My guest today is Stand Steady founder and CEO, Day Martin. Welcome to OpEdNews, Day. Please tell us a bit about your company.
DM: Stand Steady is a leader in the standing desk market. The research on the harm of sitting all day at work is consistent and shocking. Sitting six-eight hours a day reduces your lifespan by two years, even if you exercise regularly.
JB: Even if you exercise regularly? Yikes! Many of us were depending on that daily exercise to somehow mitigate all that sitting.
DM: We know a lot of people want to start standing, either for the long-term benefits or because of back pain, but they don't have the option to switch out their existing desk or cubicle. The inventiveness of our American-made desks is that they are designed to go on top of your existing desk. After a simple five-minute assembly, you are ready to work standing up. Stand Steady desks are inexpensive, easy to assemble, and there is no need to retrofit the office or call in the facilities department.
We were founded two years ago after I had a minor car accident. I thought I was fine. After the police report was filed, I even proceeded on to the gym where I had been heading. However, I started to have back pain after sitting all day at work. Research on the internet led me to want to try a standing desk, but I couldn't find anything under $800, plus it had to be compatible with my cubicle desk. After some time, I created my first mock-up of the Stand Steady desk. My colleagues were very interested in my standing desk. I couldn't believe how many of them stopped by to ask about the desk and then acknowledged that they too had back pain!
JB: So your own health issues spurred the creation of the Stand Steady. That's cool. Were you intimidated by the whole process of getting the idea out from inside your head and to market? You'd never done it before. You made it happen. Did you hit any speed bumps along the way? After all, you were a novice at this.
DM: I believed in this product and figured out how to make it happen, including finding vendors to manufacture it here in America, applying for the patents, and getting it up for sale online.
It was definitely intimidating. There were so many times I just thought "I don't know how to do this". My family was there for me in getting this done. My father-in-law built the prototype and my brother, Aaron, had also recently started a company (storyboardthat.com for business and educational storyboarding). Aaron helped me focus on small steps and not worry about the big picture all at once. I also kept at it for my kids. There have been a lot of articles in the past few years about women being underrepresented in the STEM fields. As a mom with a daughter, I wanted to be an example of what women can do.
I was encouraged to do a Kickstarter campaign and they rejected us. A definite speed bump! I can't figure out why since they've let in other standing desks since our attempt. Well, Kickstarter, you missed the boat on this one because we are very successful!
JB: It truly takes a village, in so many senses. Your family was behind you and you persevered. You mention "the STEM fields". What are you referring to?
DM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math =STEM. Check out this url
"Women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Research has shown this is due to several factors including stereotypes and also lack of mentors and role models."
and this URL*
JB: Interesting! I was delighted that Stand Steady is 100% American-made. In fact, that was a major factor for me to purchase one. Was that a hard decision? How did you go about finding a good manufacturer?