The Creative Coast recently had a chance to follow up with the founders of Fable after their second-place win at FastPitch 2022. The team of entrepreneurs is made up of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) students Maddie Buchmann, Adrienne Krozack, and Erin Marshall. Buchmann is pursuing a BFA in Writing with a minor in Business Collaboration, Marshall is pursuing a BFA in Industrial Design, and Krozack is a soon-to-be SCAD alumnus with a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Writing. At FastPitch, Fable was awarded $2,000 for their pitch of an all-in-one fridge, freezer, and hydroponic farm appliance designed to help solve the issue of food insecurity and lack of farmable soil.
Before they made it to FastPitch, Fable got their start at SCAD Startup, a yearly pitch competition held by the college. “We spent nearly four days of our week only doing research in order to choose something we were passionate about, which turned out to be Fable,” said Buchmann. Marshall and Buchmann were already good friends before attending SCAD, and adding Krozack as the third member of the group was an easy choice. “[Krozack] asked if she could join me and Erin, and I of course said yes,” said Buchmann. “I’d seen how hard she worked and how dedicated she was to every project she was a part of.”
In planning for the concept behind Fable, the team conducted extensive research to ensure there was a market for their product and that they would be able to design and pitch it successfully. “We’ve conducted customer discovery interviews, launched our website (fableappliances.com), drafted our business plan, gained professional mentors, participated in a business incubator, developed a low fidelity prototype, and placed second at the FastPitch business pitch competition,” said Krozack. Steps like these helped Krozack, Marshall, and Buchmann familiarize themselves with the home appliance industry, the technology behind hydroponics, and the ins and outs of writing a business plan.
While Fable is still in the beta stages of their venture, they’ve established a consumer need for their product. “We talked to about 20-30 families, and we were surprised to learn that they were in fact experiencing the problem we thought they were. The best part was that they were super enthusiastic about our product and some of them wanted to buy it right then and there,” said Buchmann. While the hydroponic system still has a way to go before it hits the market, the team is excited about the work they’ve done so far to develop an appliance that consumers can use to access nutritious, local, and affordable produce.
“In the long term, we hope to normalize growing food at home and indoors so that at some point, it’s the norm to have a home-gardening appliance in your kitchen or home office or basement,” said Buchmann. “The ultimate goal is to give every human on earth the ability to grow their own food both knowledgeably and sustainably, hopefully putting an end to world hunger.”
Fable is well on their way to making their vision a reality. “One of the things we are most excited about is our initial prototype, which is currently growing lettuce as we speak,” added Buchmann. “We also plan on developing new iterations this summer for user testing. Our next big step is acquiring funding to get our product to market. This includes seeking investors and starting a crowdfunding campaign, which will be launching soon.”
The team also explained how pitch competitions like FastPitch and SCAD Startup have been instrumental in the launching of Fable and in the sharing of their startup idea with potential consumers and investors. “These competitions have exposed us to the process of pitching business ventures and have helped us develop our presentation and communication skills,” said Krozack. “We have also really enjoyed learning about the ideas and innovations of fellow students and Savannah entrepreneurs.”
To learn more about Fable and follow the team in their startup journey, find them on Instagram @fable.appliances or visit their website at www.fableappliances.com.