As kids, we all ask ourselves the question, what do I want to be when I grow up? I have always known the answer to that question. As early as I can remember, I have been dreaming up my own designs. I keep a notebook on my nightstand that continues to fill up with new ideas.
I started my career as a mechanical engineer at a world-renowned lighting and home automation company. I still remember the excitement I felt when I designed my first part. When the box of components arrived, I realized that something I created was going to be in the homes of thousands of people.
Over the next six years, my career furthered my real-world education in product design, manufacturing, packaging, product management, patent/trademarks and even marketing! As much as I was learning, I started to feel less satisfied working to make someone else’s dream a reality and thought it was time to pursue my own. I scoured through my list of ideas to find the perfect first product… something innovative but simple. I came upon idea #46 of #188 … a small but strong bottle opener and my brain went into overdrive with designs and ideas. This moment was the start of my journey to launch my first Kickstarter, a titanium bottle opener the size of a penny called Pry.Me.
Pry.Me was launched on Kickstarter in March of 2016 and was over 500% funded. What started out as a hobby soon became a second full time job. Although the profit from Pry.Me was nowhere near close to my current salary, with careful consideration and the support of my wife we agreed that it was time for me to take the leap and quit my job.
The decision to quit my job, although scary was also calculated. We created a business plan to design, manufacture and sell a product line of bottle openers and gadgets and move into electro-mechanical products that span a variety of categories’ including home improvement tools, exercise equipment, construction, and pet products.
As sales for our expanding line of products continued we created an affiliate program and a distributor group which includes everything from small boutique shops to MillerCoors and Carlsberg Brewery Groups. More recently, we were asked to custom laser our Brew Solider bottle opener for the 2018 SAG (Screen Actors Guild Award) gift bags which went to over 750 male actors and attendees.
As we continue to launch new products, each project is carefully selected to add a new challenge and learning experiences. Every product creates endless opportunities to learn about different manufacturing processes, marketing tactics, distributors, packaging design, product assembly, logistics, and the list keeps going.
Do I hope to create a product one day that will change lives? Do I dream that our small company will one day become an organization that can have a larger impact on the world? Of course I do! For me, my journey has just begun. It is new, scary, exhilarating, challenging, exhausting, and I am loving every minute of it.
Thank you again for your support and for being a part of this journey with me.
Cheers, Brian Filko
Be Part of the Journey, Stay in Touch!
- Our Product Resume -
A penny-sized grade 5 titanium bottle opener
- The Lesson: Business structure, single/multi-head water jet cutting, patent and trademark protection
- Launched on Kickstarter
- 531% Funded in 30 days thanks to 895 Backers
- Rewards shipped 3 days ahead of schedule
- Top Gadgets of 2016 by GiGadgets. They have 6 Million Followers on Facebook and a fantastic website for all things gadget and gear related.
- Being sold at MillerCoors Gift Shop in Golden, Colorado. They get 400,000 visitors a year so we were honored when they reached out to carry our product.
- Getting the Orbital Grey Pry.Me finished in the same color (and by the same company) as the titanium components on the NASA Solar Arrays.
A key-sized grade 5 titanium bottle opener
- The Lesson: Laser Cutting and project timeline acceleration
- Launched on Kickstarter
- Part of the Kickstarter All in 1, a special 7-day Kickstarter campaign
- 548% Funded in 7 days thanks to 419 Backers
- Rewards shipped 1 week ahead of schedule
- 2018 Screen Actors Guild Award, Selected out of 1,200 products to be one of the 15-20 items going into the 750 Men's gift bags
- The Orbital Grey Brew Soldier is finished in the same color (and by the same company) as the titanium components on the NASA Solar Arrays.
Wall Mounted Wooden Bottle Opener
Custom laser engraved openers with a cap catch magnet
- The Lesson: Laser engraving, fundamentals of woodworking
- Launched on our website
- They have magnets in them to catch the caps so they are awesome
A family of three noise silencing carabiners
- The Lesson: Laser cutting, spring forming, textiles/sewing, precision finishing of surfaces, assembly of a multi-component product, company rebranding
- Launched on Kickstarter
- 391% Funded in 30 days thanks to 464 Backers
- Rewards shipped 1.5 weeks ahead of schedule
A 6" stainless-steel cap launching bottle opener
- The Lesson: Formed Sheet Metal, Tool and Die
- Laser Etched Branding Available
- 500x openers to Feldschlösschen of the Carlsberg Group!
A ratcheting keychain multitool
- The Lesson: EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining)
- Custom Fire Flints
- Laser Etching continued from Slap Cap project
What Products Are Next?
We are always grinding our gears over here at Gear Infusion and are working on/looking to release products in the categories below:
- Gear and Gadgets
- Pet Tech
- Beauty and Fashion
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