Ok, so if you read the last blog, you learned about how we found a patent lawyer in Boston and my husband got back to tinkering. And tinkering he did while running into design challenges as he went.Broken glass
Do you know what happens when you put a flame up against a glass cup or vase for over an hour? It breaks, sometimes in quite dramatic fashion. One time he was tinkering while I was in bed sleeping and there was this loud cracking noise from the spare bedroom that woke me up. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, but this particular piece, it was big and it broke into many pieces, very loudly. This was Victor’s first big challenge… if this was going to work, he needed a glass that didn’t break. The good thing is, he knew why it was breaking… so what to do?
He needed a glass cover that could heat up at the top, without breaking. That led him to try a dome-shaped glass. And where would you find such a thing, you might ask? Well, you go to Michael’s craft store of course! They don’t sell them today, but back in 2005, they sold dome glass covers people use to protect collectables. Back to tinkering, and after hours of burning tea lights under the glass dome… no breaking! Till this day, I haven’t woken from a sound sleep due to breaking glass.Open windows
One thing you need to understand about my husband is that when he thinks something up, he wants to make it perfect. In his mind, this was a candle safety product, NOT a candle diffuser. So, he tried to think of every situation where the candle wouldn’t extinguish. For example, if the batteries failed, or the circuit board failed, the fan would stop and kill the flame. Another scenario he thought of was if the diffuser was in front of an open window. He feared that a breeze from the window would sustain the flame even if the fan stopped.Does a candle flame lean?
Another issue he noticed in the early prototypes was that once the fan started and he covered the candle with the glass dome, the flame would lean continuously to one side. This concerned him because he didn’t want the flame to melt the plastic tealight container. This problem and the open window problem would get solved later on when he hired a design engineering firm.Business school help
Meanwhile, as he worked his way through business school, he would use his candle project as the basis for his group work. In February 2005 he hired a design firm called Bleck Design Group to sketch up some concepts and design foam models for what this product might look like so he could use them in surveys. He actually stood in the Illuminations store (a candle store that’s no longer around) and did face-to-face surveys with customers.
In August of 2005, he had one class where they needed a mockup of the packaging, so he hired a firm called Rubber Steak. It was a new company started by a couple of graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design. They even created the first VelaRosa logo and business cards.
There are more stories to come. From business school, the work on getting a patent, and hiring a new design firm to solve some of the design issues. Until then, please sign up for our email list, and we’ll keep you updated on our Kickstarter launch of the VelaRosa candle fragrance diffuser!
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