over 1 year ago
– Sun, Jun 17, 2018 at 11:26:30 PM
I owe you a major apology for the radio silence. There's been some rocky stuff happening, but that's not an excuse.
Here's the situation:
The cutter is taking a while to get back to me so we're cutting these by hand, they're a small enough number that it shouldn't take too long by comparison to the other custom rewards. After some final tinkering with the pattern, we'll hopefully have these done soon. In some ways cutting them by hand is useful, they're the smallest, and it helps to use up the smaller pieces of fabric we have so I can just send entire rolls of fabric to the cutters.
Standard size, and Double size Custom colour Dragon Bagons, as well as Slack Wyrm and Pumpkin Spice Dragon Bagons
I'm waiting for info from the design/soft toy specialist to finalise the pattern for these. It should hopefully arrive soon. I'm a bit concerned that we're going to run behind schedule because of delays with the shipping, but I'm going to keep trying to stay on schedule or close to it at least.
I'm hoping to have them cut out by a specialist using a computer guided system. As it is we may need to have press clicker blades made up, which is expensive, but I think it would be a good investment for the future. It takes more than half an hour to cut out a Dragon Bagon by hand. If even half of the pieces are be cut in bulk it saves a colossal amount of time.
Manufactured Dragon Bagons
Again, I'm still waiting on the parcel from the specialist, but I've already sent as much info as I can to my preferred manufacturer so I'm hoping they can work quickly.
I'm really concerned that we're going to miss the deadline to ship in July, and I feel I need to be up front about that, but we are seeing progress, albeit slower than I'd like.
The dice manufacturer has been unusually slow - they were pretty good the last round of dice I had made up, so I'm not sure what's going on. They finally sent me samples of the red and black dice they can do, which arrived a few days ago. To be honest I'm not completely happy with the colours. I've been investigating other options and hopefully something better will come up. If it turns out I can only get a multiset instead of individual dice, would you folks like that more or less?
The second batch of green and black dice should be done soon, I ordered them ages ago and will be following up this week.
Totally custom Dragon Bagons
Once I have my helper working away happily on the drakelings I'll be in touch to go through the finer details of these rewards and sort them out.
Rainbow Dragon Bagons and charging cards
Ok, we have not yet hit the target, which I'm sad about, but more preorders are coming in. So I'm going to charge all cards EXCEPT those that have a custom rainbow dragon on their order. Swapping and adding items to orders is easier than doing refunds, so we can keep moving towards the target but we can get those other charges sorted, since folks seem keen to get that done sooner rather than later.
Shipping and fulfillment
The original plan is to ship each order as it is completed. So if you have an item in the third wave and three in the first wave, your order would be shipped when the third wave item is ready. However depending on how things (like storage space) go, we may need to adjust this method.
My to do list
Approach some more dice manufacturers
- Order fabrics for the cutters
- Harass the cutters some more
- Sort out charging the right cards in backerkit
- Keep cutting out the Drakelings
- Inspect the shipment of eyes that arrived last week
- Check and finalise the sample from the specialist and then forward it to the manufacturers
All in all, I'm really sorry I haven't got as much progress to report as you deserve, but I promise I haven't forgotten you lovely folks, and we're working hard to get your draconic friends to you as soon as possible.
Sneaky quick update of sneaky quickness
over 1 year ago
– Fri, May 18, 2018 at 02:08:51 AM
I'm fine tuning some details with the sample maker specialist person, and I have a question for you folks regarding the manufactured dragon bagons.
Would you prefer the spikes and scales to be a bit more rigid, but less snuggly (say using felt), or would you prefer them to stay how they are, soft and bendier? I'm leaning towards felt at this point, but I'd like to hear your opinions.
The handmade dragons would stay the same for now, but I'll investigate felt as a potential option, depending on how well I can source a good colour match.
I've chased up the cutters again and sent them the info they need. Now that surveys are locked down I'm tallying up pieces and planning steps and ordering supplies.
We need another 250 pre orders of manufactured dragon bagons/rainbow dragons before we can add rainbow to the manufactured run. It's a long shot but we could still make it :).
Videos are starting to come out now - check out a Dragon Bagon devouring some dice ^_^
The sickly update of sickliness
over 1 year ago
– Sun, May 06, 2018 at 01:50:17 AM
I had a full update typed up but the laptop had a tantrum and I lost most of it, but here's a quick rundown:
I've been struck down by a ridiculously persistent cold/flu/plague/curse. It's been dogging me for two months now, and every time I think I'm improving it comes back *mutter*. The dr put me on some nasty antibiotics for it. We'll see in a week if they're working.
That being said, I have some progress to report.
Rainbow - We haven't gotten enough pre orders in yet, but I'm hoping some new videos and advertising will help with that.
Surveys and charging cards - I've locked down surveys. Around 30 haven't been answered yet, so if they're answered later on they'll just have to go on the queue as they come in. I'm hesitant to charge cards before I need to, since organising refunds for those who pledged for a handmade rainbow will be awkward if we hit the target to manufacture it afterwards. I'd like to see how the next lot of advertising does first.
