Color Clutch: Kickstarting Innovation
Where some people see problems, others see opportunities.
Such was the case with Katharine Contag, who recognized a common problem for nail polish users: there was no good way to organize and store the different bottles and colors.
“I’ve tried cosmetic bags, nail polish caddies, acrylic racks—even Ziplock bags,” explained Contag. “None of these worked. I spent way too much time looking for the right color of nail polish; it took up way too much space on the shelf; and if the bottles weren’t stored upright, they would become gunky and discolored, and would be ruined after only a few months.”
After shopping for a better solution and finding that no such product existed, Contag decided to invent one herself. And after coming up with an initial design, she employed Impak to put together a marketable prototype.
“I worked with Impak through my previous job, and knew that they could help me make a great quality product,” Contag explained. “When others were skeptical about the product, Amy Scheel and Impak believed in the concept and helped me refine my vision to make it a reality.”
Her patent-pending idea involved a slim, book-like case that could be stored upright, taking up only 2.5 inches of shelf space. The bottles of nail polish would nest inside a custom piece of protective foam, with all of the colors visible at a glance.
Design and Refine
To make the Color Clutch a reality, we brainstormed a number of different ways to construct the case. We eventually settled on a one-piece, hinged box with a magnetic closure. A heavy board weight was used to make it sturdy and durable, while clear PVC in the lid made it possible to see all the colors without opening the case.
We built an initial construction sample of the Color Clutch, so that Contag could test it and make tweaks to the design. Then came printed samples and another round of tweaks. Once the dimensions, materials, colors, graphics, and matte laminate finish were all decided upon, we were able to create a final prototype.
But we didn’t make just one type of Color Clutch prototype; we made two.
Contag also wanted to create a smaller version of the Color Clutch that could double as a travel case. Though the foam interior was similar to the first model, the case was completely different. Instead of stiff board and a magnetic closure, the smaller case is made from flexible PVC and closes with a zipper. It also contains a zippered internal pouch for holding nail files, clippers, or other manicure tools.
As with the first case, we went through multiple iterations and options. The external material was chosen because it was durable, attractive, and easy to clean. White piping was added around the edges to make it more sturdy, and to match the white interior. The internal pocket was created with white mesh, so that the tools would also be visible at a glance. And, of course, we went through multiple rounds of zippers to find the perfect match.
Ready for Launch
With the working prototypes, Contag was able to make a Kickstarter video to sell the concept and get funding for the initial production run. The public responded, pre-ordering more than enough Color Clutches to get the project off the ground and allow us to start production on both case designs.
Though the deadline for pre-ordering through Kickstarter has passed, customers can now shop for Color Clutches at ColorClutch.com.
“Impak has made the manufacturing process seamless. Knowing that Impak is managing the manufacturing process gives me a lot of comfort that my product will arrive on time and be of excellent quality. They are true partners!” - Katharine Contag, Creator and Founder of Color Clutch