Category Archives: Sprigs.com Innovative Products

Freshness & Innovation

This past weekend my family and I went to visit my parents and in-laws in northwestern Connecticut. I took my older son (aged 3.5 yrs) “Berry hunting.” We walked along the driveway and brush between the lawn and woods looking for ripe raspberries. Here he is showing off two of the wild Black Raspberries he found (and promptly ate):

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Later that afternoon, we went to a party at a friend’s home where they had a large, cultivated raspberry bush. My son was in heaven! As was I. For me, nothing tastes more like summer than sun-warmed raspberries fresh off the vine.

Fortunately, I left room for dinner because the hostess served a salad using lettuce from her garden. Typically I feel fortunate to live in New York City, but when I taste fresh lettuce, just minutes from the garden (versus days for the lettuce at Whole Foods or hours (if I’m lucky) at the farmers’ market) I’m blown away. It actually has TASTE! And you can taste the difference between varieties of lettuce!!

So how does this tie in with Sprigsville and innovation? While I live in Manhattan, the Sprigs offices are upstate, closer in proximity (and environment) to northwestern Connecticut than NYC. I’ve noticed that we do some of our best work during the spring and summer. I attribute some of that to longer days filled with more sunshine and weather more conducive to the outdoor activities for which we make products, but I also attribute it to the foods we eat. After all, what goes in is what comes out – and if fresh foods go in, fresh ideas are bound to come out.

Of course, I could still be under the influence of fresh raspberries and lettuce, but I don’t think that’s it. What do you think? Leave a comment telling me I’m off-base or tell me your story and why you think I’m right.

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I Couldn’t Make This Up: Banjees Saves Customer from Quicksand

The other day I posted some unsolicited praise from a customer about our Banjees Wrist Wallet (click here for that post.) Today’s post is also from a customer, but this comes from the “I Couldn’t Make this Up” file. Let’s start with Linda’s original email to Sprigs, sent via the form on our Contact Us page. Linda wrote:

I have lost my wrist banjee that saved my life in quicksand and now I have gone to sooooo many stores looking for one, that I have spent more money on gas than what the product is worth. Is there any way to purchase one from you? PLEASE!!!! Linda

WAIT A MINUTE! “Saved my life in quicksand”!?!? I had to hear that story so I replied asking Linda for more details. She wrote back:

The quicksand thing was…. Last year I was in our swamp and alone.  Had my phone strapped to my wrist and a rope tied to my waist, which was connected to my truck.  I am out in the middle of nowhere trying to remove some invasive species of Phragmities and hit a very Cold spot in the swamp.  My waders sunk and the muck became quicksand and was drawing me down.  I hung onto the rope and used my teeth to pull out the phone.  Sounds so Neanderthal.  Called my husband, who was 1/6 of a mile away from me.   he came down and slowly pulled me out using the truck.  I am an organic farmer and many times when I am out in the fields I cannot put a phone in my pocket cause I cannot hear it due to chain saw, tractors, or chipping dead trees for mulch.  Having the phone of the wrist keeps it close to my ears so I can hear.  Glad I kept the container that the Sprigs was attached to.

See, I told you I could never make this up. Thanks for sharing your story Linda and we’re also glad you kept the backer-card!

P.S. Support your local farm (organic when possible.) It makes a difference and, frankly, food tests best when fresh!

Praise from a Customer

Last week we received a great email from a customer, Erica M. I’m going to let her email do the talking on this one:

I really just want to say thank you for creating the Banjees Wrist Wallet. I saw them mentioned in Rachel Ray Magazine and knew I had to have one. I bought one for my husband, two for my mom, and two for me. We are so happy with them! We took them on vacation to Jamaica where they definitely came in handy. I’ve worn mine bicycling, walking, during Zumba class, and to the store when I have no pockets. My mother, who works in a high crime area, wears hers to avoid purse-snatching! Everyone wants to know where we got them! This is the coolest procuct I’ve seen in a long time!  P.S. When the weather turns cold here, I imagine I’ll be getting myself some of those neat gloves, too!

Thanks Erica! You made our day.

In praise of small batches

I was making Swedish meatballs last night and I was inspired to post about our organic yoga clothing and accessories, more specifically our Organic Infinity Scarf. Odd connection right? Well, let me give a little back-story to explain how I got there.

