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Head to www.topandderby.com to check out more info about the Chatfield cane!
We're just in the process of setting up the pre-order function on our website, so stay posted for more info. In the meantime, pop us a note (email@example.com) to let us know if you are interested in getting a cane.
Now that our campaign has finished, there are many things that we will be doing over the next few days, weeks, and months to make sure that everyone gets the great products they ordered! Check it out…
1. We will follow up with everyone regarding the sizes and colors of canes that they would like to receive.
2. We will start working with our manufacturing partners to get the canes and coasters made. Throughout the process, we will keep everyone updated with our progress.
3. We will start shipping products by the end of September, 2013, if not sooner! Shipping lead times will depend on the progress of our production. You can bet your bottom dollar though, that we won’t compromise the quality or products to make sure that everyone gets canes worthy of the Top & Derby name.
We are Top & Derby, and we make canes.
For hundreds of years, walking sticks were common fashion accessories which were made and worn with pride. But as time went on, the aesthetics were abandoned and the finely crafted artifacts were replaced with cold, clinical, and impersonal items of utility. Today, most canes do little to inspire the self-confidence of those who use them. We aim to change this.
Overview: Check it….
Imagine if you had to use a cane: How would you feel? How would other people perceive you?
At Top & Derby, we don’t think that anyone should have to walk around with a gnarly looking cane; it’s just not fair. We aren’t reinventing the wheel, we’re just designing beautiful canes that people are proud to own; it’s that simple.
Since the spring of 2011, we’ve designed and built countless iterations and prototypes. In doing so, we created a simple cane constructed of premium materials that will benefit a wide demographic of people. After getting feedback directly from cane users, we decided to move forward with our first model, the Chatfield. The reality is that canes are used by many different people…it’s not just your grandma or grandpa who carries a cane. Think about it; injured athletes, post-operative patients, and yes, even celebrities like Brad Pitt, use walking canes when required.
So now, we need your help. The Chatfield will be manufactured in North America, which we think is pretty rad. We’ve already established our manufacturing partnerships, and now we’d like to order our first production run of canes – with your help. By supporting us in our initiative, you can help us bring this vision to life. Let’s make canes fun again – together. Go talk to your grandma, go talk to your friend that busted her ankle doing the Harlem Shake, and let’s get people canes that they are proud to own. Heck, even your hipster buddy should get a cane, whether he needs one or not!
Why carry a cane, when you can wear it.
We appreciate your support,
We start with a rigid core as the foundation for our cane handle. It’s cast in aluminum and then heat-treated, which produces an extremely durable, yet lightweight frame to build upon. The core is then over-molded with silicone, forming a soft continuous grip that conforms to your hand and dampens vibrations while you walk.
The finished handle has a distinct upturned nose which is comfortable to hold and intuitively positions the hand directly over the wood shaft. This unique detail also allows the cane to effortlessly rest against a wall for quick access; it can be propped up on its nose or side, without the cane slipping or falling over as easily as generic canes often do.
The shaft is turned from solid American black walnut and finished with a durable coating to protect the wood and bring out the natural variation in the grain. We seal the deal by marking it with a laser engraved logo; this way you know it’s an authentic Top & Derby product.
The tip of the cane, or “shoe” as we like to call it, has a sneaker-inspired sole that’s molded in an abrasion resistant thermoplastic rubber. Overall, it’s replaceable, compact and sleek, and works great in a range of different conditions. We’re pretty sure your friends won’t have sneaker-inspired “shoes” on their canes.
Team: Our story…who is behind Top & Derby?
Your product doesn’t determine your success; your team does.
Our story is simple: After having worked together for over 5 years, doing different aspects of product design and retail store design for one of North America’s most successful furniture manufacturers and retailers, we (Matthew Kroeker, Gerrit de Vries, and Ben Grynol) started collaborating to undertake small design projects together. By the spring of 2011, Top & Derby was born, with the vision of disrupting a stagnant industry that lacks innovation.
As a team, we each have over 10 years of experience in different aspects of entrepreneurship, design, and business. Gerrit and Ben both have degrees in design, as well as MBAs from top-tiered Business schools, and Matthew has a degree in Industrial Design from one of North America's most prominent Design schools. Additionally, we are very fortunate to have two of the world’s leading business and design strategists, Roger Martin and Alexander Manu, as our advisors.
Most importantly, we are passionate about improving people’s lives by designing products that matter…and this is just the beginning.
What we need & what you’ll get
After spending lots of time prototyping different models of canes, we are now at the point where we are ready to manufacture the product. With your support, we will be using the funds raised to set up molds for manufacturing, order our cane parts, and assemble and package each cane by hand in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Our goal, however, is to ship products to supporters by September 30th, 2013. Regardless, we will update each supporter with our progress throughout the journey - you are part of the journey, and your support will help Top & Derby achieve its success!
Ground Floor: $25
Like a house, a business is built from the ground up. Before the walls go up, a foundation has to be built. As a Ground Floor backer, you are the foundation. Your help is integral to our success by providing us with every bit of support that is needed! To show you how much we appreciate your support, we will be sending you a limited edition set of four Top & Derby coasters. (Shipping to Canada & USA included).
Bricks and Mortar: $70
Congrats! You will be one of the first supporters to own a T&D cane. Your support for our campaign makes up the Bricks and Mortar of our fundraising. We couldn’t launch our first model, the Chatfield, without you. As a B&M supporter, we will send you your choice of color (Lights-out Black, On-the-vine Red, Crybaby Blue) and size of our cane. Even if you don’t need a cane, you can still use it to putt, play air guitar, or sword fight. (Shipping to Canada & USA included).
Raise the Roof: $200
Whoa!! Hold your horses…you totally LOVE canes. Maybe you’re going to match them to your extensive shoe collection. Or, maybe you know a few people who need canes. Either way, it’s pretty cool that you want all three colors of our first model, the Chatfield. As a Raise the Roof supporter, we will send you all three colors (Lights-out Black, On-the-vine Red, Crybaby Blue) of our cane in the sizes you specify. (Shipping to Canada & USA included).
Mom and Pop: $1200
Maybe you own a Mom and Pop store, or maybe you’re gonna start your own pop shop. Whatever you do, we appreciate your support in getting so many canes! As a Mom and Pop supporter, we will send you the Ground Floor perk, as well as an assortment of 20 sizes and colors (Lights-out Black, On-the-vine Red, Crybaby Blue) of our first model, the Chatfield. Let us know the sizes & colors you want, and we’ll hook you up! (Shipping to Canada & USA included).
Derby Mart $5000
What the?? This is legit. You are gonna move some serious product! What the heck are you gonna do with 100 canes? Either you are a total cane hoarder, or you have big plans! As a Derby Mart supporter, we will send you the Ground Floor perk, as well as an assortment of 100 sizes and colors (Lights-out Black, On-the-vine Red, Crybaby Blue) of our first model, the Chatfield. Let us know the sizes & colors you want, and we’ll hook you up! (Shipping to Canada & US included).
Risks & Mitigation Strategy
Risk 1: We raise a higher level of funds than expected and cannot keep up with demand.
Mitigation Strategy: Since we have spent almost two years developing many different models of canes, we have worked with many reputable manufacturers throughout North America. In doing so, we are aware of the maximum capacity of products that each of our manufacturing partners can supply us with on a monthly basis. Overall, the amount of product that each manufacturer can supply us with significantly exceeds our forecasted demand for our initial products.
Risk 2: Our production costs are higher than expected, and we can’t deliver the product.
Mitigation Strategy: In working with many different manufacturers to develop our canes, we have secured pricing for the production costs of our canes. Additionally, we have taken into account all of the extra costs that go into creating high quality products, such as finishing costs, packaging costs, and shipping costs.
Risk 3: Our production run of canes does not meet our standards.
Mitigation Strategy: Since we are all meticulous designers first and business people second, we do not settle for mediocrity. We can ensure that we will only ship the highest quality products to our supporters. If that means delaying production to get the right product out the door, we will do that – and we will let you know along the way through our progress updates. However, since we’ve been sourcing products from many different manufacturers over the past 18 months, the samples we’ve received to date have exceeded our expectations; we hope to exceed yours.
How can I contact you?
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
What is your cane made of?
See the section titled “The Cane” above.
What colours does the cane come in?
Our cane comes in three colours: Lights-out Black, On-the-vine Red, and Crybaby Blue.
What sizes does the cane come in?
Our cane comes in four sizes. The cane is fixed in length and non-adjustable, so use the chart below to find your size.
How do I know what size cane I will need?
Please see the sizing chart above in the FAQ “What sizes does the cane come in?”.
Are your canes adjustable?
Since the canes are made with solid walnut shafts, they are not adjustable and should not be cut to adjust the height. Each cane “shoe” (tip) will fit only on the end of the manufactured shaft, since it is a custom part which is made specifically for the cane.
How much weight can be supported by the cane?
Although the cane has not yet been tested by a third party to certify the maximum weight requirements that it can hold, we have tested the cane for weight and durability within our prototyping studio. However, a cane is not a device that is meant to support a person’s weight. Rather, it is meant to be used to assist a person with his or her balance, when required.
Where will the cane be made?
All of the cane parts will be manufactured at different facilities throughout Canada and the USA. However, the full cane will be assembled, finished, and packaged in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – home of Top & Derby.
Where are you located?
Top & Derby is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Why did you start Top & Derby?
We started Top & Derby to improve people’s lives, to design products that matter, and to disrupt a stagnant industry.
Who founded Top & Derby?
The company was founded by Gerrit de Vries, Matthew Kroeker, and Ben Grynol.
When did Top & Derby start?
Top & Derby was founded in the spring of 2011.
When will you be shipping product?
We expect to ship product to our supporters by September 30th, 2013.
Will I receive updates about the progress of Top & Derby over the course of the next few months?
How will the funds be used?
Please see the section above, titled: “What we need & what you’ll get”.
I am a retailer / wholesale distributor; can I carry your canes?
Yes, once we have fulfilled the orders of our supporters, we will be making product available to retailers and wholesale distributors.
Do you ship internationally?
We are currently only shipping to Canada and the US. We plan to ship internationally in the future.
How can I help?
Any word you can spread to family and friends would be a huge help and much appreciated! Even if you don’t need a cane, you can order one because they are seriously so fun to walk with! As well, you can spread the word on social media using the hashtag #topandderby, and we’ll keep an eye on your posts!