Hello, and thank you for your interest in Atlas Plant Trainer!
We are Rob and Danielle Smith, owners of Green Harvest Solutions Inc. and creators of Atlas Plant Trainer™. We live in the central Maine area, and have been medical cannabis caregivers for two years now. We have a young daughter (2 years old) that seems to already be smarter than both her mother and her father, combined! We certainly believe we have our work cut out for us as she grows up, but look forward to every step of the journey.
To understand the essence of the Atlas Plant Trainer™, we think it’s important for you to understand why we created it, and why were so passionate about helping people grow bigger and better.
When we started growing for our medicinal and recreational purposes, we were not only limited by the number of plants we could grow by state law, but by the space in our home that we could grow in. We knew that growing would be expensive, so it was important to us to maximize our yields with the limited plants we could grow, which was 6 at the time. Before we even had plants under lights, I had done extensive research on all the ways to increase yields, and it was apparent to me that the main thing that totally under my control was the size of the plant and how many flowers would form the top of the plant. I knew I wanted to use the many training techniques that I had read about to make my plant as wide as I could, resulting in as much plant matter as possible getting quality light – increasing my yields. One thing I noticed through my research was that all the tools used to train one’s plant we’re either not intended for the purpose (4 foot tall bamboo stakes for a 4 inch tall plant), were do it yourself (suspended ceiling wire cut to length, which isn’t easy or PVC piping) or – BOTH! Having extra time on my hands and eager to learn, I wasn’t bothered by the lack of tools meant for the purpose, I just jumped right in and started training my plants.
Fast forward a few months and I have trained my plants to be quite a bit wider than the plant pot, and they were looking great about 4 weeks into flower. But now I had a different problem. I had no clue that these tops were going to be so heavy that they were not going to be able to stay upright for the duration. They kept falling over onto one another, and even I, the novice that I was, knew that wouldn’t be good for the next 5 weeks. So, back to the interwebs I went to learn how to support my heavy flowers. Thankfully, there were more great columns to reference and even some items I could purchase to help the cause. However, I learned that to properly support your plant through the flowering process, it is best to prepare for this starting before the flowering starts. So, I bought a pile of bamboo stakes and more plant yo-yos than I could count and went to work propping, tying, and stringing up my plants just to keep them pointing towards the light. By the time I was done, it looked like Spiderman had just rolled through and made a mess – there were strings hanging from the lights in every spot possible. Furthermore, I couldn’t move my plants around, meaning that I couldn’t reach the very center of the canopy from anywhere but underneath it, which isn’t the easiest and always results in being a sticky mess.
Over the next year or so I tried everything on the market to help my plants get bigger, and then support them when they got big. I still have hundreds of bamboo stakes, plant yo-yos and a 1000 feet of soft wire tie cut to a hundred different lengths. Along with hundreds of feet of ½ inch PVC pipe, mesh trellising (which I despise) and a weak attempt at SCROG (screen of green) I think I have tried every common choice for supporting your plants. Couple that with the lengths of wire with a hook formed at one end to assist in training, I’ve got a lot of junk lying around. Oh, and don’t forget about the tomato cages! Not only have all these things cost me money to use once or twice, just to learn that I didn’t like them, but they take up a lot of space and resulted in lots of frustration throughout the process.
Now that we’ve covered the why, let’s move onto the “how” of the Atlas Plant Trainer™. I had started drawing up sketches for a solution to my problems, I think I had just gotten stabbed in the cheek with a broken off end of a bamboo stake – and had had enough. I spent a few months doodling, and a few more months telling my wife how awesome my idea was, and then a few more months wishing that someone else would solve my problems. And then, one Sunday night as I was sitting on the couch telling my wife how I longed for something that came close to my solution – she sent an email to a product designer in Kennebunkport, Maine, Aiello Designs. She told me that he would be calling me on Monday to discuss my idea, so be ready.
Since that night, the Atlas Plant Trainer™ has just – happened. Justin Aiello said he could make it come to life, we had prototypes made up, and we started to share the idea with friends and other growers. The feedback was stupendous, people loved the idea, the versatility and the creativeness of the solution. Also – knowing that there was nothing like it on the market, were questioning whether it was actually a good idea.
Without having something to compare it to, there wasn’t much of a playbook to go from. But we knew one thing – we didn’t have the money to get it off the ground on our own. And with no other product to compare it to, we had no way to value it properly so we didn’t want to seek investors until we got an idea of the market. So, in comes crowdfunding and pretty much gets us to current day! We’ve made more strides in our process, with manufacturing, video production and gathering as much feedback on the product and market as we possibly can. If you’d like, you can learn more by clicking on over to “The “Growth” Blog” where we cover our garden growth, our company growth, and our personal growth. Both my wife, Danielle, and I will be writing to you as we launch our campaign, (hopefully) reach our funding goal, and then bring this (and then future) products to market that will help better everyday gardeners lives – including our own!