We are so excited to announce the ongoing arrival of 57 new Semester Packs with official collegiate logos available here! To us, this is so much more than just 114 uniquely decorated Keypers. This is a milestone in the story of our student-run business and a great opportunity for students to express school pride on campus while their parents have peace of mind knowing they won't be locked out.
In 2018, Jacob and I were roommates, frequently locked outside of our dorm room due to lost keys. We realized students already used phone wallets to hold their credit, debit, and ID cards so we figured why not attach the all-important Key to it too. We had a prototype made and filed for a provisional patent. One month later we launched our online store and started to gradually make lost keys a thing of the past.
By 2019, Rayna Recht -a rising senior at Tulane University- joined our team to help us market the Keyper and bring it to the masses. Rayna helped us realize something very important: although the end-user is students, parents are often the customer. In hindsight, this makes perfect sense. Who foots the $125 bill when a key needs replaced at the end of the year? Parents. Who gets called at 3 am when a Freshman is locked out of their dorm? Parents. Rayna was able to creatively curate our online store to tailor it more towards parents and help us bring the Keyper to twice as many people the following year.
As new customers poured in, we got flooded with requests for new themed Keypers. We did not have the funds or know-how to secure the official logos, so we created our own art that was Penn State and Tulane themed but not at all official. I knew that this would only be temporary. From day one, we created this product to learn. About product development, patents, marketing, and now official collegiate logos.
We quickly learned the collegiate logo space is complicated, heavily restricted, and intricate. After months of research, we realized all roads lead back to a few companies that actually have the rights to print official logos. When one of these companies agreed to partner with us, we were through the moon!
The next phase started in March of 2021 and involved endless hours of pouring over new designs, seeking art approvals from each university, and overseeing the production of nearly 30,000 Keypers. Of course, there are always hiccups but we were happy to get this crash course in supply chain management. We are also thrilled to have grown to the point that a fulfillment center now ships our orders as soon as they are placed to ensure they arrive ASAP.
We are so proud of the business we have built, the designs we have created, and the fact that finally, students don't have to choose between school pride and peace of mind.
Here's to no lost keys in 2021!