I've received some requests for order status on the utility pen project and thought it was time to address some major changes that have been happening the past few months at Wastük and E3 Manufacturing.
Wastük was started as way for us to develop our own products for fun with the hopes that eventually the brand and product line would be strong enough to support my family. As a lot of makers out there know, it is very hard to take on this task. Countless hours are spent designing and making items that we think people will be interested in and once we get something we are proud of and want to share with the world, the bigger task still lay ahead in promoting, advertising, gearing up for production and so on. Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. You hope you can get all of this accomplished before you run out of cash.
We feel we have done a good job in some areas but as the calendar changed from 2016 to 2017, we needed to limit the amount of time spent on Wastük and put some effort into E3 Manufacturing, the name we go by legally and in the world of contract manufacturing.
Late 2016 we were contacted by an outdoor sports company to design and develop a tool for their industry. We devoted hundreds of hours this year to perfect the design, prototype the product and gear up for mass production. Our commit to this product moving forward is to the tune of about 1,000 units per month, ongoing for the distant future.
I made the choice to devote all of my resources to this project, at a cost of delaying projects that had I committed to previously. Namely, the Utility Pen. I stretched delivery the delivery date for the pen project out to where I thought I'd be able to get both projects done on time but two major issues came up.
In late July after debuting the product for the first time at a trade show, Our client came back to us requesting some changes be made which meant we had to retool and it set us back about 6 weeks.
The second setback came in early September when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Talk about stopping you dead in your tracks. A very scary time for us. As we went through doctors appointments we started to realize that we were very fortunate to have caught this early. The next 6 months will be a true test of our strength as a family but I am confident that we'll look back a year from now in great relief as stronger people, with a stronger marriage and a stronger family.
As it stands right now, 9-25-17, We are mid production of our second batch of 50 Utility Pens. All of the caps have been run through OP1 and my goal is by Wednesday of this week to have OP2 setup and run through by the weekend. From there, the remaining 2 parts will be run the following 2 weeks and then we can finally get them off to anodize which will take 1 additional week. So at a best scenario time frame, we'd be looking about the first of November before we can start shipping.
I understand this is some time later than the original promise date and I am very sorry for the delay. As a business owner you sometimes roll the dice on decisions hoping for the ideal outcome. We felt we made all of the right decisions so far and that is what you have to believe. You can't look back and second guess yourself. You choose option A or option B and you go all in and adjust as things do or do not work out.
The future of Wastük
My intention is to complete the pens that were ordered and then basically freeze Wastük until at least 2018. I need 100% focus on my family and on E3 Manufactuing right now. As much as want Wastük to become something, someday. Today is not the day. I'll continue to sketch new ideas like I always have and once things calm down, we'll start working on a few of them. Until then we are going to focus on the tasks at hand, regroup and come back stronger than ever.
Thank you all for the support you have shown. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me direct.
Jason Esher (firstname.lastname@example.org)