“Help a sister out” asks Lizzy House. Lizzy is a fan and supporter of KickStarter which is a new way to “Fund & Follow Creativity.” KickStarter says it’s “the largest funding platform for creative projects in the WORLD” and Lizzy wants us all to help Jennifer… I first heard about KickStarter last year when a local artist, Sheila Wyne, was seeking funding for the building and installation of her sculpture “Spore.” Her project coordinator sent out an e-mail requesting people to become “backers” to help fund Sheila’s project, travel expenses etc. of $15,000. After checking out Jennifer’s needs I checked to see how Sheila’s project did and read that “Spore” was fully funded to the tune of 146 Backers that raised $15,308 of a $15,000 goal last year. 3 of those “backers” pledged $1,000 or more and another 3 pledged $500 or more and 4 pledged $250 or more, the stats read.
Sorry, but this just totally blows my mind.
Jennifer's needs are a bit more modest…she is making dolls and only needs $8,000. This is her request in part: “Recently, I got an order request from a MAJOR NATIONAL department store chain. This would be such a great opportunity to take my business from handmade to the real deal! BUT...I am afraid to commit without the proper funding, factory line-up, insurance & most important, costly CPSIA (safety/lead testing). I have 6 dolls designed to launch & am working with a US factory. Funding would help: Sample dolls at a US manufacturer Properly test dolls to meet the CPSIA requirements (lead, flammability, small parts, etc) Liability Insurance Cost of materials - fabric printing, etc Finally, doll production for this large order!” My feeling is Jennifer should be afraid to commit without proper funding, it just makes good business sense! What’s wrong with securing a line of credit or obtaining a business loan, putting together a business plan and thinking through the entire project from concept, design to sales & delivery and accounting? If all the numbers work, then her business plan and sales projections should work –right?
What’s been causing me conflict this afternoon is I've been thinking about Linda’s Blog post “Spare Change” and reading about the out of work, mother of 3 begging for spare change. This is in direct contrast to reading about art projects securing thousands of dollars of funding through the internet on KickStart. I feel like I want to set up a KickStart page for that out of work mother of 3 and all the other struggling people out there. I'm all for artists receiving funding and helping fellow artists out, or anyone who is in need for that matter. I'm just not sure I have what it takes to put a project up on KickStart or be a KickStart "backer." What are YOUR thoughts on KickStart? Have you used KickStart or plan to in the future?