Do you know exactly how old the food in that container on the top shelf of your fridge is? If you’re like most people, you may have a vague idea but can’t say for sure. Timer Toppy is an Atlanta startup addressing that common frustration. Originally created so recent parents could identify the age of breast milk in their fridge, Daniel and Katie Solly have dedicated the past 5 years to making Timer Toppy a reality.
The original design was crafted to fit on the tops of breast milk storage, Timer Toppy has expanded to be used on practically every type of storage container—including goat milk storage containers allowing Timer Toppy to partner with Georgia’s own Hoegger Supply. Timer Toppy allows users to see exactly how old something is and help reduce the waste of discarding still fresh perishables. Earlier this month, Daniel and Katie launched a crowdfund for Timer Toppy, allowing funders to be the first to purchase the redesigned Timer Toppy.
What’s the story of Timer Toppy?
Timer Toppy started 5 years ago when our first daughter was born. We would put stickers or notepads on the breast milk bottles, but they would fall off when everything would get cold. Breast milk is good for 5-7 days, but we didn’t know how old each bottle was. We ended up throwing away a lot of it because we didn’t know what was good and what was bad. We researched to see if there was anything out there that had a timer to test or show the age of milk. There wasn’t anything out there.
We realized that there are more uses for Timer Toppy than just breast milk—you only breast feed so long. As a parent, every day is crazy and you don’t always know what day it is. In the middle of the night when you’re putting a top on, you just press start. You don’t have to worry about writing it down in your journal or finding your journal or where that app on your phone is. We were trying to find something that’s easy for all moms to do.
After we had our daughter and she wasn’t breast feeding, we created other ways of using Timer Toppy and that’s how we came up with our new prototype. It’s held on by a band and a magnet that you can use it for everything from medicine to food and beverage storage.
What have been the most rewarding and challenging parts of growing Timer Toppy?
It’s exciting to see Timer Toppy grow from the question of “how can we solve this problem?” and making an easy to solution to then finding manufacturers and getting to build the prototype. Now, we’re getting Timer Toppy out to the market and people are sharing and buying our product. The most rewarding part is people giving positive feedback. That they think Timer Toppy is a great idea and they’re buying it to show their appreciation. It’s been very rewarding to see their responses and how the families need it to make one little thing in their lives a little bit easier.
The biggest challenge is getting in front of the right market. We feel pretty confident with who our best early adopters are going to be and knowing where our market stays. It’s a bit difficult to get in front of them to more or less give your pitch, have them give feedback and respond to it. The biggest challenge is just exposure.
What’s your vision for Timer Toppy?
We want Timer Toppy to be in a big box store. That’s the big vision. As we get out into the market and get people’s feedback, you can make all the predictions of what they’re going to make of it and how they’re going to use it, but you’re never positive until you get it into a lot of hands and getting new feedback from there. We have some long term design visions for the lineup to make all sorts of things easier for our customers. We definitely want to see it in the big box stores and we’re excited to see how the larger market responds to Timer Toppy.
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The Author: Kristine Santos. Entrepreneur. Anthropologist. Writer. Runs social media and blogging for Atlanta-based startup PEAR’d, a virtual collaboration ecosystem for entrepreneurs. A vegetarian who’s learning how to sew and wants to know all about your startup. Let’s talk on Twitter@PEARdUP