Since the day I started carrying keys, I always used a cheap-o carabiner to latch my keyring to my belt loop. As time passed the larger the keyring grew until eventually I had about every tool and accessory loaded and it wore me down.
I wanted a simple and streamlined option that would let me safely carry my key ring but also provided me with the tools to make it through my everyday - Bottle Opener and Pry Bar.
At this time, there weren't many options that were available so why not draw up my own design that would be my perfect daily companion.
After a year of sketching, designing and prototyping the first Griffin Pocket Tool was born!
At this point, I knew what features I wanted included in the tool, how it would function and how they would fit in the design but bringing this new product to market was going to be problem. Sure, I had half decade of experience in the outdoor retail world but ZERO with manufacturing. After seeing many close friends successfully fund their dreams with a crowd funding website Kickstarter , I felt that this was the way we were going to bring the GPT to life!
Is it better to jump or be pushed off a ledge? I say pushed because that was the case with me.
Short story long, I managed a small retail outdoor store for 5+ years and come launch day I had a decision to be made: Pursue Griffin and loose my job OR sell the design and rights to the GPT to my boss and keep my job. You'd think this would be a no brainer but it wasn't. This was my first real job after college plus My wife Jessica and I were expecting our first child (Emma) later that year AND we had just recently purchased our first home. This was definitely a year of firsts for me so I had a big decision to make.
I took my boss’s suggestion and spent the weekend thinking it over but inside I knew what route I would need to make. Come Monday morning I walked in to work and reluctantly redirected my/our entire future by choosing to see out this experiment and NOT sellout on my dream. Shortly after, I was told today was going to be my last day. I left that life behind and hit the road with Jessica on a 8 hour ride to my parents where that very night I hit the Launch button on our first Kickstarter and the rest is history!
Not long after the success of our 1st Kickstarter we had tons of requests for more options and sizes. Later that year we answered the call for more and launched our 2nd Kickstarter for the GPT XL which is twice the size with more tools and capabilities thanks to the bulky size. This campaign was a great learning opportunity for me and definitely took some years off my life but we powered through and beat our last campaign by a few thousand and the GPT XL came to life!
It didn’t take long for the 3rd and smallest GPT variation to arrive, the GPT Mini. This time I decided to forgo the round funding route and launch the GPT Mini ourselves and it was a huge success!
Fast forward to 2019 - We moved locations, sold thousands of tools all of the world and added one more to our team, Isla Deming.
Five years since it all began came the Griffin Adventure Tool. At this point we had tons of real world feedback and plenty of time to plan out the next addition to the GPT lineup.
January 2020 was shaping up to be a great year for us. We were preparing to launch our 3rd Kickstarter for the next evolution of tools, the first of which with a moving part. I always wanted the option of a more secure tool but never wanted to take the easy way out using a wire-gate carabiner. Instead I wanted something more stout and of to our design. Also, I wanted to figure out a way to add a real #2 Phillips Head Screw driver plus a few other small features. After a few design sketches and tons of prototyping the Griffin Adventure Tool was born!
Everyone knows what happened come March 2020 so our plans for a early Spring rollout for the next Kickstarter were shelved. Two months later not much changed in the world so I decided it was time to release it.
On May 13th we launched and were funded in only 30 minutes! 30 days later we ended up blowing away our original Kickstarter by nearly $10,000.
Since 2020 I have been working on several new tools to add to our current tool line-up. Our goal for 2023 is to release several new variations and bring our brand to new markets and industries. Stay tuned for many new excited things from Griffin Pocket Tool soon!