I have a three-year-old son. Unfortunately he became a picky eater just after his second birthday, but one of the foods he will eat is Swedish meatballs (I think it’s the lingonberry jam aka “meatball-jam” in my house.) We discovered this while visiting my mother, who happens to be Swedish, and makes meatballs people rave about.

I was thrilled to have another protein to add to my son’s menu, so on the way home we stopped at Ikea and bought a bag of frozen meatballs. Later in the week I heated a few for my son and he gobbled them down. Over the next few months we went through the bag of meatballs. At some point my wife pointed out, Ikea probably does not use antibiotic-free meats like we purchase for everything else my son is potentially going to eat.

So I stopped buying the big bag of frozen, factory-made meatballs and emailed my mother for her recipe. I’ve made three or four batches now and, not to toot my own horn, the are GREAT! The flavor is better than the Ikea meatballs, but where they really stand-out is the texture.  So this got me thinking about the difference in quality between things mass-produced and those made in small batches. Then I started thinking about our products and our Organic Infinity Scarf.

Our Infinity Scarves are beautiful and people love them. The Organic Infinity Scarf is truly something wonderful this time of year. And it is one of those things that fit into the “small batches” category. The raw materials are grown within a few miles of the mill where they are spun into yarn, woven, cut and dyed. Because of this we can make, at most, only a few hundred at a time.

So that’s how I got from meatballs to organic clothing and accessories. I had fun writing this cerebral journey. I hope you had fun reading it.

So two questions:

  1. Who wants the recipe for the meatballs?
  2. What do you do in small batches that are better than mass-produced?

Why we choose a “Green Hosting” company for our website

Because it makes sense. Our hosting company, Site5, is competitive when it comes to cost/features/up-time/data-transfer etc. And they have good customer service, so for us it just made sense to pick a hosting company that strives to be environmentally friendly.

The environment is something we take seriously here at Sprigs. In addition to choosing green service providers when possible, we also make a lot of our clothing from organic or recycled materials. For example, our line of organic yoga clothing and our recycled banjees wrist wallets. In fact, we have a section on our website dedicated to environmentally friendly products; check-it-out: http://sprigs.com/eco-products/

These are just little things we do on a daily basis to help preserve the earth for future generations, but little things add up and make a big difference. What little, outside-of-the-box things do you do? Share your ideas with others in the comments below.

The Joy of Getting What You Want – What do You Want?

As the father of a three-year-old boy, I am constantly receiving little lessons. This weekend my son showed me the pure and absolute joy of getting something you really want – in this case, a Thomas & Friends Roundhouse and Turntable.

A little background:  my son is a really good boy. He is well behaved, sweet, sensitive, caring, smart, verbal and funny. He loves Thomas and Friends videos and toys. One of his favorite things to do is watch YouTube videos of people recreating or even creating new Thomas stories (user ThomasWoodenRailway is consistently a favorite.)

This weekend my wife stumbled upon a local boy who has outgrown the Thomas phase and was selling his tracks, trains and destinations. We bought a bunch of stuff including the Deluxe Roundhouse and Turntable which we gave my son when he awoke from his nap. He was THRILLED! So thrilled upon first seeing it all he could muster was a guttural laugh. He played with it for 2 hours straight and would have continued until he passed-out if it weren’t for us insisting he stop for dinner. And after dinner, well, let’s just say bedtime was not easy last night.

So what was the lesson I learned from this? The joy of getting something you really want and more importantly, having it live up to your expectations. At Sprigsville, we aspire to create innovative products that people will want to use, and more importantly, live up to their expectations.

With that in mind, I want to use this blog posting as an informal poll on what you want our next email newsletter special to be. Currently, we’re considering:

Leave a comment with your vote. And if you aren’t interested in any of these, feel free to suggest a different product – think of it as a write-in.

Back Stories

Here in Sprigsville we pride ourselves on creating innovative clothing and accessories to compliment our active lifestyles. It seems like we all hear “How did you guys come up with that?!?” We hear it from friends, customers, random people who see us wearing our products, and even our competitors.

We thought it would be fun to add a section to our website with the back stories on our most popular products and we just made that page live today. Check it out: http://sprigs.com/back-story/

And we created our first back story – the back story of our innovative wrist wallet, Banjees. Take a look: http://sprigs.com/wrist-wallet