“We wanted a simple, inexpensive, and safe way to return lost property. We also wanted to allow people to transfer ownership as items are sold or donated.”
– Deb Zell
We continue to find lost items other people have accidentally left behind, especially clothing items such as gloves. Finding their owner is nearly impossible.
We spoke to 8 ski resorts in California and Colorado about lost and found.
They told us they receive 1,000,000 gloves every year! Of these, the majority end up in the landfill because there isn’t a
good way to get them back to their owners. It’s not just ski resorts: every time we are on the trails we find lost glasses,
keys, phones, gloves, vests, hats… you name it, we’ve found multiple of it.
We designed our special stickers (400 iterations and counting) to stick to the stuff most commonly lost:
glasses, keys, phones, ski poles, gloves, clothing (yep, they stay on through the wash) and other gear.
We also spent a lot of time designing and redesigning our web experience to be very easy to use and keep
people safe when communicating about lost items. Especially when someone finds your keys – the
last thing you want them to know is who you are and where you live.
We’ve built in safeguards to get lost items back to their owners, working through secondary contacts when their owners can’t be reached,
such as simultaneously notifying an item owner’s primary and secondary contact, and providing a shipping label without the item owner’s name or address.
Why a QR/ID code and not a bluetooth or NFC chip?
Bluetooth chips are pricey gadgets which are great for tracking items you don’t mind putting a puck of plastic on, or
replacing their batteries. Unfortunately, they aren’t cost effective or practical for the many small items, clothing and gear
most people own and want to protect. Additionally, they aren’t straightforward for the people who find them to figure out how to
contact the item’s owner, or to return the item to the owner if the owner isn’t able to communicate with the person finding the item.
NFC chips can be great when they work, but they’re still not foolproof– they don’t always work when tapped and the antennae can be
vulnerable to damage. As the technology improves, we’ll offer NFC, but we don’t believe the experience is yet reliable or tough enough for our products.
We are people who have returned, or tried to return, other people’s lost property. We are also people who have lost items
we wish we could have gotten back. We are hikers, bikers, air travelers, parents, skiers, fishermen/women, cafe workers, adventurers and more.
Deb Zell: CEO, Experience Designer
Pete Cahalane: CTO
Jorge Corrales: Graphic Designer
We view feedback as a gift, so please don’t hesitate to tell us if anything about our product or experience can be improved.
We work best when we maintain a happy, healthy, and well rounded lifestyle and aspire to build a non-toxic company culture around that.
We believe in providing opportunities to all people, regardless of their background. If you have skills, we encourage you to apply to work for us.
If you don’t have skills, you should still reach out - we can point you in the direction of resources or may be able to provide mentoring or
training to get you ready to work on our team in an area you find interesting.
Q: Is it 100% effective?
A: Well no, but in our trials losing stuff on trails and in town (even San Francisco!) we’ve had a 95% success rate.
Q: Is the sticker really permanent?
A: We make two lines of stick-on labels, one for hard items and one for both fabric and hard items. These labels are designed to last for 1-3 years under moderate
to heavy use. If your label pack doesn’t list fabric items as a suggested use, it’s not designed to be used on fabric items.
Our fabric and hard item labels will stay on through multiple machine washings as long as they are applied to clean, dry,
flat surfaces and allowed to set for 24-36 hours before being exposed to moisture.