Necessity is the mother of invention is a modern-day idiom that communicates our need and desire to create. The idiom is taken from an ancient quote by Plato, “our need will be the real creator”. So, the love of baking bread and other goodies led Kelowna-based entrepreneur Don Drummond to invent his KA Caddy. This sleek and simple tray clicks into the base of a KitchenAid® mixer to make it easier to lift, carry and slide. The sliding function is made possible with Albarrie’ s customized industrial felt.
“I needed it; prior to having it, my wife wouldn’t bake unless I was there to extract the mixer from our pantry,” says Drummond, “and my daughters and friends liked it.”
Drummond designed and built his wooden prototype over 12 years ago. He decided it was time to take his idea to market after receiving encouragement from neighbors and friends. “For the record, I never embarked on this venture through a need to make money, but more curiosity, a challenge, and feeling that if I didn’t do it, I’d spend the rest of my life wondering what could have been, ” says Drummond.
Drummond knew he needed a more streamlined design and an industrial felt material for the project. His initial wooden version used a felt-type material for the entire base. His research led him to Barrie-based textile manufacturer Albarrie Canada Ltd. “I hadn’t initially given much thought to the fabric for the underside of the base”, says Drummond, “So how difficult could it be?”
CUSTOMIZED INDUSTRIAL FELT DESIGNED TO PERFORM
Little did he know that industrial felt come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors, produced from various fibers and coatings. The selections made for the technical felt are crucial to the final product’s performance in its intended application. Drummond needed a felt that would peel and stick, easily slide across the counter and provide enough resistance to keep the KitchenAid® mixer in place while in operation.
Neil Chappell, Albarrie’s Technical Sales Manager, worked with Drummond on the project. Neil recommended that the fabric only cover the caddy’s edges. Drummond wasn’t initially receptive to this idea but it ended up being the best thing to do.
“It all took a while, but in the end, we absolutely nailed it”, says Drummond. “The plastic fits the tilt-head KitchenAid® mixer exactly as it should; the industrial-grade fabric makes it easy to slide but with enough resistance that it doesn’t move while the KitchenAid® mixer is running.”
WORKING WITH ALBARRIE
After two years and four months working with manufacturing partners like Albarrie, Drummond’s product was finally ready to hit the market.
“I was so pleased to find a company that produced their own fabric,” Drummond says. “And had a variety of different types and textures, many of which I tested. The fabric was equally as important as the plastic for the success of the product. My dealings with Albarrie were always very positive and very professional. From my first contact email, Neil immediately replied that ‘we serve all companies who have an interest in our product,’ and he offered to meet me in Langley, BC the next week. I was confident that I was dealing with a quality company.”
KA Caddy officially hit the market on Feb 23, 2020. Anyone using a KitchenAid® Mixer who wants to lift, carry, slide and store it with ease can purchase it through the website www.Kacaddy.com.
Looking for an industrial fabric for your product idea? Albarrie produces technical felts for a wide range of industrial applications. Our textile processing expertise and “hands on” approach is the foundation of our diverse product offering.
Need help finding the right industrial fabric for your product idea? Contact our fabric specialists today to help bring your invention to life.