Here at Hawaii VA Loans, Hawaii’s longest-running lender specializing in VA loans in Oahu and all of the Hawaiian Islands, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put a spotlight on Air Force military spouse entrepreneur, Kate Reimann – a resident of Kailua, Oahu – and her passion project turned burgeoning business & Kickstarter campaign, Rogue Wave Toys.
First, let’s set the scene for the pivotal moment that led to Kate’s founding of Rogue Wave:
- Setting: Cape Charles, Virginia
- Husband Dan’s Duty Station: The Pentagon
- Year: 2016
It was a beautiful day on a beach vacation for Kate and her young children when suddenly, a wave swept their plastic beach toys into the ocean! Now, this has likely happened to many parents who have no intention of contributing to the ocean’s plastic pollution, but what sets this experience apart is Kate’s reaction turned into action.
Rather than simply lamenting the occurrence, Kate fervently decided that she had to make it better. How? By developing certified COMPOSTABLE beach toys. Thus, Rogue Wave Toys and its mission to make our oceans plastic free, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and create better products with better materials was born!
How is Kate making beach toys different?
- Certified compostable
- Made from plants, not petroleum
- Made with hemp handles, which are antimicrobial and compostable
- Made in the USA
- Support coral restoration with every purchase
- Designed with parents in mind—sets nest, so parents have less to keep track of at the beach
The Kickstarter Campaign – Happening Now
Kate and her family made their Hawaii PCS in 2017 upon her husband Dan’s new Air Force assignment to Oahu. Since then, her drive to make Rogue Wave come to fruition has only continued to grow and build steam. Kate has become an active member of Hawaii’s environmental advocate community, and on September 5, 2019, Rogue Wave launched its Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for its certified compostable beach toys.
Rogue Wave uses a certified compostable biopolymer to 3D print the prototypes. Kate prints each piece of the 3-piece set—beach bucket, sifter, and shovel—herself in her home office.
Reimann is optimistic about the campaign.
“We need to raise a lot of money—and with Kickstarter campaigns, it’s all or nothing—but the response to the product has been so positive from the very beginning that I’m optimistic we can secure the amount we need.”
The Kickstarter campaign will fund the transition from 3D printing to injection molding in order to scale production and sell the beach toys. A majority of the funding required will support the tooling costs of the molds, and the compostable biopolymer material.
“The material costs are pretty high at this point—like any new, innovative material,” Reimann said.
“Consumers can drive the cost down by choosing it. We’re competing against really cheap oil, which is why conventional plastic is so pervasive: it’s easy to get because it’s cheap to buy and even cheaper to make. But we’re just starting to realize the dire consequences of conventional plastics. I think that knowledge will help drive this product revolution. It has to. There’s too much at stake.”
Oil extraction and refining—two steps necessary in creating conventional plastic—are among the US’s top five green-house gas (GHG) contributors.
Rogue Wave uses a plant-based polymer that breaks down in industrial compost facilities, active landfills, and landfill-to-energy sites. The goal of the business is to curb conventional plastic use, only 9% of which is traditionally recycled. The rest goes to landfills or incineration facilities.
“Conventional plastic breaks down, but it never disappears,” said Reimann.
“We are trying to curb the amount of conventional plastic we use, because now we know better. We are trying to change the way we buy and make products—innovative materials are out there, but it’s up to us to start choosing them.”
Rogue Wave has partnered with Shar Tuiasoa, the artist behind Punky Aloha, on a line of protected Hawaiian marine animal molds that will only be included in the Kickstarter campaign. A portion of all sales will benefit coral reef restoration.
Reimann is counting on lots of smaller donations to make the product a reality.
“Every single dollar will help us. I am so encouraged to see the way people respond to a compostable plastic. People are ready for this. And it gives me hope that we really can solve our plastic pollution problem—we can make it better.”
The Hawaii VA Loans team is excited for Kate and the future of Rogue Wave Toys! We see the difference that our veterans and servicemembers make through their service to our country every day. We also recognize the numerous military spouses who PCS to the islands and dedicate their time and energy, not only to their families, but to various facets of Hawaii’s community, and in Kate’s case, to the beaches here and beyond!
Interested in learning more about Rogue Wave? Contact Kate below:
- Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2HQ366t
- Website: www.roguewavetoys.com
- IG/Facebook/Twitter: @roguewavetoys
- Kate Reimann, Founder: [email protected]
- General Inquiries: [email protected]