Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Students bring product to life

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The Easy Hanging team – from left to right, Archie Manning, Dan Nicholls, Jack Arbuckle, and Jack Buckingham.
Easy Hanging’s product is a wall-mounted bracket that can be adjusted to suit various heights.

A group of local high school students have created and designed an innovative project that is due to be officially released in the upcoming months.

The long-running Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme has historically been a starting point for a number of creative business ideas – and the initiative of four Saint Kentigern College boys is no different.

In early 2021, Jack Buckingham, Jack Arbuckle, Archie Manning and Dan Nicholls were told to think about the problems they had in their lives. One such problem they identified was in the washing line market as, they discovered, there was no way to change the height of wall-mounted clotheslines.

“Being tall teenagers meant that we would constantly knock our heads on our clotheslines and found the chore hanging out washing more painful than it should be,” Buckingham says.

While height adjustment is an option for rotary clotheslines, this solution was no longer viable for many people due to plot sizes around Auckland shrinking, Buckingham says.

This began their business journey.

Like many ideas, Easy Hanging, as they have dubbed themselves, had to make sure their idea was sustainable and shared by others – and so they sent out a survey that reached nearly 1000 respondents with many of them being local. The community, Manning says, was hugely helpful in their feedback.

“The responses were overwhelming positive with over half of them saying they share similar problems to us.”

While their idea was validated, the construction of the prototype proved exceedingly difficult. They reached out for help and contacted Christchurch-based clothesline company SwiftDry Clotheslines, who “loved the idea so much they agreed to work us for over the next year-and-a-half to bring this product to the market”.

In November 2021, Easy Hanging won the Excellence in Product Development Award in the Young Enterprise East Auckland Regional Awards.

And now after more than a year of determination and diligence, their final prototype, the ‘Easy Hanging Flex Mount System’, is almost set to be released, produced in conjunction with SwiftDry Clotheslines.

The product is a wall-mounted bracket which is either retrofitted to an existing clothesline or paired to a new one sold as a package. Constructed from stainless steel, it works by a locking pin resting on a ratchet which locks at various heights.

It’s perfect, the boys say, for either homeowners or those renting homes or retirement homes. The bracket can be adjusted to suit the owner’s height: if someone is tall, it can adjusted higher, or if there are young kids, it can be lowered to have them help with chores. It also stops sheets from touching the ground.

Additionally, the product promotes air drying, which is free and easy way of reducing one’s carbon footprint.

The teenagers are proud of the product they have created and are looking forward to helping the community with their invention.

“We’d like to thank the network of support from Saint Kents and Young Enterprise. We’re really grateful.”

As of July 15, the product has been officially released for the community to enjoy.

  • For more information, visit @EasyHanging on Facebook.

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