It was a typical rainy day in the Pacific Northwest. Mina Yoo was on a training hike preparing to summit Mt. Rainier. When it came time to take a break, the ground was soaked, muddy and there was nowhere dry to set down her pack.
Later that day, she returned to her home that was in the middle of a remodel – offering no place to lay out her drenched clothes to dry. This was her ah-ha moment.
“Two hands are simply not enough for all the gear that comes with life,” she said.
That inspired Mina to create an effective, efficient, and simple “extra hand” that could meet the needs of all of life’s activities.
She had no background in design or manufacturing, but that didn’t stop her.
Several prototypes later and with massive support from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and a talented team, the Heroclip was born.
So, what exactly is this gadget? The Heroclip is a fully functioning carabiner on one end, equipped with a 360-degree, dual-rotation swivel hook on the other. The company calls it the “indispensable life hack tool that goes everywhere you go.”
Use it to hang water bottles from backpacks, purses from tables, bags from bathroom stalls, lanterns from trees, paint buckets from ladders, or bikes from garage rafters. Prop up your wet gear, hydration packs, tools, cables, cords, bags and toys – you name it, as long as it’s less than 60 pounds, the uses are infinite.
Heroclip is your “superhero tool,” said Chief of Community and Operations Ciara Duff, “it gives you a hand wherever you are.”
Due to the fact that Heroclip is such a versatile product, the team had challenges around where to direct their marketing. Campers, hikers, and travelers seemed like an obvious market – but the brand quickly evolved to speak to the “everyday explorer.” Ciara describes the go-to gear clip as a “convergence of the outdoors person meets every day person’s crossover tool.”
Much like their leading product, Heroclip is a young yet mighty company. Born in 2015, the company is run by just five core team members in Seattle, WA. No two days are the same and each member wears many hats.
Ciara says sometimes they’ll receive corporate inquiries asking to be connected to a specific department within the company – “we have a good belly laugh,” she said, “as it is usually the person sitting next to us.”
After just three years in business, Heroclip can be found in more than 900 shops, including Garage Grown Gear.
Currently, the two-ounce, medium size Heroclip is the company’s most popular product, having sold more than 270,000 units!
The team is excited to launch small and mini size models in new, snazzy colors this fall. These fresh products gathered a positive response in their latest crowdfunding campaign – a staggering 10,000 small and mini clips have already been pre-ordered to date.
As if running a startup with a lean team doesn’t keep them busy enough, Ciara has pursued a unique venture called the “Everyday Hero Project.”
It started as the company began to receive emails and letters from wilderness rescuers, firefighters, professors, volunteers, and busy parents all creatively using the Heroclip. The crew quickly realized these were amazing, multifaceted people whose stories needed to be shared.
“Quoting their use cases was not enough,” explained Ciara, “their personal story warranted a deeper insight, and we wanted to find a way to share how much they contribute to the world.”
The stories of these everyday heroes are found on the company’s website.
So what does the future hold for Heroclip? Naturally, the team enthusiastically responds that they want to see the Heroclip everywhere.
“And we mean EVERYWHERE,” said Ciara. “We want to encourage people to get outside and hope Heroclip helps people take a load off so they can enjoy the journey.”
From a startup standpoint, Ciara adds, “we are just getting started, and we couldn’t be more excited to leap forward into the next chapter.”