There’s nothing I love more than learning about creative inventions and the people responsible for them – finding out their stories and the light bulb moments behind them all. Barry Stout and Jim Lynch from the U.S are two such blokes who have had the envious job of spending their working careers inventing and product-developing, which sounds like a whole lot of fun, if you ask me!
They have now put their talents and ingeniousness behind Plant Stamps – themed stickers you attach to greeting cards, packages or gifts that have seeds inside so they can be planted.
It’s a cute concept conceived by Barry who wanted to combine his children’s love of stickers with gardening. It also has endearing and long-lasting implications which they hope will impact everyone from the Plant Stamp recipients right down to their local community in Georgetown, Massachussets.
For the past two years Barry and Jim have been developing the stickers that comprise several layers of proprietary materials and have now launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for additional manufacturing equipment.
They ultimately want to be able to use the stickers to educate children about the earth and create jobs for physically challenged people in their local area. The final assembly of the stickers will be done by the people at Heritage Industries, a facility that mentors and provides a working environment for people with disabilities.
So where did the idea for Plant Stamps come from and how do they work?
“We noticed a lot of people just throw cards away,” says Jim. “It seemed the memory of the occasion faded quickly once the card was read and discarded. We wanted to make a product that reminded people of that special occasion by seeing flowers grow in their yard, window shelf, or even desk top.”
Says Barry: “When teachers place Plant Stamps on homework papers, the child can see their success for years to come. Your yard becomes a trophy shelf of accomplishments. Plus, they can learn how plants grow and learn responsibility in taking care of them.”
Plant Stamps can be used indoors on a window sill or outdoors in a garden and come in a variety of flowers: Asters, Forget-Me-Nots, Black-Eyed Susans, Johnny-Jump-Ups and Catchflys, plus the herb Basil. And planting them, they say, is as easy as “peel and plant”. You peel the Plant Stamp off the card, soak it for one minute, and plant it. Each Plant Stamp has a QR code on the back that links to planting instructions for the best growing experience.
Sounds pretty cool to me.
And in case you’re wondering what other product designs the duo have been responsible for …
Jim led the development effort on several robots at iRobot, including Roomba. He is the creator of Looj, the world’s first gutter cleaning robot and previously worked for the research arm of LEGO toys leading to the development of robotic LEGO MINDSTORMS.
For the past two decades, Barry has developed many consumer products including printers at Lexmark, robots at iRobot, where he met Jim, and Android products at Zink (Polaroid). During this time, he earned 25 patents in consumer product innovation and has several more pending. Wow.
So, go on, plant a stamp!