APPLETON, Wisc. (BRAIN) — Fix It Sticks will wrap up its second successful Kickstarter crowd funding campaign on Tuesday, having raised nearly $80,000 (with six hours to go) to put into production two new versions of its wrenches. The start-up company's initial goal was to raise $14,000 in the campaign.
Brian Davis, a Cat. 3 racer and former bike shop mechanic, got the company rolling last year with his first Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $45,000, far exceeding Davis' $18,000 goal. The initial design was inspired by Davis' desire for a three-way hex wrench that could be carried on a bike. The original orange-anodized wrenches were well-received by consumer websites and after the Kickstarter campaign orders were fulfilled, Davis began selling consumer direct and to retailers; he even rented a small booth at last fall's Interbike show. The sales eventually allowed Davis to quit his day job as a FedEx salesman.
The new campaign involves two products. The first is another stick-style design, but this time with replaceable bits. The new design is steel, rather than aluminum, and will ship with a total of eight bits (hex in 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, Phillips #2 and Torx 25). The 1/4-inch bits are available at most hardware stores for users who need a different size or replacements down the road. The bits are held in place with magnets and the tool is sold with a carrying case made of recycled bike inner tubes. It will retail for about $36 after the campaign.
The campaign's second product is a T-wrench with replaceable bits. The design is intended more as a shop tool than a carry along because it doesn't come apart for compact storage. It will ship with seven bits and retail for $30.
All the tools are made in the U.S., and when reached by BRAIN by phone recently, Davis was taking a break from sewing the inner tube cases (Most of the recycled tubes come from the Wheel & Sprocket stores in Wisconsin).
About 40 shops carry the original tool, which is available dealer direct and through Trek, J&B, KHS, Cyclone, Rumbleship and Olympic.
Once the second Kickstarter campaign is complete, the new products will be shipped first to fulfill Kickstarter pre-orders, then to dealer direct accounts and finally to distributors.
Davis said funding the projects by Kickstarter not only was a convenient way to raise capital for production runs, but also provided consumer feedback.
"Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars to put something into production to see if people wanted it, I can put it on Kickstarter and find out quickly whether people are interested," he said.
The Kickstarter campaign ends at 6:17 p.m. MDT Tuesday.