First, Some Reassurance
Whether or not we reach our monetary goal on Indiegogo, you WILL receive FiAir (and any related perks) in the quantity and kind that you specify. We are committed to manufacturing FIAir and doing it in America. However, your support will get us to the U.S. factory floor a little faster and a lot freer from personal debt.
Why $36K and Why Indiegogo?
In setting just the $36,000-dollar diferential as our goal, rather than the total cost of tooling, we chose a figure that we hope makes sense to you while helping to ease the financial burden on our end. I have personally invested three years and over $50,000 in development and legal costs to bring FiAir to where it is today. We've gotten some nibbles from venture capitalists, but with a laser focus on ROI, they are not enthusiastic about paying more to make FiAir with American-grade steel and engineering — even though our American manufacturer beat the unit cost quoted from China! I am grateful to have come this far without losing control to investors concerned strictly with the bottom line. Now, thanks to the genius of crowd funding, and especially the flexibility of Indiegogo, I am hoping to take my vision the rest of the way. The cost for manufacturing the first run of FiAir is $100,000. The bulk of that will come from a personal line of credit secured by my home. The remainder — fingers crossed —will come from all of you: our believers and backers on Indiegogo.
Why we want to make FiAir in America
We could have saved a full year and $36,000 by producing FiAir overseas, but earning the Made in America label is a point of pride for us. As an American, I want to bring my product to market in a way that helps to support U.S. workers. We’ve selected Dana Molded Products (DMP) as our domestic manufacturing partner. DMP estimates that our project will create or sustain at least 21 American jobs at its Carpentersville, Illinois plant. That feels really great!
Making FiAir in America also makes good business sense for these reasons:
• A domestic manufacturing partner that is geographically and culturally close lets us quickly address any issues and ensures that nothing gets lost in translation.
• We do not have to wait for product from overseas, so we can streamline turnaround from order to delivery.
• Manufacturing tooling from American grade steel enables us to produce many more millions of high quality parts per die as opposed to using a die of lower quality steel.
• We can be more cost-effective and energy-efficient since our U.S. partner will handle both manufacturing AND fulfillment from the same plant. (Plastic pellets and components will enter the plant and finished FiAir blowers will be shipped from the plant directly to customers worldwide.)
* We can be sure that FiAir is being produced in a facility that is eco-friendly and governed by fair labor practices.
Your support at any level automatically inducts you into our Keeper of the Flame Focus Group. That means we will be in touch with you frequently seeking your opinions and feedback and updating you on all things FiAir.
Our perks include heartfelt Shout-Outs on our website, FiAir Firesticks, FiAir Chef Aprons, FiAir Standard Black or Deluxe Metallic single units and FiAir multi-packs bundled in sets that make sense for couples, family & friends and anyone with a long gift list.
Perks for the holidays and beyond
FiAir won’t ship 'til Spring, but you can still give the gift of absolute power over wood and charcoal fires during the holiday season and throughout the New Year. Several reward tiers come with all-occasion FiAir Gift-Alert Cards (and envelopes) showing FiAir at actual size. Use them to notify the keepers of the flame on your gift list that a terrific new fire tool is on its way.
Perks for business
Wanna thank a fired-up sales force? We'll send you a FiAir Appreciation Pack! Wanna turn a pretty hot profit on FiAir? Consider the deeply-discounted Reseller Pack!
Perks for precious backers
Appreciate precious gems or just love bling? While you’re waiting for FiAir to arrive this spring, we’ll send you some winter “Ice” in the form of the first and still considered the world’s most authoritative published book on Fancy Color Diamonds. This limited collector edition is an extensive study of the nature, history and causes of color in diamonds. It contains more than 150 images by gemstone photographer Tino Hammid, including photos of famous fancy color diamonds and a designer showcase of jewelry and unique cutting. Each book comes in a deluxe hard slipcase, factory sealed in plastic for protection during shipment.
All domestic shipping is included.
What sparked FiAir?
In a word — impatience. I love the taste of char-grilled food but hated waiting for the coals to turn white so I could start cooking. I switched to a gas grill to speed things up, but taste went down the tubes. Same deal with our fireplaces. Love a real wood fire on a cold winter’s night; hate the time it takes to get it going and keep it at full blaze. One night, while having an especially hard time starting a fire with squeeze bellows, I switched to a different set of muscles and used the old "bend and blow" technique. No dice. While recovering from hyperventilation, I thought: "Why is this so hard? It's a FIRE. All it needs is AIR! So I grabbed my wife’s hairdryer, turned it on low and aimed it at the kindling. Wow. It worked almost TOO well! But it got me thinking —air really is all it takes, right? Why not make a “hairdryer”— without the heat or power cord — that can direct a controlled, continuous flow of air to fire from a safe distance? Make it elegant, affordable, portable and battery powered and we’re in business. I WANTED ONE! So first, I set about finding one.
