About Paintier Products LLC

Paintier Products is a Limited Liability Company and small home-based manufacturing business run by Ben Pope and David Bassi. We're just two ordinary guys (all right, gaming geeks) who liked to paint miniatures for wargames. All our product components are standard items bought from USA manufacturers or subcontracted locally for heavy manufacturing like injection molding. All our light manufacturing and final assembly is literally a "basement " industry. The idea of making an organizer for craft and hobby paints was originally intended to simply help organize our own hobby supplies to we could paint more easily. The irony , is that since we started making and selling organizers, neither one us has found time to paint one miniature. Oh well, this ia a lot more fun...

The History and Idea Behind Paintier Products LLC

David Bassi first conceived of the concept of making a hobby paint organizer in December of 1999 as a Christmas present for his brother-in-law, Ben Pope. Dave and Ben found the utility of the idea quite useful when engaged in their hobby activities. They began to wonder if other hobbyists would agree with them.

Our first revolving paint organizer

Dave's first hobby paint organizer and what sparked this business

This idea was kicked around for about year after that before it was decided to try and determine if making and selling paint organizers had any merit. Ben Pope and David Bassi proceeded to collaborate on the idea and five different styles, colors, and sizes of paint organizers were prototyped and test marketed between February 2001 and October 2001. These early test models were handmade from various materials and sold on Ebay, over the Internet, and at hobby conventions. Marketed under the names Megaspin and Stack-N-Spin, approximately 400 of these first test units were sold at prices ranging form $10 to $40. The response from hobbyists was very promising, but making them by hand was too labor intensive. The trick was figuring out how to mass produce them at a feasible start-up cost and maintain the retail price people seemed to be willing to pay. , the final industrial design, function, and color of the current production organizers emerged.

Mini-Stack-N-Spin

Stack-N-Spin

Mighty-Stack-N-Spin

Mega-Stack-N-Spin

Megaspin

Our five prototype styles and models developed and sold to test our idea.

The end result is the Paintier concept sold today that combined many of the early prototype' features.

The end result of the developmental and test marketing process was a custom shaped paint tray based on feedback from customers. The tray at 11.5" in diameter is capable of holding almost all brands of craft and hobby paint. With an average capacity of 20 standard size paint jars, it could be stacked in tiers to provide a storage capacity of 40, 60, 80, or 100 paints. This tray is the only unique part used in the assembly of the paint organizer and had to be custom injection molded. Therefore, the final tray concept was again manually prototyped and used as a reference to create a 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) image of the tray design. High tech Fusion Deposition Modeling (FDM) methods were used next to produce a physical plastic part directly from the CAD data. This part was used to verify the function of the final tray design and cleared the way to use the CAD data to make injection mold tooling for mass production.

As the injection molded plastic tray was the most expensive and critical part in bringing the idea of a multi-level paint organizer to market, quotations from a number of injection molding companies were sought. The end decision placed the work with a company in Birmingham, Michigan. They would not actually make the mold and parts, but would use a production source they were associated with in Korea. At first, overseas manufacturing was the only way to get tray parts produced for a price that made the business economics feasible. Local tooling and per piece tray part prices were almost double that of imported parts. In reality, overseas manufacturing proved to be not as cheap and very difficult to deal with. Quality control and long lead times required for ordering became large obstacles. Overseas production and shipping prices increased as well. Fortunately, a local injection molder was able to suggest an alternate and less expensive material for molding the trays that produced a better part. This allowed for relocation of the injection mold tooling and tray production to Michigan.

Once a means and supply of plastic tray parts was established, initial production of paint organizers could move forward, but first a product name had to be selected. The original Megaspin and Stack-N-Spin names were dropped due to possible conflicts with other products. The name Paintier was conceived, researched, and selected to brand the product. It has since been registered as a Trademark. Two unit sizes were selected that made the most economical sense to produce and met the largest percentage of hobbyists needs. These were a two-tier unit called Paintier 40 and a four-tier unit called Paintier 80. Low cost basic packaging and an introductory marketing plan were developed to introduce the products.

During this product development phase Benjamin Pope was also pursuing another hobby related entrepreneurial venture. He began Vatican Enterprises as a sole-proprietorship in May of 2001. The idea for Vatican Enterprises was conceived and developed by the owner during his Entrepreneurial Enterprise course while in pursuit of his MBA degree at Walsh College of Business. Vatican Enterprises was formed to "test the waters" of several different hobby related product ideas and act as a simple business entity until the best course of action could be established. Its purpose was to develop, distribute, promote, and sell paint organizers along with Hudson and Allen Studio products to the hobby markets.

Hudson and Allen Studios currently have an established product line of 64 scale model castles, forts, towers, and historical building products created for use by hobbyists involved in building dioramas and playing tabletop miniature wargames. These are excellent products that were targeted to the same market as the paint organizers. It made sense, at the time, to combine the sales of the Hudson & Allen products with the manufacturing and marketing of the paint organizers as neither had enough instant demand to initially survive on their own. By combining them, various fixed costs of manufacturing and marketing could be covered more effectively and spread the burden of starting up a company. The idea was that both business concepts could be pursued simultaneously and the stronger idea would be further developed. Paintier organizers proved to have a substantially larger market, and the most potential for long-term success.

Paintier products in their present form were first publicly shown and offered for sale on March 17, 2002 at the Game Association Manufacturers of America (GAMA) trade show. This was a wholesale shown only and the response was very favorable. Five national distribution companies and several independent hobby stores began to carry the product as direct result of the show. Paintier organizers began to be sold at small retailers, over the Internet, and at hobby conventions. To date, Paintier organizers have been sold all over the United States and globally where craft and hobby enthusiasts have found them a welcome solution to a persistent problem.

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