Halter Hangar by Higgins Ltd - Prototype to Product.
How did the inspiration for your product first come about?
As a long-time horse owner, it’s an idea which had been buzzing around my brain for a fair while: leaving head collars and halters at the field usually means hooking them over the fence … or the gate … or leaving them on the floor where they get wet, muddy and tangled, along with all the other bits & pieces necessary for on-the-spot horse care: fly spray, hoof oil, lotions & potions.
What I needed was an easy-to-use, sturdy (ie horse-proof!) storage unit to help keep everything dry, safe and together which could be fixed to a fence, gate or stable wall. I looked everywhere but none existed, so I set about inventing one.
What led you to Wydale?
Initially, I sketched ideas out on paper and then, in best ‘Blue Peter’ tradition, I made a scale model of what was in my head from cardboard, paper, wire and gaffer-tape. I knew that if it was to safely withstand years of weather and horses it would probably need to be made of a single piece of some sort of plastic and I was advised that rotational moulding was the way to go. Which eventually led me to a meeting with Rory at Wydale.
Rory and his team took my design & bought it to life by producing a 3D CAD (Computer aided Design) model, once we had finalised the CAD model these were then used to create the steel tool on-site and then … there it was! The oven pinged, and there was my very first Halter Hangar!
A couple of minor design tweaks to the tool later and we were ready to run off the first batch of 10 in five different colours.
What stage are you at now?
For the last 6 months, my own horse has been product-testing for me in the field, but the unit’s as good as new even after a harsh winter and his very best efforts to put a dent in it. And believe me, he does try hard!
I’m currently on the final stages of building my e-commerce site and the Halter Hangars are starting to be sent out into the world for industry evaluation. Will people like my idea? Will it sell, this entirely new product of mine? Who knows. But if I hadn’t tried and someone else had come up with the same idea, I'd have kicked myself!
How did you find the ‘Wydale Experience’?
Right from the start, I found Wydale to be friendly, approachable and professional. They patiently explained everything to me and were generous with their time and their knowledge.
As a first-time inventor, about to launch my first product, it’s a very reassuring firm to have along side.