The Making of Stubborn Goods
Our bags start as hand drawn sketches to get an idea on to the page. Then we refine and consider the use. We think about what's needed and what can be left out without sacrificing usability.
After we have something we think will work well, we create a prototype. We started prototyping in our dinning room and after a while decided we needed a dedicated space in our basement. Now we can work out ideas without picking everything up and loosing our train of thought.
Once the prototype is built, we use it. We show it to friends and family and get feedback. We take notes on what's working and what needs changed. Sometimes the whole idea didn't work and we move on to the next idea.
We knew we wanted to use Cordura fabric. We didn't know about the other materials so we ordered a bunch of different things are started to test out what we liked. We found the large YKK coil zippers to be easy to use and US made. We found nylon webbing that is US made as well as plastic hardware.
It's important to us that we manufacture in Colorado. It's our home. We can visit and build our relationship with the manufacture. And we cut down on shipping the finished products before getting them into the hands of customers.
Our manufacturing partner helps us find suppliers, figure out material yields, and refine our designs for production. They're located in Colorado Springs, CO and are awesome working with new companies.
Hi Kickstarter! I'm Dusty Candland and that's my wife, Jen. Stubborn Goods started in 2018 as an idea to make something physical. I've been making software since high school and love it, but there's something about making physical products that you can hold.
We weren't sure what that would be. At first we considered clothing, coats, and hoodies. After doing some research that seemed like more than Jen and I could handle starting out. Also, we wanted to manufacture locally which is much harder with clothing and apparel.
I've always loved bags and backpacks. A quick look in my closet will prove that! Looking back, I even made backpacks and bags for fun. Something I forgot about until talking with a good friend who reminded me.
How hard can it be? I went to the fabric store, bought material, and started to make things. Simple stuff to experiment with materials and hardware. Turns out, as with most things, creating what's in your head can be very hard. But I was hooked.
I kept creating and testing different bags and backpacks. Once I had a design that I used everyday and people started to ask about and complement it, we decided to make and sell them.
This proved to be the hardest part. Finding a manufacture that works with new companies and is willing to produce small runs took a while. Sourcing materials and getting everything lined up was another huge learning experience. Good thing I love learning and new challenges.
While very different from software, in many ways, there are aspects that are similar. Managing the product development and delivery isn't as different as I expected.
We're learning as we go and appreciate your support and feedback!
Thanks for reading!