Passion for outdoors clicks with travel crockery range
ClipCroc™ co-founder Chris Wands from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast talks hatching ideas, global brands and his 100% Queensland-owned company set to change the travel experience.
Did the idea of clip together crockery evolve or was it a lightning bolt?
Many ask us what inspired the ClipCroc™ range. Well, it was during one frustratingly long journey that the idea began to hatch! Co-founders and life partners Rich and Lindsey set off on a 4,500km car journey from Perth, Western Australia to relocate to the sunny coastline of Queensland with the vision of starting an outdoor and camping business. It just so happened that the whole journey gave plenty of time for thought and reflection. In fact, six days and nights of camping road trip, travelling along the Nullarbor Plains, stopping at various remote camping spots along the way, had the pair both frustrated and inspired.
The problem they faced was, why was it so difficult to stop their camping plates and bowls from rattling? Why did the journey start with a lovely stack of eight plastic plates and now they could only find four? There were plenty of occasions that the rattling crockery in the car boot was so noisy that they found themselves stopping the car to re-pack all their camping gear in the hope to end the rattle! It was on this journey that the desire to find a solution to this common problem became the focus of attention and soon the car was far from a silent one, not because of the incessant rattling crockery, but more so from the bouncing around of ideas from their every waking moment. By the end of the journey, the idea of clip-together crockery had been born!
What has been your greatest success with the company?
So far, all of our efforts have been around designing, prototyping and testing our first clip-together crockery range to make it perfect. We found out that creating a brand new crockery look and style is easier said than done, and we literally spent our first six months purely on the design process. Our goal was to design the range so that it’s visually beautiful, but also functions perfectly. We’re so excited that nearly 18 months later we have our beautiful clip-together crockery range, ClipCroc™ going to full production with our Brisbane-based manufacturer. What’s really special is that all our designs and engineering is done in-house by us, the co-founders on the Sunshine Coast, and our manufacturer and packaging team are based in Brisbane, so our company is 100% Queensland owned and made! Our greatest success has been to see the idea we first imagined now becoming a reality and going to full manufacturing production. There’s plenty written about our journey on our Facebook Page
Do you have a fun camping story?
Over the years we’ve had plenty of amazing camping experiences and stories ranging from three-month camp trips in Africa, to us pitching a tent at the bottom of the Alps in France when we missed our hotel check-in on a snowboard holiday! A strange encounter that springs to mind is when I was travelling through New Zealand in a campervan with a friend. We had parked outside Auckland for a good night’s sleep and locked the van from the inside, only to be awoken at about 3am with the sound of rustling from the front of our campervan. Curiosity got the better of me, and I pulled back the curtain separating us from the cab to see what it was only to find a guy trying to hot wire the van and steal the van… with us inside it! I must admit, it would have been pretty weird to wake up in a different location had I not woken up at that point! I’m not sure who got the bigger shock, but when I said “hey man” to him, he just bolted. Well, since it was still 3am, I decided I’d go back to sleep and hoped we’d still be parked in the same spot when morning came!
What are your expansion plans?
We’re really excited with our development plans going forward. Firstly, we’re so excited to get our ClipCroc onto the market and we’re making sure we realise its full potential by ensuring this product range takes priority in our business goals. We’ve had so much positive feedback from our ClipCroc range, that our aim is to export ClipCroc abroad once our full manufacturing process has started. It’s so rewarding that everyone we’ve spoken to from campers and caravaners, to those who own motorhomes or those who simply enjoy a BBQ or picnic, all love the idea of clip-together crockery. We really see this as an opportunity to realise ClipCroc as a globally recognised brand.
What other projects are you working on ?
Although the launch of our ClipCroc range is our absolute priority right now, we’re an outdoor and camping brand and just love designing new products in this space! There’s just something so exciting about bringing our ideas to reality and creating products that are truly unique and make life outdoors even more enjoyable. What’s great about our business is our three co-founders are passionate about the outdoors. Between us we have hiked, camped and travelled many parts of the world, are active enthusiasts in a diverse range of adventure sports and have a passionate hunger for only the highest quality products that are designed to perform and built to last. With this in mind, we’re already designing and prototyping our next product range which we’re super excited about and looking forward to sharing with our followers via our Instagram page.
Chris and the WandsPro team were supported by Advance Queensland to attend the Myriad festival in March and showcase their ClipCroc range alongside other regional innovators.