Five years ago, on a drive from Seattle to San Luis Obispo, Ann and Gabe Mountjoy had an idea that sparked the creation of Common Fibers. It was a simple revelation that carbon fiber could be made more functional by creating hinges within the material itself. It took another year to actually determine how to create such a hinge. After trying many methods, Ann and Gabe discovered that the most effective way to create a hinge in carbon fiber was to use a laser. From that point on, the application list only grew.
While still in school, Ann and Gabe competed on the Cal Poly Supermileage Team. It was through this club that they were able to first test the hinges in a real application. Integrating the hinges on the car’s doors won Cal Poly the Technical Innovation Award at the 2013 Shell Eco-Marathon in Houston, TX. This first recognition of the technology made the team realize they needed to push further.
The following quarter Common Fibers took second place at Cal Poly’s Innovation Quest and was accepted into the SLO Hot House FastTrac Program. Through the following summer, Common Fibers formed as an LLC and began taking steps towards launching a Kickstarter campaign. After months of preparation, Common Fibers launched and was successfully funded in April 2014.
With a successful Kickstarter in their pocket and some cash in hand, the couple moved up to Washington to formally start production. After three years of producing wallets Common Fibers has expanded their product line, started a new prototyping shop and has created a team driven to create and share their passion for carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber's applications are endless and we hope to share our knowledge with you.