We are CROOKED SAILS, the creators of the best Shotgun beer tool in history, The Shotgun Shell.
We started a Kickstarter campaign in September 2017 for our awesome product, The Shotgun Shell. When we began our journey, we had a couple of rules for ourselves that we would not budge on for anything.
They were simple:
1. Keep our product made in America, no matter the extra cost.
2. Don’t sacrifice quality for time.
We began with a prototype that was created by our founder Daniel Harlow, and 3D printed Virginia Beach by a local plastic manufacturer. The prototype worked to perfection, and we were thrilled. Many beers were shared with that first prototype, and we knew we were onto something good.
We went to this small American manufacturer and asked if they could create the same product for us, but in higher quality, and in bulk. They gave us a "100% yes" and showed us examples of what our products would look like. Everything seemed to be going as planned.
From there, we needed some funding, so we began our Kickstarter campaign. Little did we know that a video that our founder made on his phone would go viral and get over 13 million views in a couple of weeks. We blew through our goal and were confident we would get our first backers their product within months. Meanwhile, during this time, we were actually helping with humanitarian relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after the terrible 2017 hurricane season. Excited to get home and begin shipping, we emailed our manufacturer to make sure everything was going smoothly and according to plan. They assured us that everything was great.
Well, it wasn’t.
We returned home to a product of an utterly embarrassing quality, and was costing much more expensive than we were originally quoted for. Daniel had a meeting with them and came to an agreement to get our money back. We disappointedly cut our losses. But we knew that we could not sacrifice quality for time. This set us back many months. We had to start from scratch, searching for the right American manufacturer that could help us, and fast!
We began contacting dozens and dozens of companies all across the United States with hopes that somebody could take us on. We found quickly that our design was a bit more complicated to manufacture to our standards than originally thought. There were very few American manufacturers that could create our product in bulk, while also getting the graphic designs that we wanted onto the device (American Flags, etc.) Finally, we found a good candidate and began negotiations with them. During this time, we also did some redesigning and added some features suggested to us by our followers. We added grooves on the inside of the shell to make the can slide in and out easier, and we made the hole placed lower to ensure all the liquid would be able to get out. We took everything we had and invested it into this new company that showed tremendous promise. Now we are so happy to say that we are done and we have products in hand!
All of these setbacks cost us over a year in time from when we originally expected to have our products shipped. Advisors insisted that we go overseas to make our product faster and cheaper, but we refused. This process has been very long and frustrating for both us and our customers, but we could not be more thrilled to finally be off the ground and selling again. We are even more proud that we kept our original promise to ourselves and had our products made here in the greatest country in the world. Take a look at some of the incredible quality tooling and plastics proudly designed in America and made in America.
We would like to formally apologize for everyone who ordered a Shotgun Shell and had to wait months to receive it. Thank you all so much for the support and patience. All orders are being fulfilled and we are shipping in 1-2 business days for new purchases.
We're here to stay, and we're out to build an empire forged by blood, sweat, and beers in the name of freedom and brotherhood.