How the CoatHook Came to Be
The idea for the CoatHook came about when our cat, Cosmo, a senior gentleman, had trouble grooming himself the way he used to. His coat, which he had always kept quite sleek, began to get clumpy in spots with fur that had come loose but remained in his coat.
Lisa often crafted with Cozzie on her lap — his usual spot. One day while making a beaded bracelet using a tiny crochet hook, she ran the hook through Cozzie's fur. The fine hook reached down through Cozzie's outer coat and very nicely removed those loose clumps from his undercoat — the same way that the tiny hooks on a cat's tongue would.
We imagined that if we could embed an array of tiny crochet hooks in a handle, it would make a great pet comb. To test out the theory, we made an assortment of prototypes with hooks embedded in a variety of materials. Here they are — while they were not very attractive (an understatement! LOL), they worked like a charm, effectively removing loose undercoat without cutting attached undercoat or guard coat the way that some grooming tools do.
The models removed lots of shedding undercoat from Cosmo, which we discovered would felt into balls when we rolled it between our hands. Just look at all the hair balls this prevented!
It seemed that we had an idea worth pursuing, so we sketched some design ideas, and an industrial-designer friend created a CAD file and fine-tuned the design so that it could be successfully injection molded.
To test out the design and make sure that it works well, we 3D printed it and took it on the road, testing it on every willing dog and cat. It was a hit! We took it to our local cat shelters, and the cats just purred their heads off when getting combed with it!
We launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in May 2014, and with the funds raised developed the design further, produced an injection mold, and generated the first production run in September 2015. We also applied for and were granted a patent — #9027511!
This video shows highlights of this journey.