From prototype to product: our extensive R&D process!
Since the first days of Give'r, we've understood that substantial time and energy is needed to get an idea or a product done right. The original Give'r hats made for a kayaking trip in Canada, took many months to develop. Around a dozen sample hats were reviewed before we landed on the one that fit the style we were looking for. Similarly, we meticulously kept tweaking the Give’r logo the look and feel were just right.
It is tough to say if something is "right" or "wrong," but in our gut there is a feeling that is unmistakable when enough iterations and prototypes have been made and we land on the final result.
This process of sampling, experimenting, evaluating, testing and refining is used with every Give’r product. Here are a few examples of how products evolved into the end result you see today:
1) The River Runner Neck Coozie
Give'r Neck Coozie Prototypes: Evolution to the present day River Runners
The River Runner Neck Coozie began with the combination of string or webbing and tying it or looping through two holes cut into the coozie base. While rudimentary, the first neck coozies were enough to prove the concept for a hands-free way to keep your drink of choice cool and close by when fishing, floating, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, SUPing and the list goes on...
The next iteration combined a standard foam coozie with a fishing lanyard and some webbing that wrapped around the outside of the foam beverage receptacle. While Bubba's sewing wasn't Project Runway worthy, the hand-stitched modified neck coozies made for awesome gifts, and they lasted longer and were more comfortable than Prototype #1 (shown with red Wyoming Coozie below).
But we weren’t finished yet. We soon realized neoprene would offer a more compact, comfy and durable design. After several iterations, the resulting River Runner Neck Coozie was born!
2) 4-Season Give'r Gloves
4-Season Gloves: Concept, prototyping, testing, iterating, more testing...annnnd repeat!
The 4-Season Give’r Gloves originated with sketches and mockups detailing the layers we desired to incorporate into a single multi-functional BA glove. We took the designs to several manufacturers who told us one after another that what we wanted couldn’t be done...or rather, couldn't be done without a lot of work.
We kept working on the design with many tweaks and iterations, knowing the juice was worth the squeeze. At long last we connected with a creative leather working team willing to take on the project, and several months later, we had the first working prototype to test out, refine and build upon.
It took four more prototypes and just shy of 14 months to end up with the final "working prototype" which we felt confident was ready for action. After testing that final prototype in the fall and brutal winter season here in Jackson (aka we beat the hell out of 'em), we knew these were Give'r ready. That next spring we unveiled the 4-Season Give’r Gloves to the world via Kickstarter, where our kick-ass backer community made this dream a reality.
3) Wyo-MAGNET Trout Hat
When it comes to testing and product validation, nothing compares to the real deal of Mother Nature!
The Wyo-MAGNET Trout Hat resulted from the outright failure of another project. We were working on an idea to incorporate magnets into a shirt, and while this idea went absolutely nowhere, it did mean we had lots of random magnets "sticking" around the Give’r Garage.
When the fly boxes and fishing rods started to emerge this spring, there was a eureka moment when the idea for the Wyo-MAGNET Trout Hat hit ... what if instead of hooking flies into our favorite hats we found a way to magnetize the hats so they'd just stick right to them?
This launched a series of prototypes and experiments to determine what size, shape and strength of magnets would be best. We also did some research to ensure that the magnets would not create a health concern or in any way risk our customers’ well-being.
A few prototypes later (along with a lot of testing and tweaking) and voila! We released the Wyo-MAGNET Trout Hat just last week!