Creating a new product. As my old partner used to say, "if it was easy, everyone would be doing it". Another old partner who was Chinese and who had lot's of sayings (the Chinese think they invented wisdom and have a saying for everything) said "problems create opportunities". They often point to the Ying Yang symbol for the pictorial representation of this, or maybe I'm getting this mixed up with a sex symbol. Oh never mind - onward and upward. With the constant reminders of how obtuse our government can be, the idea of a hidden gun compartment behind a wine cabinet, seemed like an idea whose time was ripe for implementation.
So we designed the WAG, took it to our Chinese factories, and made a few, then made a few more, each time advancing the concept and simplifying the design. It proved to be a hit. So then we asked ourselves if there was a market for a higher end product, one that was solid hardwood, pre-assembled, and with a few more features. And if there was a market for them, where could we find a manufacturer that would be wiliing to make them? Not an easy thing to do nowadays. Unfortunately the desire of Americans to produce things, and the infrastructure to do that has, for the most part, moved offshore. When you imagine offshore plants, you might picture a lot of hand labor and little people moving around like bees in a hive. The truth of the matter is that you are looking at highly automated factories with state of the art machinery, and laborers feeding the machines the raw material.
So we searched and searched. We would send our drawings, wait for a reply; phone, leave messages, no reply and so on. We don't take rejection easily, so we kept at it and scratched our heads and tried to figure out where and how we could do this. Eventually we made a breakthrough with one of my old customers who used to buy from me when I made boatloads of fairly high end hardwood bunkbeds. Their factory, however is not filled with highly automated machinery and at our present rate of sales, we don't need that. However, they are in partnership with another factory that has a CNC machine, which can automatically and precisely cut all the parts for the WAG. Then all they need to do is screw, glue, sand , and paint.
So at this stage I feel like we have a good plan for where we are at and where we may be.
The objective of the design, like most of our designs, is to create a "platform" or "foundational structure" upon which we can add permutations and variants to somewhat customize the final product for the consumer. While artisanal in outcome, the process has many repetitive and duplicative steps and structures, so that efficiencies can be attained. We aren't a custom shop, but we can achieve a customized end product.
Customization is attained through the
1. Art panel selection or choice to select a wood grain look
2. Furniture Style
3. Wood Selection (Oak, Ash, Maple, Cherry, & Walnut)
4. Stain Hue
As we develop the product, we will add options for the layout of the front, so those less enamored with storing wine, can choose a front with less wine and more drawers.