Bolt Welcomes our first Kickstarter Backer
In September, we held our first-ever Kickstarter tour with one of our backers. Eve is a fashion designer from Australia, and has always been interested in using sustainable materials for her designs.
Recently, she came across mycelium and all the potential that fungi hold. In her research, she found the Driver Bag Kickstarter and supported it at the tour level. Thanks, Eve, for your curiosity in wanting to learn about our process!
Eve came to Bolt on the morning of the tour and met with Dr. Kevin McCluskey, fungal geneticist and lead principal scientist at Bolt. Kevin taught Eve all about the origins of fungi, the difference between mycelium and a fruiting body, and gave her a preview of the Mylo™ production process.
She also got a surprise gift in the form of her own personalized lab coat. Every employee at Bolt has a lab coat with their name and employee number stamped on the back, and with her newly-acquired knowledge of our process, Eve will fit right in!
After her intro to Mylo science, it’s off to the labs. Mycologist Andi Bruce led Eve in a hands-on activity, where she made her own slide and explored the features of a mushroom under a microscope. She got to peek the underside of a mushroom cap, learn all about how fungi release and disperse spores, and zoom in on a fruiting body to see the entanglement of hyphae. (If this is getting too nerdy for you, go to our Instagram to learn more about fungi!)
Eve then walked over to the Grow Lab, where, for the first time ever, we lifted up the veil to our process. Andi showed Eve the petri dishes where we culture our mycelium before inoculating it into spawn bags. She then got to observe a Mylo™ harvest as the team harvested mycelium mats and cleaned and measured them for future use. This portion of the tour was top secret! Not even all Bolt employees have set foot in the Grow Lab.
After lunch with our CEO, Dan Widmaier, and VP of Product Development, Jamie Bainbridge, Eve headed to the Studio to meet with Mitch Heinrich, the Sr. Director of Bolt Projects. Bolt Projects is a team of engineers, designers, and product specialists charged with creating products using Bolt materials. They are the team behind the Microsilk™ tie, the Driver Bag, and our collaborations with Best Made Co. Mitch gave Eve a tour of the studio and demonstrated what it’s like to work with and design using Mylo™. He also clued her in on how the Mylo™ material is processed, tanned, dyed, and finished.
He also showed off some of the past Bolt Projects products and collaborations, including the Microsilk™ tie, the first spider silk product to be commercially available.
As a final treat, we presented Eve with her own Mylo™ key fob. She took a little piece of history home as the first Kickstarter backer to own Mylo™.
We were so happy to host Eve on this day of science, learning, and fungi-themed fun! In Eve’s own words:
“I feel very privileged to have seen the Bolt Threads labs behind the scenes! There was so much information to absorb, and I applaud the Bolt team for doing a marvelous job on making Mylo™. Having seen the process myself, I can absolutely say – It’s worth the wait!”