After making the first shoe swirl it was receiving nothing but positive reactions, I realized I should think about looking into manufacturing them to sell. The first thing I had to do was find someone who could make CAD drawings and had a CNC machine. I asked around for a while and finally found a guy named Scott through my brother. Scott has a business on the side making cabinets for Arcade machines and he had a CNC machine close by in a barn. He was excellent at making CAD drawings and we decided to make six shoe racks to start off. Two of them would be out of birch plywood, two out of white melamine, and finally we made two of them out of MDF, which is medium density fiberboard, the stuff that peg board is made of. We decided to make that many so I would be able to decide which one was the fastest, easiest, and most efficient. It was really exciting to see something that simply started out as an idea, be cut out on a machine, and turned into a final product.
After they were all cut out I had some of them stained, varnished, painted and some of them were edge banded. Once they were all finished we had a group of our friends come over to be a “marketing group” and give us their honest opinion on the final product. The general consensus was that they preferred the while melamine over the stained or varnished one. However the most common comment that came up was that it was a great idea but it wouldn’t fit in there closet.
This took me back to the drawing board, one of our friends was a carpenter and he had mentioned that when they are building a new house the standard closet is 24 inches deep. This gave me some guidelines to go by, and I began measuring everyone’s closets to get an average estimate. I then took one of the shoe racks that I had built and started cutting it down to size. I could get it to fit in a closet, but you couldn’t rotate it to get to the other side. I had thought about putting drawer slides under the lazy Suzan swivel but I figured it would just tip over when you pulled it out.
I can remember lying in bed at night with all these ideas running through my head, Do I screw the base to the wall so it won’t tip over? Do I add weight to the back of it so it won’t tip? I knew that I’d never know unless I just tried it, so that’s exactly what I did. I bought six pairs of drawer slides off a clearance table at the wood store and mounted a pair of them to the new, cut down base and mounted the swivel to the top of the slides. I was finally able to pull the shoe rack out far enough to spin it around and it didn’t tip over. I had finally done it, and all the ideas that had been floating around in my head for months had finally turned into a final product.