Courtesy Brian Conti
Kickstarter has played host to a slew of jewelry projects, many of which have been covered here, but the latest Kickstarter success isn’t something you wear, but something that wears your rings.
Brian Conti’s Ring Spike is “simply a cool place to keep your ring,” but it’s done remarkably well and has raised double its goal of $3,500. We spoke to Conti about the project and the future for his slim, elegant ring holder.
JCK: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for the Ring Spike?
Brian Conti: I work in my shop a good bit, so I like to remove my ring. I took to putting it on a conical pencil dock part and decided I could make something custom. I then looked around online to see what types of ring holders were generally available but really didn’t find anything that I found appealing. So I made a few prototypes and decided to try it as a Kickstarter project.
JCK: You well surpassed your goal. Can you tell me about your strategy for Kickstarter? Have backers been people you know?
Conti: While I know conventional wisdom is to utilize your social network for crowdfunding projects, I actually shy away from promoting my projects to my friends. I’ve done several Kickstarter projects, and I don’t want to be the guy who gets avoided because I’m always trying to sell something. Since I have done several projects, I do benefit from a lot of repeat backers who like the work I’ve previously done. I do use Twitter and Facebook. I was pretty lucky that my last project pretty much went viral (bottleLoft got on USA Today, Huffington Post, Gizmodo, and Cool Material). Ring Spike is not the type of project to go viral, but every project has its own little niche, so I have reached out to “on target” sources to try and get some visibility for the projects. I get a lot of no responses, but every once in a while I run across people who take some interest in my projects.
JCK: Do you plan to try to wholesale the product? What’s next for the Ring Spike?
Conti: I’ve done six previous Kickstarter projects, and I continue to sell those products online through my own websites (slbmagnets.com, spokepencils.com). I’ll do the same with Ring Spike. I’ve had success wholesaling the bottleLoft, but projects like Ring Spike are tougher. Precision-machining parts here in the U.S. is not inexpensive, the quantities are low in the grand scheme of things, so the margins really dictate a direct sales approach. I could have the parts made in China for one-quarter of the cost, but this is a micro-business/hobby for me, not my livelihood, so I chose not to do that.