Manufacturing - I have four potential manufacturers lined up for the Dragon Bagons. Info and samples have been sent to a specialist who designs soft toys for mass production. This takes some extra time but it gives an opportunity to finetune and improve the design for a better quality product at the end. Sampling for the Bagthulhus is already underway with several manufacturers.
Handmade Dragons - I've started calculating piece counts, and I'm chasing up the cutter next week to sort out the first round of cutting. Of the first wave, we'll likely do the standard size first, followed by the double size, and then the drakelings.
Also, I can't wait for you folks to see the new videos. They're super cute.
Also, today I ended up with maple syrup all over my hands. I'm in the process of convincing/bribing an elderly and rather highly strung horse to let me rinse out her mouth (she has dental problems). She loves maple syrup sandwiches (I've not come across a horse like that before her, but ok), so I figured maybe she wouldn't mind my hands around her mouth if there was maple syrup to be had. Turns out she's too smart for that. But with maple syrup AND carrot sticks we made some progress. Her neighbour/paddock mate was on hand to lick my hands clean.
Stuff and things
almost 2 years ago
– Sun, Mar 25, 2018 at 01:57:34 AM
Hello fellow dragon fans,
I've been quiet for a bit, up to my elbows in sewing and paperwork, but there is progress to report.
I've made some connections with new manufacturers and, importantly, some specialists with a lot of industry experience. This is useful because it will allow me access to knowledge that will help produce a better quality product.
I'm still hopeful that we can get enough pre orders in to add rainbow to the manufactured run. We've been organising a series of fun videos to go out soon. So far I've talked with fire breathers, a lazer tag place, and a restaurant that used to be a bank. I've bought mousetraps, padlocks, chains, candles and toy cars. Today we set off a dozen mouse traps and I only got snapped once. If nothing else, it's fun to film.
We need less than 300 more pre orders to cover expanding the manufactured run, and they're trickling in even without the extra promoting, so in a week or two when the videos and ads start going up, it would be super awesome if you could share them far and wide so we can make rainbow a thing.
Surveys and Handmade Dragons
There's still a little over 50 backers who haven't filled out their surveys, so if you're among them please please please fill yours out ASAP. In about a week I'm planning to lock down surveys and start tallying counts for fabric orders etc. I'm hoping to get a cutting sample back from a new cutter soon after that so we can see if the pieces can be cut at a high enough quality in bulk, saving a lot of time.
For those who haven't filled out their surveys before I lock them down, you will still be able to fill in your choices, but they will end up going further back in the queue since we will have already started work on the surveys that have been filled out first.
If you want to order an extra rainbow Dragon Bagon after the surveys are locked down, just let me know and I'll manually edit your order.
Pre orders and charging credit cards
I won't be charging cards for at least another two weeks.
Pre orders for manufactured Dragon Bagons will remain open for the time being.
I've been in contact with a few manufacturers. The ones I've used in the past have told me that they couldn't match the exact colours I want unless I go to a much more expensive molding method. They're currently making up a sample of what they CAN do at the original price, and if it's close enough we'll go ahead, otherwise I'll look for another manufacturer or go for the more expensive option.
I'm still keen to get a multiset made up if I can make the numbers work, so keep an ear out.
My mother is slowly improving. There's still a lot of major risks, and we have to be super careful about a lot of stuff, but she's able to do things she couldn't do six months ago, which is awesome. She's home most of the time now, but still has to go back in every month or so for followups.
I made another round of basil pesto. The basil in the garden kept trying to go to seed so I went on a rampage and made four jars worth, which is a LOT of basil leaves. The plants are sulking now.
I officially have an accountant now, which is weird. Previously I did the books myself because it was a small deal, but now it's starting to look like a grown up operation. It's the end of the financial year very shortly so I'm wading through a sea of receipts and invoices. It's also looking like I need to get a bigger place.
See, I had a lounge, with a work table in the corner. Cool. Then shelves had to go in for the fabric, so it was taking up two walls. Then my helper came along and we added a second work station - three walls.
Now I have a single chair in the corner of the room that's not meant for work. My helper sits in it to do work.
So I need to find a big enough house to give the business about twice as much room as it currently has, and give me a space to play rpgs. Housing is pretty tough to find here, so it'll be a slow process, and I'm not looking forward to moving furniture, but it'll be worth it to have a space that lets us work better and smarter.
My helper is growing in skill. What we do looks quite simple at a glance, until you realise that machine stitching small complex seams with any level of speed and accuracy is a hard won skill. She's gone from doing just the linings and turning out to more complex seams and beyond. There's still plenty to learn (for me too), but progress is excellent :).
Backerkit surveys, add ons, and pre orders.
almost 2 years ago
– Mon, Mar 12, 2018 at 08:28:28 PM
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