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Crowdfunding: Belle-V Ice Cream Scoop

Issue 06

01: Belle-V Ice Cream Scoop


Designed in San Francisco by LUNAR and headquartered in Chicago, the team behind Belle-V took their aluminum ice cream scoop to Kickstarter in October 2013 to test the market for their design oriented scoop.  For Belle-V inventor and ice cream geek, Dr. Karl Ulrich, Vice-Dean of Innovation at the Wharton School of Business, his ice cream scoop was in part the opportunity to create something that could be part of his 20 year strong collection of antique ice cream scoops and in part a useful subject matter in a course he was teaching on the design of artifacts in society. Made entirely of aluminum, the Belle-V scoop is the first of hopefully many hand held objects to come down their design pipeline.

Made Of: Aluminum

Name: Belle-V is a take on the French saying “La Belle Vie!” which means “The good life!”  We are passionate about creating great products that help us live the good life.

Team: Founder, Dr. Karl Ulrich, LUNAR’s VP of Design Jeff Salazar and CEO, Alan Cook. Approximately ten people contribute to the manufacturing, operations, sales and marketing of Belle-V products.

01 Belle V Ice Cream Scoop


INTERVIEW: Kim McGowan, Belle-V {Chicago}

01 Where are you based and why did you choose to set up shop in this location?
Belle-V products are designed in LUNAR’s San Francisco studio. The Belle-V headquarters are in Chicago, IL, where management and the operating team is based.

02 When did you formally launch Belle-V?
Belle-V Kitchen launched with a Kickstarter campaign on October 29, 2013.

03 What problem were you trying to solve in the marketplace?
Dr. Karl Ulrich, Vice-Dean of Innovation at the Wharton School of Business and inventor of the Belle-V Scoop, noticed that traditional ice cream scoops pose awkward ergonomic challenges.  He recently taught a class, “Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society” on the online platform Coursera and used the redesign of an ice cream scoop as his case study. Karl’s work generated key features of the Belle-V Ice Cream Scoop, notably the angled and elongated head with spade-shaped leading edge.

01 Belle V Ice Cream Scoop1
Photo Source: Belle-V

04 Why did you take Belle-V to Kickstarter as a fundraising platform?
We launched the Belle-V Ice Cream Scoop on Kickstarter so we could directly engage with design-oriented consumers.  If this group of passionate, early-adopters found value in our product, it would indicate to us that we had a product that would be viable in the larger marketplace.

05 What is the Belle-V made of?
Belle-V is made of aluminum; it has a solid core without any fillers or inserts. The key benefits in committing to a solid cast aluminum part is that we would not be challenged by having to work with the coming together of multiple parts. Ultimately, using a solid part kept us honest, and allowed for us to continually aim towards simplicity and purity of form during each and every step of form development and refinement.

06 What does the Belle-V design process involve?
LUNAR’s VP of Design, Jeff Salazar, was really the brainchild behind the Belle-V design process.

Throughout his career, Jeff has gained a deep appreciation for the importance of manipulating the millimeters; the process of designing not only an ice cream scoop but any hand held object deserves similar scrutiny. The mantra that often guides Jeff is “…how do you craft ‘intentional’”. How can what gets created feel like it’s always been meant to exist? Finding this in every object is no small feat. For the scoop, the impact lies in its primary aesthetic voice, and in the attention given to the shape and tilt of the scoop and the purity of how the handle connects to the scoop; this is of utmost importance in simply conveying our promise to the audience in as immediate and memorable a way possible. The true test of striking the right effect, is when you look at the product, close your eyes, then can easily recall its form from memory. With Belle-V scoop, we believe we’ve skillfully crafted a simply authentic and memorable design voice.

Beyond the primary object gesture/silhouette, lies an abundance of complex and subtle surfacing that help visually and physically deliver on the distinctive primary visual promise of the scoop. Though the product is bounded by a crisp outline that helps delineate its gesture, the interior body of the handle is sculpted to nestle comfortably into a user’s palm. The top and back sides of the neck of the handle flattens to provide a secure place for one’s thumb and forefinger; which is especially useful during the scooping process.

07 What is next for Belle-V?
Belle-V aims to introduce several hand held objects that complement the Belle-V ice cream scoop and develop a stunning collection.

08 Will you ship internationally once the campaign is over?
We are working on shipping to some countries outside the United States.

Scoop Worthy Recipes:

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