FORMcard is a handy, wallet-size card of meltable plastic that can be used to fix and create just about anything. Designed as a way to give everyone the ability to make and fix the products around them, FORMcards, which are made from starch-based biodegradable plastic, are easy to work with and can even be reused. From creating an artificial leg for a bird of prey to stopping flood waters from entering property in Houston, this one plastic card has hundreds of uses.
Create, fix, modify and adapt is the motto Peter Marigold, creator of FORMcard, strives to live by. A furniture maker and product designer by trade, Marigold was running a public workshop involving different materials when inspiration hit.
“Although it’s totally different from everything else I work on, it does relate strongly to the belief that by taking control of the products around me — things can be fixed and modified and adapted,” said Marigold. “It’s something I’ve always done, and I hope FORMcard inspires other people to do the same.”
The pocket-sized card easily melts in a cup of hot water and the pliable, non-toxic plastic fixes everything from broken toys to your car’s side-view mirror. The plastic cards can be melted, molded, formed and reused anytime.
“It’s instant to use, infinitely reusable, biodegradable and attractive in so many colors,” explained Marigold.
“Plastic has a bad name, but FORMcard, as well as being biodegradable, saves other plastics from going into the rubbish piles! It’s great for model makers, mums and mountaineers!”
The Benefits of Crowdfunding.
No stranger to the arduous and sometimes unrewarding process of working with manufacturers, Marigold wanted to try something different with FORMcard. After spending about a year developing the product, he decided to give crowdfunding a whirl. “It’s been one of the best decisions of my life,” he remarked.
According to Marigold, crowdfunding provided him with firsthand access to consumers as well as control over his idea. “With crowdfunding there is a beautiful directness with the customers,” said Marigold. “They like something, they support it, you provide it. It feels more like how I imagined things should be when I first wanted to make things as a boy! The simplicity cannot be over emphasized.”
After meeting his goal in less than 24 hours, Marigold was able to start producing FORMcard the same day he launched his campaign. In all, he raised over £203,000 GBP from more than 9,000 backers. Today, FORMcard continues its success in our Product Marketplace.
For Marigold, the reach he had via crowdfunding on Indiegogo was astonishing. “I was just bowled over by the reach of Indiegogo,” he said. “We had orders coming in from Africa to Saudi Arabia to Malaysia. I made a list of all the countries which was vast…” FORMcard’s consumer audience also ran the gamut — from makers and campers to deep sea divers and teenagers. Overall, Indiegogo helped Marigold see and realize the vast potential of his project firsthand.
“We had orders coming in from Africa to Saudi Arabia to Malaysia.”
The Backer Connection.
Passionate about his product, Marigold knew that showing FORMcard’s limitless potential was key to his campaign’s success and launching on Indiegogo allowed him to do just that. Using a video to demonstrate how the product could be used to create and fix a variety of products, Marigold was able to share his love for FORMcard with backers from around the globe.
“Indiegogo has been amazing in that it reaches literally every corner of the planet, alerting makers and modifiers to how it could become part of their toolboxes,” said Marigold.
And it didn’t stop there. Focused on bringing FORMcard enthusiasts together, Marigold and his team have created a cohesive sharing community around the product, asking them to send in photos of the FORMcard in use. They’ve seen phone stands, screwdrivers, custom hooks, suitcase repairs and more.
FORMcard’s customers have become an integral part of the product’s story. “It’s got a million uses and we’re still open to see them all,” said Marigold.
Life after Crowdfunding.
From numerous blog articles to product endorsements (Amazon explorer Bruce Perry carries FORMcard in his truck) life for Marigold continues to be filled with success and excitement. He continues to host public workshops, which now incorporate FORMcard scrap material. “I’m still discovering new applications and ways of working with it,” he said.
Coverage by prominent media sources, such as The Wire and The Guardian, helped FORMcard gain serious leverage as a new product following its crowdfunding debut. Today, the product is sold online and can be found in numerous shops around the world. All of this has attributed to helping Marigold build FORMcard’s brand community, which has become a top priority since his campaign ended. “There are so many FORMcard users out there, and so many ways it’s been used, that we want to hear about and connect,” he said. “Please write to us and share your stories!”
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