It’s been awhile since we’ve done a blog post and we decided it would be best to do a recap since our Axxis crowdfunding campaign is FINALLY winding down!
As you all well know, things didn't quite go according to plan. As we prepare to move on from the Axxis campaign to new and exciting projects, let's first re-explore the road that has led us here, and the challenges we have faced/overcome. Hang on to your butts – it’s gonna be one hell of a ride!
After five years of dreaming and two years of preparation, Bone Daddy Blade WerX launched our first product, the Axxis Hand Axe, on Kickstarter on February 20th, 2020.
Though the threat had slowly been growing, mere days after launching our campaign, Covid-19 exploded onto the global scene. Almost overnight, the pandemic sent the world into lockdown.
A Rocky Start to the Campaign
Those first weeks of the pandmeic were exceptionally stressful and we lost much support and momentum as the world braced for Covid. Despite this, we still managed to overfund by more than 30% at the time our Kickstarter campaign closed.
Placing the Order for the first 1000 Axxis
In the early stages of planning and developing for our campaign, we were told by our manufacturer to expect our full inventory by July of 2020. We of course added a few months of cushion on top of that timeline (October) since one always has to plan on some unexpected delays occurring. We did not, however, account for a global pandemic and shutdown. We placed our order with the manufacturer with the hope that Covid would not delay us beyond the few months of cushion we had allowed for in our timeline. We ended up being a little bit off on this one... Okay, a lot off...
Transitioning the Campaign to Indiegogo
While we had not initially planned on it, we transitioned the campaign to Indiegogo following its close on Kickstarter. Doing so continued to allow us to collect preorders and keep the party going while we waited for our inventory to arrive.
Developing Future Products
The Axxis is only the tip of the iceberg! We made good use of this downtime for R&D, and spent a good amount of time developing a large number of new and innovative hand axe designs based upon the Axxis Tech. This also includes the Universal Haft, which will be compatible with all future Axxis Tech designs!
Bad News Begets Big Opportunity
Although we had hoped to avoid it, we were not altogether surprised to receive the disappointing news that our order would be delayed due to the spread of the virus and the resulting halt to global manufacturing which had ensued. We were now being told to expect them around October of 2020. While this news was disheartening, it did give us time to revisit and streamline our packaging design, which we had come to realize was not as minimal as it could be. Seeing as how this was out of line with our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint as a company, changes were made. Doing so cut 250 pounds of potential excess packing material from every batch of 1000 Axxis we order.
Preparing for the Future of Bone Daddy
Following the initial close of our campaign on Kickstarter, we began switching our website over to Shopify so that we could be ready to accept online orders when we finally received our full inventory of Axxis and could bring the Indiegogo campaign to a close once and for all.
The Parasquid Skull Flamethrower/Bottle Openers
These toothy little monsters, meanwhile, had proven themselves to be quite the nightmare indeed! Initially, we had hoped to cast them as one solid piece. However, the prototypes failed to work due to the limitations of steel casting, and the exacting properties of the steel which are necessary in order for the Ferro Rod to achieve the highest degree of functionality. Through this process, we learned that prototyping was very different from mass production, and we would not be able to make the skulls in one easy step. Though a challenge, we did find a solution, that ended up working even better than we initially intended.
Signs of the Struggle Ahead
It was late summer, Global manufacturing had ground to a halt, the threat of Covid was growing worse, and our manufacturer had gone ominously quiet as our new October delivery date approached.
Interest Remained Strong
Regardless of the challenging landscape, we continued to enjoy robust sales and growing interest on Indiegogo, and had raised an additional $20k. Luckily, the continued demand allowed us to raise enough funds to place an additional 1000 piece order which we clearly were going to need.
October Passes and Still No Axxis
Seeing as how manufacturing had become so unreliable, it was at this time that we also started exploring other manufacturing options for the Axxis and future designs, including a potential US pipeline. These efforts are ongoing and will soon produce fruit!
Solutions to our Parasquid Challenges Begin to Emerge
We had finally found a manufacturer that said they could cast and finish the Parasquid skulls for us at a reasonable price, as well as a shop in the US which would install the striker elements into each skull. It seemed then that the skull strikers were in order, or so we thought...(more to come on this one in the next installment!)
The First Axxis Finally Ship
Since our manufacturer had already gone well beyond their expected delivery, they had laid out a new timeline for delivery of the first 1000 Axxis units whereby they would be delivered in separate installments. By Christmas of 2020, the first 200 Axxis had finally shipped and were on their way to us here in the states.
Phew! That's already a lot to reflect on and we are only half way there! Keep an eye out for the second (and final) installment of our recap.