Hi, My name is Clark Davis, and I am the founder of Sprout Kids Furniture. Sprout grew out of my need for mobile furniture. In spring of 2009 I was moving for the seventh time in my college career. At the start of my college career, I made a mission style desk, bookcase, and chair of quartersawn oak set at my dad's cabinet shop. Every time I moved I had to find someone with a truck and round up a crew of husky roommates to help me move. I am the type of person that likes change and likes the freedom of being able to pack every thing I own into my car and leave. But the hassle of big bulky furniture kept me from doing this.
Over the summer of 2009, I was doing an internship at a factory in mainland china. I was scheduled to fly home and immediately fly to an Engineering and Design conference in Montreal, Canada where I was presenting an automatically adjusting overhead storage system in a mechanism design competition. I would be presenting a prototype of the mechanism, and need a sturdy stand to hold it on. I would be flying in late and had to present first thing the next morning so I needed a stand that would go together quickly and easily, and traveling on an airplane with tools is a hassle, so I wanted it to assemble with no tools. It had to be shipped all the way across the US, so I wanted a stand that was lightweight, and collapsable to decrease shipping costs. It had to be simple to manufacture, as I would have to have someone else make it for me. Additionally, I wanted a stand with some style. This was an engineering contest, and engineers are known for being a little bland, so I wanted a stand that would give me some credit as a designer, as well as an engineer. In my factory dorm room in China, I cranked out some plans for a stand, and emailed them to my dad in the US, who graciously made the parts and shipped them to Canada for me.
I liked the look of the stand made from Baltic birch ply, that I wanted something else made from it. Two additional design competions were coming up, including the Invented in Utah competion and the BYU Student Innovator of the Year competition which I was entering the overhead storage system in, so I made a prototype of a tool-less desk in both. The product got exceptional response at both competitions, winning the Student Innovator of the Year Competition.
With some prize money and a part-time job I set out to make the Sprout line a reality.