The Clip was the world’s most talented keychain and our first product on the market. It was manufactured in the US and was featured on Gizmodo, Lifehacker and other major gadget blogs. The Clip functioned as a bottle opener, a money clip, a headphone cord wrapper and a belt/pocket clip for your keys. We oversaw the commercialization of The Clip, from the initial idea to a fully developed product that was marketed and distributed through a variety of sales channels all over the world.
The inspiration for The Clip came from the earliest days of LittleBonsai. After deciding on the values that we wanted to promote through our newly formed company (craftsmanship, durability and environmental responsibility), we immediately started brainstorming product ideas from our combined areas of interest. The Clip originated from an idea to create a versatile bookmark for travellers. The concept was further developed, prototyped, tested and prepared for a Kickstarter campaign collaboratively but with thousands of miles between us, as Jake was located in Boston /Mumbai and Ollie in Buenos Aires at the time.
What we learned
We still joke that The Clip taught us “everything” about what it means to bring a real product to market. Despite our strong engineering, design and entrepreneurial backgrounds, every day with The Clip presented new challenges and lessons. This is perhaps best demonstrated through the development of our shipping and fulfillment systems. In the early days, we would receive online orders for the Clip and would then hand-pack them in our “distribution center” (the porch of a shared room in Jake’s apartment). We eventually graduated from postage stamps to PayPal labels that were generated automatically from our webstore. As order volumes got too big to handle manually, we joined the big leagues and set up a fully automated, warehouse, fulfillment and shipping service for The Clip.
What we will remember
The period we will probably remember best is when The Clip first got featured on the major blogs. Our days in the period after were spent answering an endless line of calls from customers, buyers looking to make large orders and the media. We became experts at packing boxes and made friends with local post office workers who we visited every day.
Our first ad
Making of The Clip
Please note that LittleBonsai no longer manufactures, distributes or sells The Clip. The Clip is protected by US Patent No. 6,851,147.