This. Is. It. 2016 will be the year that Tinsel’s first product, the Dipper audio necklace, ships. Our brand and story will finally have a tangible place in women’s lives, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the process unfold. It’s hard to believe it, but Tinsel was founded just barely a year ago. That means that in just over 365 days, we’ve managed to ideate, fund, and create a company, product, and the entire ecosystem that comprises the Tinsel brand. As we take our own advice and leave 2015 in the dust, we’d like to look back at the amazing year it was and forward to our shining 2016.
The Tinsel Brand is Born - November 2014
Tinsel, like most companies, started with a vision. Namely, the vision of founder Aniyia Williams and Creative Director Jason Lorne Giles. Our Q&A with Jason talks more about blending beauty with power to lay a foundation for the Tinsel brand.
December 2014 - Tinsel Officially Founded
March 2015 - Seed Funding and Team Recruited
Two things are really helpful when you’re jumping into the startup game - having an excellent team available, and being able to pay for that excellent team. March was a big month for us because both fell into place.
April 2015 - Product Design Begins
Read more about the Dipper’s design process in our Q&A with Phnam Bagley of Eternal Luxe.
May 2015 - The Big Reveal - Announcement of Concept
After months of secrecy and tiptoeing around, we finally got to tell the world what Tinsel is building in an announcement from our fearless founder Aniyia Williams.
June 2015 - Factory Partner Secured
The thing about making a hardware product is that someone has to actually make it. And a lot of it. In June we chose a team in Shenzhen, China to be that someone.
July 2015 - First Cosmetic Prototype
The Dipper is all about making high quality headphones look amazing. Our first prototype did just that, with an empty shell that looked - but didn’t act - like a Dipper. Aniyia showed off this prototype in our first demo video.
August 2015 - First Functioning Prototypes
After an initial beauty run, it was time to put the audio in our audio necklace. Team Tinsel headed to MAGIC in Las Vegas and Wearable Tech Expo armed with a functioning Dipper prototype in each color. We recounted our Vegas adventure in our blog post about the trip.
September 2015 - Fixing Chain Snagging Issues
In tech, no matter what you’re designing, you’ll hit a few snags. One of our challenges made that way too literal for us. No worries though, a chain redesign and 6 weeks later, we smoothed out the problem.
October 2015 - Indiegogo Campaign & Second Functioning Prototypes
The month of October at Tinsel was a complete blur! All hands were on deck and moving fast as we launched our Indiegogo Campaign for the Dipper. You can catch some great behind-the-scenes exclusive shots on the Tinsel blog to learn more about the process, but we , of course, want to focus on our results! We made 108% of our $50k goal through 295 backers! Mission Accomplished!
November 2015 - IGG Success, New Team Members, and Holiday Package
November brought us the end of our Indiegogo campaign and somewhere new to place our focus. We had funded the project, but now it was time to tell the world. Tinsel started the month thankful that the campaign had succeeded - our hard work had paid off and, ya know, we were feelin’ ourselves. We ended November even more thankful as IGG success led to growing Team Tinsel. As the holiday season began, we welcomed new team members dedicated to content, SEO, and PR!
Speaking of PR, the press was starting to love us! We were featured in Brit+Co, Refinery 29, Design Milk, Ubergizmo, Racked, and other tech, design, business, and fashion publications, just in time for the holidays. This helped out a lot as we offered our first promotion, the Tinsel Holiday Package.
December 2015 - Third (and final!) Round Functioning Prototypes
This time the Dipper was beautiful, it was functional, and it had gotten a few excellent new upgrades. Stay tuned for our next Tinkering with Tinsel for the newest Tinsel details.
That’s where we ended 2015, but it’s nowhere near the end of the story...
January 2016 - Headed for New Territory
We’re hitting the ground running. Now that the prototyping phases are through, our production team in Shenzhen is moving on to tooling - the process of making machines that help create and assemble the Dipper’s parts.
This month brought us a new wave of PR in an unexpected way: through childbirth. We’ve talked before about our superwoman CEO running the company while very much pregnant. Well, in early January, she and her husband brought a sweet baby girl into the world then, later that week, took to Twitter to share the hilariously relatable story of their at-home emergency delivery. People loved it. The Twitter tale was picked up by Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, SomeEParenting, ABC News, and many more; it’s enjoying a life of laughs, shares and well wishes as hundreds of thousands of people help us welcome Noemi, Tinsel’s new Chief Executive Baby, into our ranks.
We are so proud of everything we’ve managed in just over a year, and that we were able to meet every challenge that 2015 brought along. Now we’re primed, practiced, and ready to take on the rest of 2016 with gusto. Look out, tech world, here comes the Dipper!