, it’ll probably show up). The process for making one bracelet is about the same as the process for making 1000, and there’s not a lot of risk that they’ll run out of money just getting their tooling set up.
The biggest barrier to the success of this campaign is its price point: $150 is just a lot of money for an aluminum bracelet. Sure, it replaces 7 other notions, but even purchased individually it’d be hard to spend more than $50 on them. You may not really need wearable notions if you’re already carrying a project bag. The campaign is a little over 50% funded with a month to go.
The campaign looks well planned and thought out. If a nice aluminum notions bracelet is just what you’re looking for, go for it!