On my About page I wrote about why and how I started Bestboulders and in this article I would like to give you some background information about the first BestBoulders product: The keyholder for climbers.
How I got the Idea for the Keyholder
One day, I was just scrolling through my Instagram feed when I suddenly noticed an Instagram ad and I paused…
As a guitar player it struck me right away and I could sense that urgent feeling of really wanting that product on my home wall. 😀
Well, I really like playing my guitar but my love for climbing is even bigger so I directly searched for something similar for climbers. But I couldn’t find anything and so it was very clear for me: I have to change that!
Research & Development
What followed then was quite an intensive research phase where I had to make decisions about the shape, painting, material, suppliers, shipping costs, packaging and a lot of other business stuff to see if this idea is actually feasible.
After a while I had my first prototypes out of plaster ready and I must say that I was very happy with the result.
But I also wanted to make sure that I was not the only one who liked the idea so I made a few instagram stories to validate the concept. Have a look at some of the first Instagram stories about the keyholder for climbers:
Those stories got way more engagement than my usual stories and the consensus seemed:
Shut up and take my money! 😄– Everyone
The decision was made: I’ll start making the keyholder for climbers.
Setting up the production line
I decided to purchase a few nut keychains and to cast the keyholders with concrete and paint them afterwards to make them look like real rock. Therefore I needed a silicone mould which I created with my plaster prototype.
The first keyholders were made on the floor of my living room and were left to dry on the heater but with a newborn around and increasing demand, the decision was made to move the production line to the cellar where it is till the present day.
Only the packaging and shipping station remains in our flat.
The first sale
With the first keyholders ready, I had to decide how to sell them to other people. I decided on the quickest but also sketchiest version to sell them through my homepage with a PayPal / Stripe Checkout.
I was quite surprised that after announcing it on @bestboulders on Instagram they got sold out pretty quickly.
Quickly, I ordered more nut keychains and started moulding more concrete keyholders and moved the shop to the trusted marketplace Etsy.
I am so happy to see that people seem to be as excited as I am when they come home to hang their keys on the keyholder. It’s such a great feeling! (You know how that feels when you already placed a nut)
Unfortunately, after a while the original nut keychains were sold out and the retailer couldn’t deliver anymore so I had to find an alternative keychain for the keyholder. (Which was not easy as it needs to fit well to the keyholder)
Luckily, I found a distributor with a matching keychain and over time I ordered smaller amounts to see how fast they were gone and every time the keyholders were available again, they sold out pretty quickly.
This helped me with the decision to make a commitment for a larger order for nut keychains with the BestBoulders logo on them. I got pretty nice colors, too. 😉
Finally, the keyholders are available again and you can have a look at the listing here.