Hi, I'm Chase. I always knew that I loved to create things, and once I get going on something it's tough to pull away. But the Fiesta Five was especially tough to pull away from, because everyone loves a good high five and the feedback was always a laugh (in a good way).
The idea came to me when attending Roanoke College and sitting around a big table of friends at Mac & Bob's Restaurant. It was Alumni Weekend and in through the door walks our friend Tucker, who no one had seen in a while. When we all erupted he gave the closest person to him a big high five, and then the next guy put his hand up, and the next, until he ended up going around the entire table giving everyone a high five. As simple as it sounds, I saw all of these awesome high fives go down across the table and thought that they would have been epic if confetti blasted out of them! We all laughed about the idea for awhile, but I couldn't let it go. There was nothing like it out there! So, I set off to make it knowing absolutely nothing about creating a tangible product or selling anything online.
The first thing I did was write down every question that came to mind, no matter how big or small. From there I started finding the answers where ever I could and checking them off one by one. Before I knew it, I was on my way...
The first prototype was made from a dog squeaker, plastic tubing, and a rubber band. It worked and proved the concept!
I never held back telling people about my idea, because it gave a me a ton of feedback and created connections. But, I knew it would need to be patented if I wanted it to survive. After a few long nights, I was able to apply for a provisional patent myself.
The first real rapid prototype used a toy cap, but we later learned that this was not going to be easy to transport, would be more expensive, and less reliable. The last thing we wanted was the product to fail when you're looking to maximize a celebration! So we stuck to air pressure. I only wish we come to those conclusions a lot sooner...
It's been a long road and so many people have helped bring the Fiesta Five to life. Every time that I was about to throw in the towel, something would happen that would keep it going. For example, I was walking in Boston one day and ran into a gentleman named Scott Miller who was carrying a 3D printer. In 2013, this was not something you saw every day (and still isn't). I later learned that Scott was one of the inventors of the Roomba vacuum and was about to launch Dragon Innovation, which would be similar to Kickstarter but also help manufacture the products. Even though we did not hit our crowdfunding goal, we redesigned the product and received a bunch of press that led us to get the Fiesta Five prototype on the Today Show! How could we stop?
Later on down the road, Oprah Magazine featured the Fiesta Five in their Gratitude Meter! I could not be more grateful. It keeps surprising me too. High fives are a funny thing that everyone knows how to do and are almost always followed up by a smile. Adding confetti makes the smile a bit more contagious, even if you aren't the one doing the high five. We received an email from a children's hospital that has been using the Fiesta Five to cheer up kids with illness. Here's what they said:
"I purchased online for my teenager's birthday. She thought is was too childish for her (teenagers don't know how to have fun :) I think it is great and makes people smile. So I presented it at work as a tool to have when working with hospitalized children. I did a Fiesta High5 with a coworker and it was an instant hit. So I figured this can be used with all children I see and it was an unanimous and astounding YES. So here we are!!!"
Another awesome story came in about a boy who would confetti high five with his father every Friday, but only if his weekly report cards came in with high marks. One Friday, they lost track of time and went to bed. A few hours later the boy woke up at 3AM upset because they forgot to do it! So, sure enough at 3AM, they loaded up a high five shooter and set one off...
I hope the Fiesta Five keeps putting smiles on people's faces because that's what has become the most important and unexpected reward from all of this. I'm looking forward to what the future holds and hoping to keep spreading the love around the world. We have a few more ideas on the way and I hope you will follow our journey. In the meantime, go share a high five with someone!