In May of 2014 we officially launched Hemming Birds Boutique with a 28-day long Kickstarter campaign. What is Kickstarter and why did we choose to launch our business using it. . .keep reading to find out!
What is Kickstarter? KickStarter is a crowdfunding mechanism - a fun and effective way to fund projects and get companies off the ground. “Creators” (that’s us!) submit their projects and goals to KickStarter for approval. After review, the project goes online to be supported by “backers” (that’s you!) The backers can basically pre-order items in exchange for a monetary pledge. If the project reaches its goal, the creators receive the pledged money and in return backers receive their rewards.
Why did we choose to launch our business using Kickstarter? It came down to exposure and volume. To make this business successful, we needed the buy materials in bulk and manufacture products in parallel. KickStarter helped us accomplish this by building up a large number of initial customers and orders. This allowed us to open wholesale accounts with material manufacturers and pay for product safety testing.
So - just how did it go? Great! Our campaign was fully funded in just 17 days - and we even managed to reach two of our "stretch" goals!
Running the campaign and fulfilling all of our backers "orders" was a TON of work, but it was absolutely worth it! It allowed us to launch our brand with minimal investments (read - no debt!). We spent many hours building our campaign, promoting it while it was running, and then afterwards manufacturing all of the rewards. It was a lot of hard work, however we feel that it was the perfect choice for us.
We launched our brand with two of our signature products - the "Charlie" bib and two styles of little girl purses ("Jane" totes & "June" handbags). Since then we've sold hundreds (if not over a thousand) Charlie bibs and dozens of purses. We've also added to our brand - introducing the "Betty" necklace for teens and women late summer 2014, the "Penelope" pinafore smock and "Andy" artist apron fall 2014, and finally our latest product the "Ollie" bandana drool bib spring 2015.