Referees & Umpires, please check the following story from our friends over at RomRod LCC
3 years ago I was in Buffalo, NY for my job (as a Professional Baseball Umpire) and Haley came out for a short weekend visit. Whenever Haley comes to visit, we always make it a point to stop in at a local gym to get in a workout together. We dropped in that day and spent a solid 10 minutes looking for something to warmup with, after finally finding a pvc pipe. On our way back to the hotel we thought to ourselves, “Finding a tool to warmup with just shouldn’t be that difficult. Why isn’t there something better?”
The idea of RomRod was born on that walk back to the hotel. We realized that what we wanted didn’t exist and that we were going to be the ones who invented it.
Putting it on paper
That afternoon, as we ate lunch, we began discussing all the possible features we would want in a rod mobility fitness device. Haley and I had just started our fitness journey in CrossFit. So, naturally I was infatuated with all the different olympic lifts used in CrossFit and wanted to perfect my technique.
Haley, whom had previously had a shoulder surgery from an injury suffered while playing high school sports, needed to improve her mobility so she could rack a barbell on her back. These reasons are why we loved incorporating a stick or rod into our warmup routine.
But, the question was, "How do we make this tool portable?" My career requires me to be on the road almost 200 days a year. And, Haley comes out to visit about every 2-3 weeks. So, portability was definitely a priority.
We made a list of those necessary features and began sketching possible designs. The device needed to be lightweight, short enough that could fit in any bag, and provided similar elements of a barbell (knurling, dimensions, and feel). I can't tell you how many times we drew and redrew all possible design concepts, that next couple days.
When we thought we had nailed down a design concept, we started speaking to an engineer. Wow, were we mistaken about our progress. Our amazing engineer came back to us with problems, solutions, and of course suggestions. Through our knowledge and background in fitness and his expertise in product design, we came up with a working concept ready to be prototyped. This would be the first prototype of 10 (or so... I think we have kinda lost count). We were so excited when we were able to get our hands on that first 3D printed plastic prototype.
This was Haley and I's first experience with designing a product. So, of course, we didn't nail it on our initial attempt. But, it didn't matter. We now knew what it took to go from paper to physical product. And, that was a small victory.
Each prototype has been a learning experience. Some days were very disappointing and others were ultimate highs. The hardest days were those waiting in anticipation for that next prototype to be delivered from the 3D printers or the production facility we have hired to manufacture our first bulk order.
We have made it, but it wasn't overnight!
From numerous attempts at an aluminum prototype we are proud of, has come something we can not wait to share. Our manufacturer is currently in production of our first bulk order. Below is a sneak peak of our ready to sell Patent Pending RomRod in its packaging.
Through the prototyping stage, we have tested RomRod with all different types of athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and even people just wanting to work on their mobility or recover from an injury. Their feedback and suggestions have been considered and implemented; helping us reach this point.
The molds have been created for the different parts. Our packaging is complete. And, a free RomRod carry bag is included with each purchase. It's amazing what it takes to put together each piece of the puzzle to have a final product ready to deliver to the customer. But we are happy to say, it's ready!
We’ve worked tirelessly to get this device ready for the marketplace and we are incredibly proud and enthusiastic about this becoming a reality.
We want to thank you for your continued support in this project and we are so thrilled that you finally have the ability to become the owner of your very own RomRod mobility device. We know that it will add value to your fitness and mobility lifestyle, the way that it has ours.
Risks and challenges
1. Manufacturing Risks: We have multiple working prototypes that look, feel, and function exactly how we intend the owner to use it. Also, we are ready to process our first bulk production run of over 1,000 devices with successfully reaching our campaign goal. If the campaign goes beyond these numbers, there is a risk of a slight delay of a month for the second production order to fulfill those rewards. 2. Product Quality Risks: While preparing for manufacturing we have setup strict quality control procedures involving factory visits through the production process. There is always a risk that there will be an underperforming device, but we are confident our procedures will catch most. If there is an issue with a device that a customer receives, we will be happy to replace immediately. Considering the risks, we will deliver the device to the user even if it means a loss for us. The only risk you are taking, once we reach our goal, is that your device will not reach you immediately. But, you can battle that by being an “early bird supporter”. We will keep backers up to date with all production and fulfillment statuses.