Did you know in 2012 we spent 1.2 Billion dollars on Nail Polish in the United States? That's BILLION with a B, and that's just in the US, that's not globally! Did you also know that according to the Wall Street Journal Article "Why We Crave The Last Drop" (an article that came out years after I conceived of and named my product by the way) http://www.everylastdropinc.com/WSJ-Article.html that due to manufacturer's poor packaging of household products today, anywhere from 3% to 25% of the product we pay for is eventually discarded in the "empty" package? Now 3% of 1.2 Billion is 36 Million dollars worth of Nail Polish likely to be discarded all because the manufacturer packages it's product with an applicator that doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle. And remember 3% is the LOW end of the estimate!
ELD was not initially designed to be a replacement for the cap brush assemblies that come standard with your nail polish purchase. It was initially conceived as more of a tool to help you reach the bottom of the container when the existing cap brush no longer reached the fluid in the bottom of the bottle. However, as the design evolved and we included an o-ring in the face of the collar and a sealing washer in the base of the collar, we eliminated the risk of evaporation thus allowing the consumer to use ELD as a replacement for the existing cap brush assembly. So when the consumer gets to the point where they need ELD to reach the remaining polish in the bottle, they can leave it on the bottle until the polish is completely gone. You now have the choice to either use ELD as a tool that can be cleaned and stored away each time it's used or you can use it to replace the existing cap brush assembly when your nail polish manufacturer leaves you high and dry!
These were all industry professionals mind you, men and women who make their living doing nails. I also learned something new. As expensive as nail polish can be there are an abundance of nail preps and primers, gels and sealers that cost twice what nail polish does, and comes packaged in similar containers. And for those of you that are professionals out there reading this, remember ELD is a tool. Just because you have 100 bottles of polish in your salon, you don't need 100 ELD's. You only need ELD when the supplied applicator no longer reaches the product. So maybe if you have 5 stations it would be convenient to have 5 ELDs.
Where I ran into my biggest problem was my price point. And I quickly realized that if this was going to be a successful product I would have to pursue either an alternative method of manufacturing or material, or both. It appears that I can cut my cost of manufacture to about 50% of what I am spending now to manufacture out of Aluminum here in the USA, by switching to plastic injection molding. Now while the CNC machined pieces you see here are beautiful and will last a lifetime and then some, the industry was not impressed with the price.
If my goal is to get these "tools" in the hands of everyone that wants to utilize them then I have to cut my manufacturing costs. However, it is really important to me to keep production in the USA.
During the R & D phase of this project we determined that nail polish bottles come with mainly 2 different diameter necks. The smaller of the two seems to be the industry standard, but several manufacturers do utilize a somewhat larger diameter neck on their bottles. In fact the most popular nail polish on the market has a larger diameter neck. For that reason the Every Last Drop tool is comprised of two "collars" and an interchangeable brush shaft. The collars are identical on the outside, however they have a different internal thread diameter to accommodate the different diameter necks of the bottles. By supplying you with both collars you can be assured that no matter who manufactures your favorite polish, we have you covered. Out of the 60 or so different brands of nail polish that I have been able to get my hands on, I have only found one that neither the small collar or the large collar will work as a replacement for the manufacturer's cap.
ELD will still work as a tool to reach the bottom of that particular container, it just will not replace the existing cap brush that comes standard with the container. So you would just have to clean and store ELD away until the next use of that particular manufacturers bottle.
But here's something that is not so obvious. In fact I didn't even think of it. All the credit for this little epiphany all goes to my husband. One day when we were brainstorming he said "You know, it's bad enough that the brush doesn't reach the bottom of the bottle when it's just sitting there on the shelf, but have you ever stopped to realize that you have even less access to the product when you are applying it?" It took me a minute to realize what he was saying. When you are applying nail polish, or any fluid for that matter, you don't screw the cap all the way on and off every time you dip your brush in. No, the cap "rests" if you will on the threads of the neck of the bottle, affording you even less access to your product.
I happen to be married to one of the most talented machinists on the planet! So when it came to translating the design I had in my head into a first article, I really lucked out. And because of his circle of friends (more talented machinists) we were able to afford to make a small prototype run. We have identified the proper material and have CNC Programming in place and ready for a large production run. We have identified the correct o-ring, the correct sealing washer and the correct brush tip. So far all of the R & D expenses have come out of pocket.
As beautiful as the CNC machined aluminum pieces are, metal is expensive.
So the money I am trying to raise here will pay for the cost of the molds required for plastic injection molding. If I am successful in lowering my cost of material and manufacturing I may actually have the opportunity to be able to make this tool available to even more consumers. I will continue to offer the aluminum version (offered here as rewards) even after we are in production with a plastic version. Some people just don't like plastic anything, however some people want the option to spend less and still have access to a particular product. The more people I can appeal to, whether it be with a machined aluminum product or a less expensive plastic product, the better chance I have of reducing the waste of fluid products.
I actually plan on being able to fulfill my rewards sooner than October, as the rewards will be manufactured out of aluminum and we already everything in place for a production run that would fulfill any rewards that are backed. However I am not in total control of material availability or exact delivery lead time from my material manufacturer. And although aluminum is generally readily available, I would rather promise something by a certain date and deliver early than to keep my supporters waiting even one day past the promised time frame.
Rest assured all supporters will be receiving CNC machined 6061 anodized Aluminum shafts and collars as pictured here on this page.
Design Concept - CHECK First Article - CHECK Small Prototype Run - CHECK Anodize Small Prototype Run - CHECK Material for Production Run lined up and READY TO GO - CHECK Manufacturer for Production Run lined up and READY TO GO - CHECK Identified and Addressed Any Production or Processing Issues - CHECK Ready, Willing and Able to Make My Dream a Reality - CHECK CHECK CHECK
I would like to close this campaign with the fact that although Every Last Drop was inspired by my need for a better nail polish applicator - THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING! This design of an Adjustable Length Applicator, one that can be lowered or raised with a simple twist of a shaft is applicable to so many markets. For example, there are medical prescriptions, hobby paints, hobby glues and industrial fluids all that come packaged with an applicator that doesn't reach the bottom of the container. With a successful Kickstarter campaign we can investigate translating this exciting new design technology to other industries packaging and help reduce the waste of so many fluid products!