FiAir blows away the competition.
I looked at every catalog that came in the mail, searched websites and roamed through every store I could think of wherever I traveled that might carry a product to feed fires like the one I had in mind. I even bought some of them. None had the combination of features I envisioned. I wanted a sleek, lightweight, handheld tool with a battery-powered motor to create continuous airflow. The blowers I found require users to blow into a tube, crank by hand or plug into an electric power source. Many were expensive, clunky and cumbersome. I decided that if I wanted what I pictured in my head, I'd have to make it myself. I found an industrial designer who shared my vision and moved forward. Three years, three design possibilities, two prototypes, one provisional patent, two patent applications (utily & design) and many thousands of dollars later, FiAir is ready for production.
FiAir is a portable, hand-held, battery-powered blower that brings wood fires to full blaze in under two minutes and charcoal fires to cooking temp in 8-12 minutes, about half the time of traditional methods, no matter how you light your coals.
Compact, portable, lightweight, hand-held
Powerful motor just right for the job
Requires only 2 AA batteries
Automatic safety shut-off if dropped
Glow in the dark power button for night use
Length: 22.2 cm (8.75")
Weight: 99.2 g. (3.5 oz.)
Diameter: 5.7 cm (2.25")
Produces a continuous flow of air to feed wood and charcoal fires
Provides a sure-fire way to bring charcoal from first light to cooking temperature in 8-12 minutes no matter how you light your coals.
Provides a sure-fire way to bring wood fires from first light to full blaze in under two minutes.
Easy to use: Feeds your fire and directs airflow so you don’t have to bend and blow.
Safe handling: Sturdy ABS plastic lets you kindle fires close and powerful airflow lets you stoke fires from a safe distance.
Tapered tip to pinpoint airflow
Typical battery life of 60 minutes (Used as directed, feeds about 10 fires before changing batteries)
True portability: Light and compact, FiAir is the perfect take-along in a backpack or picnic basket
We have every confidence that FiAir works and will be a big hit. We've received hundreds of online pre-orders from the U.S. and 14 other countries at www.fiair.net. We've also received a number of requests from entrepreneurs abroad to handle FiAir in their countries.
FiAir fills a demonstrable void in a potential market of over 65 million in North America alone. Our target audience is broad, encompassing backyard grillers, BBQ gurus, campers, anglers, hunters, and outdoor lovers of all kinds, tailgaters of every stripe and anyone who owns or uses a fire pit, wood burning fireplace or wood stove. Our product is useful year 'round and easily portable indoors and out. Our retail pricing is modest ($29.99 USD).
We've used our prototype with both wood and charcoal fuel, lit with methods of all kinds. Our friends, neighbors and several cooperative strangers have tried FiAir and it performs as promised every time. I've helped tailgaters get their charcoal to cooking temp faster than they imagined possible. I've gotten enthusiastic reactions from everyone who tries FiAir, including vendors at the 2012 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) Convention, several of whom expressed interest in distributing FiAir or including it in their catalogs. So we think things are looking pretty good for FiAir.
Manufacturing the first run of anything is always a challenge. We expect FiAir to ship in Spring of 2013, based on the time frame needed from green lighting our manufacturer to fulfilling the first orders. We recognize, however, that unpredictable events could alter time frames. But not outcomes. We are absolutely committed to bringing our product to market, whatever it takes. We promise to keep you continuously in the loop, update you on any changes and share news of any kind affecting your support of our project.
Where things stand
Our functional prototype has been battle-tested and manufacturing specs are good to go. Our provisional patent is in hand and both the utility and design patents are pending. We have formed FiAir LLC, launched our FiAir website and are working hard to kindle a FiAir frenzy on social media. We selected Dana Molded Products (DPM) as our U.S. manufacturing and fulfillment partner, issued a purchase order for production and made our first payment on the tooling. Now we could really use your support!
Money talks. And so can YOU!
If you are not able to contribute today, please spread the word to friends & family who might enjoy “absolute power over wood and charcoal fires, or want to support efforts to make products in America. Use the Indiegogo share tools to forward our campaign to your social network. Like Us on Facebook and YouTube. Follow us on Twitter. Every effort counts!
It may be a little tougher and take a little longer to make it in America these days, but you guys can really be game changers in speeding FiAir to the U.S. factory floor. Thank you so much!