by Mark Fraser on Flashed’s new chalk bucket.
Product: Chalk Me Up Before You GoGo
All of our products are born out of necessity. As an international destination and living in Squamish I get to see what climbers are using, listen to their feedback, and stay connected to what the community is looking for. Some of the things I noticed were that more boulderers are carrying multiple brushes as all holds have different needs, liquid chalk and a place to keep it is on the rise, and we all want to reduce our consumption of plastic. Of course, this must all be done while maintaining convenience, ease, and style.
With the major goals listed above, I set out to begin carving out the product. My concepts are typically contained within my imagination and I go directly to pattern making as I prefer the visceral touch and connection to the fabric as it almost equally drives me towards the direction it wants to get made.
With a sewing machine in the garage, I am able to make quick modifications as we tweak features, materials, and designs in an attractive style. As the features of the product came together I again incorporate more comments from designers, retailers, and climbers and try to let the product morph autonomously.
In this phase, we have a rough working model but it needs to pass the real-world test for many months. Here it gets beaten and tossed around. Filled to the max and overburdened to see what breaks down and what can be simplified.
With around 1.5yrs of redesign and field abuse, it’s ready to get the final touches. Here we add the small details that really make us love the chalk bucket. Webbing tabs are added to help open/close the zipper. A metal trad nut (not for climbing) zipper pull for easy pocket access. The most loved metal roll-top buckle is secured in a balancing color. Beautiful graphics are tastefully added.
Looking back we compare the final version to the initial goals and again go back to climbers to hear if we did a good job. No plastic buckles. No raw seams. A quality liner with comfortable base fleece. The burliest 1680d nylon outer on the market. Easy brush removal and insertion, for 4 brushes! Internal stretch pocket with surprising volume. YKK zipper reliability. Great chalk volume while maintaining a convenient packable size. Attractive and simple styling. Minimal brand logos. Overall I’m super excited to share this boulder bucket with everyone and proud of its features, lines, and durability. It may be the last one you ever buy.