You Do It Suet® was created by husband and wife team, Desiree and Josiah Cole.
Desiree is the creative behind the product. One day it just hit her that all of the meat fat that she was throwing into the trash could benefit the birds. Knowing that suet is sold in prepackaged form already, she knew that is was time to create a product that could utilize the fat we already create rather than buying fat at the store. You Do It Suet® was born. A product that allows any bird lover to enjoy day after day. A reusable product that is earth friendly, non-toxic and easy to use.
Josiah is the creative behind the name, You Do It Suet®. While throwing out ideas for a name for this new product, You Do It Suet® came right out, like it was meant to be. We knew this would be the name from the moment we heard it!
You Do It Suet® launched in September of 2015 at select Cape Cod retailers. Now we are in over 150 stores!
Please join us by purchasing a You Do It Suet® for your home or a friends home. We know you will use our product, and your neighborhood birds will thank you!
The first step to a new product is having the idea. The idea for You Do It Suet® came to light in the early morning, after a nice hot shower. Desiree was cooking bacon in the kitchen and was getting ready to pour the bacon fat into a tin can like she always did, when she realized that the hot liquid fat could be poured into a container that would be easier to manipulate once hardened. Because as we all know, once the fat hardens in the tin can, the only way to get it out is with a spoon.
Normally Desiree would let the can of fat harden and then throw it away, as she had no use for it after that point. But at this point, on this morning, Desiree realized that there had to be a better use for this fat. Knowing that birds enjoy eating suet cakes found at the local stores, she figured, why not make her own suet cakes, using the fats that she creates on a regular basis while cooking meat to feed the birds in her yard.
After realizing that making suet cakes at home could be a good idea, Desiree took to the web looking for molds that could be used to pour the hot fat into and then to harden and use as homemade suet cakes. Little did Desiree know, there was not yet such a product. After lots of research, Desiree realized that the only way to make a homemade suet cake was to make your own mold, and that was not an easy task.
From what Desiree was reading, most people who wanted to make their own suet cakes at home using their own fats, needed to save all of their fats in a container of their choice, when they had enough to make several suet cakes, they would then heat the fats in the microwave to turn them into a liquid again (which also made your house stink to high heaven), then pour the liquid fats into some kind of homemade mold such as: muffin tins, plastic containers or whatever was on had. After this, the fats would need to harden and then be popped out (somehow…) wrapped and stored until ready to use. This did not seem like the most economical or enjoyable way to create your very own suet cakes at all.
Desiree was determined to come up with a DIY suet mold that would be reusable, easy to use and would fit within the budget of the every day shopper.
The plan was to create a silicone mold, that would create a suet cake that would fit into a standard suet cage that you can buy at any local store. Silicone seemed like the best material to work with because it is durable, heat resistant, freeze resistant, reusable and bendable. Making the You Do It Suet® mold the perfect addition to every household in the World.
After the Idea and the Plan Desiree was ready to begin the testing phase of creating the You Do It Suet® mold. Desiree was ready to make a prototype.
Desiree went to her local Hardware store and purchased 2 tubes of silicone caulking and a plastic container that fit the dimensions she was looking for. She then used the plastic container as her initial mold to create her very own silicone mold.
After creating the first prototype silicone mold (which was not very pretty, and very stinky) she needed to test it by placing it in the freezer overnight. The prototype silicone mold made it through the night without having any issues. Next step was to fill the prototype silicone mold with fat from meat that would be cooked at home for a meal. After the grease was poured into the prototype silicone mold, the prototype silicone mold is put back into the freezer to harden. The next day, Desiree pulled the prototype silicone mold out of the freezer, popped out the suet cake and voila, a real homemade suet cake, without a mess and no stinky smell. Desiree placed the homemade suet cake into her suet feeder in the yard for the birds to enjoy (which they did!).
Desiree and Josiah came up with a logo for You Do It Suet® and started to put together the overall look, feel and design of this new product.
They had a CAD file created to their specifications and design requirements. There was much back and forth in this step between Desiree, Josiah and the CAD designer to get the You Do It Suet® to look just the way they wanted.
After the CAD files were created and altered to meet the requirements, a 3D prototype was needed. Desiree Contacted her local college, Cape Cod Community College (where she had graduated from many years ago). She found an article online about the engineering instructor, Fredrick “Rick” Bsharah at the college who offered CAD classes as well as 3D printing classes. Desiree emailed Rick and explained her situation, idea and what she was looking to have completed. Rick replied and was very helpful and said that he would definitely be able to help, WOOOHOO.
Desiree met with Rick, showed him the CAD files and he created the first 3D model of the Your Do It Suet® product.
After some tweaking, Desiree had a second 3d model printed by Rick.
Now that Desiree and Josiah were happy with the look and feel of the You Do It Suet® product, they needed to create actual usable product that could be sold to the local shoppers.
The next phase was to have an aluminum mold created so that she could then make the silicone You Do It Suet® product. Desiree contacted Josh at Rego Customs and he created a custom aluminum mold. After a lot of back and forth and getting the aluminum mold to where Desiree wanted it to be, it was finally perfected and was ready for casting the You Do It Suet® product.
After testing the mold with different silicone’s, each with different shore hardness ratings, Desiree finally found the perfect one.
After the first silicone molds were made, Desiree and Josiah began creating more product every day and the inventory was beginning to grow. Josiah and Desiree decided to launch the new product in September of 2015. Just 1 year after the idea had been realized. The products initial launch would be available at select Cape Cod shops .. how exciting!
So now that the making of the You Do It Suet® is down pat. The only thing left to improve upon is the time it takes to pour the liquid silicone into the aluminum mold. Josiah created a prototype silicone mold pouring station that stands over the aluminum mold, and holds the bucket of mixed silicone. This “Lego” station holds the bucket at an angle to pour the liquid silicone into the aluminum mold without supervision, which in turn gives time to work on other things while the liquid silicone is being poured.
Now that the prototype pouring station is working really well, it was time to create an actual pouring station that would hold up to many years of use. Josiah turned to scrap wood laying around the shed, and built a very nice wood platform pouring station, modeled after the “Lego” pouring station he made previously. He then asked Sophia to help spray paint it to make it look nice. He then added a few You Do It Suet® stickers, and voila, a brand new pouring station!
Desiree and Josiah mixed, degassed, poured and de-molded You Do It Suets® for 2 months straight, in order to get a stock of product together to deliver to select Cape Cod retailers by September 2015. On September 4th, Desiree delivered product to 10 Cape Cod stores from Eastham to Hyannis. Spanning 6 towns, You Do It Suet® was available in limited quantity to local Cape Codders who enjoy eating meat and also feeding the birds. There was a press release printed in a local paper on September 5th, The Cape Codder, and was seen by thousands of locals, who were sure to let Desiree and Josiah know when they saw them out and about.
We want to thank all of our friends and family who helped us get our product up and running. For brainstorming with us and coming up with ideas to get our product out to the mass market. From beginning to launch we had help from everyone from close family members to business owners to friends of friends who we did not even know that well. Everyone has been very supportive of our journey and we know it will be worth all of the time and effort put in as we move forward.