Below is one of the articles published during our early days of Savvy Tools. So much has changed with our tools and our lives. We’ve all moved, grown up, gotten married and even have babies on the way. It’s crazy what can happen in what seems like three short years. One thing remains though, there still isn’t anything available on the market that is comparable to our designs.
Published Thursday, June 9, 2005
Fashioning tools for women
Five K-State students rethink products marketed toward men
MANHATTAN — Sleek lines and smooth curves. Fashionable colors. The perfect fit.
Five Kansas State University graduates hope that women will soon be reaching for Patty the Pliers and Harriet the Hammer instead of traditional tools geared for men.
After many nights of burning the midnight oil, the interior architecture and product design students designed a concept for a line of tools for women. They are in the process of contacting major tool companies to pitch their concept.
Allan Hastings, K-State professor and director of product design studies for the department of interior architecture and product design, in January told students to design a team project for their product design studio course. Students apply what they have learned about materials, construction and design in developing a prototype for a product, Hastings said.
Abbie Kennedy, of Fremont, Neb.; Jackie Bacon, of Junction City; Alison Garry, of Kansas City, Mo.; Rebecca Ruggles, of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; and Kelsey Dunaway, of Overland Park; all 23, teamed up for a concept for women’s tools. The group, all fifth-year seniors, knew that do-it-yourself projects are becoming more popular with the general public — including women. But tools on the market weren’t geared toward women.”We felt like they were designed for males,” Bacon said.
After weeks of researching tools and visiting with engineers, the five women began the process of designing and making prototypes. They selected the tools they wanted to create — each women was responsible for designing two or three tools.
Kennedy said many people create tools thinking about the inside of the tool first. The women decided to begin with the look of the outside first.
The team crafted prototype tools out of automotive clay and then let others handle the tools to see if they were on the right track.
“It started off just as a really fun studio product,” Kennedy said. “Now, it’s become so much more.”
The tools, called Savvy Tools For Women, not only look fashionable but also are functionable, said three of the team members who gathered at K-State recently to talk about marketing their concept.The buttons on the tools are color coded for easy use and are directional to help explain how and what they do. The power tools, with the exception of the sander, all have a small battery pack that is separate from the tools. This allows the bigger tools to be lighter. The tools also have comfortable grips and triggers, as well as safety switches.
The tools include individual, stylish pouches to protect the tools. A large fabric tote with Velcro inside to attach individual pouches also was designed.
“It was fun to make them look like a line,” Garry said.
Although the women have graduated and are taking a few weeks off to get settled into new jobs and locations, they plan to begin marketing their concept soon. The five can’t wait for the time when they will walk in a store and see Savvy Tools on the shelves.
“That would be a dream come true,” Kennedy said. “It would be fantastic.”
For now, the five are basking in the glory of completing school and developing a concept for a product that could benefit women.
“We left thinking, ‘We did it,’ ” Garry said. “It was so rewarding.”
-Alison KC, MO
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment