How did you come up with the idea to create the Nuggy?
Back in the day, we always used something called a Czech Pipe Tool. You may have heard of it. It’s basically a three-piece pipe tool for folks who smoke out of wooden tobacco pipes. It worked pretty well for cannabis, but it wasn’t perfect. We called it the Poker, Packer, Pusher. Since then, I always wanted to make one specifically for cannabis. Then, one day, after spending most of my 20s brainstorming business ideas, I decided to stop delaying and make it happen.
Everyone seems to just love the Nuggy. Why do you think this is?
When we were designing the Nuggy, we wanted to create something original. We didn’t want to make another boring “Swiss Tool.” Instead of starting with the same shape as every other multi tool on the market, we tried something new; the nug inspired design. As a result, our product stands out in a crowd and cultivates a more personal connection. And, we didn’t just pick out a few tools that already exist in the market and miraculously claim we made a multi-tool for cannabis. We designed each tool from scratch to meet the demands of people who love cannabis and use cannabis to medicate. And, we didn’t stop there. We spent the next year testing and redesigning the tools and overall product to create the best product on the market.
You used 3D technology to create the Nuggy prototype. What was that process like to navigate?
3D printing was pivotal in allowing us to rapidly and affordably move ideas out of our minds and into our hands. We began by making simple ‘back of the napkin’ drawings; printing, observing and making small modifications until it felt right. This process was iterative and interactive. In five minutes, we could change a design, then hold the physical prototype in our hands. In some cases, we had three or four different versions of a specific tool we could put in someone’s hand for feedback. Then, once we had the basic prototype printed and agreed to, we worked with a few CAD / mechanical engineering experts around the world to fine tune detailed aspects of the Nuggy. It was an uplifting experience to be at home in New Jersey, on a Skype call with a CAD designer in Spain, printing and providing feedback on the specific contour of a given detail in real time. These are truly amazing times we live in! All in all, before we even started the company we we’re able to create a the first plastic 3D model of the Nuggy for less than $1k total investment.
You’ve been working with some incredible musicians to develop your “Moments, by NugTools”videos. What inspired the collaboration?
Music and art are a large part of our lives and cannabis is part of the lives of many musicians and artists.
In addition to an innate inclination, we saw a natural synergy here and aspired to create short, visually compelling videos enhanced by a musical backdrop. The goal was, not to create another how-to or unboxing video, but to highlight music and art and bring those moments, the reasons we created the Nuggy in the first place, to life.
Do you have plans to expand the line of NugTools?
Absolutely. Expect at least three new tools and a range of new colors in 2017.
What was the most exciting moment for NugTools last year?
A top moment was when NowThisWeed posted a video about the Nuggy and it went viral, garnering over 1.5 million views. And, all the love we received from our fans has been incredible heartwarming and helps us wake up every day with the goal of putting a Nuggy in the hands of more and more people. It was cool to hear positive feedback and support from fans following our social media since the early prototype days. Being featured in the Rolling Stone holiday gift guide was pretty bad-ass. When the editor called, we had this incredible moment and it sent chills down our spines. We instantly looked at each other and thought the same thing, “We made it”.
What are you looking forward to the most in 2017?
The best part of being in this industry is the opportunity to travel around the country and meet all the awesome people. Whether it’s entrepreneurs, musicians, growers or our fans, we want to meet everyone. We’re beginning a West Coast tour in a few days where we’ll be spending time in Nevada and Oregon!