Kickstarter Reward: Felt Mighty Yeti Heads

We have four days to go on our Kickstarter —

kck.st/1ndnZY1

— and we’re biting our nails a little!  People have been generous and awesome with their pledges and with sharing on facebook and twitter, but we still need almost $3000 before we can call it a success and start fulfilling rewards.  That’s one of the things that bums me out the most when I think about not reaching our goal – it’s that we won’t get to make the physical hardback books and the art prints and the t-shirts.  So for those and a bunch of other reasons I sure hope we make it!  The rewards are going to be great.

We held the Draw Mighty Yeti contest and got 29 awesome drawings of our Yeti, and had three winners when we drew names from a hat:  Max, Ava, and Sebastian.  They’ll all be getting their felt stuffed Yetis in the mail soon!  And we made a video to go along with the drawing of names which is posted inside Kickstarter Update #5.  It was also on Facebook, but it seems Facebook is very particular about using copyrighted music in videos (I used a song from the 40s, but I guess I missed public domain by a few years.) So they pulled it.  And not just the video inside the post, but the whole post! Oh, Facebook.  They are enthusiastic about their rules.

As promised, here’s the Q & A with Lina, the maker of the stuffed Yetis.  She’s very talented and nice and lives in Bulgaria.  If you’d like a custom felt toy sewn, send me an email and I’ll give you her info!

Q:  Where do you live and how old are you?
A:  I live in Bulgaria and I’m 27 years old.

Q:  How did you get started making stuffed felt toys?
A:  I started making stuffed felt toys few years ago just for fun.

Q:  Are you a seamstress?  Do you sew other things?
A:  I’m not a seamstress, I have never studied how to sew. I just discovered I really like making toys and decorations from felt.

Q:  Do you make other kinds of art?
A:  I do, I deal with handmade jewelry and making specific objects by request.

Q:  Where do most of your clients come from geographically?
A:  Most of my clients come from the USA and Australia.

Q:  What’s your favorite thing you’ve sewn?
A:  I really couldn’t say, as all the things that I sew are pretty much unique. I put a lot of emotions in each one of them.

Q:  What is your favorite children’s book?
A:   My favorite children’s book is The Little Prince 🙂

Thanks, Lina!

MIghty Yeti stuffed felt toy Kickstarter rewards

48 Hours Until Kickstarter Launch

kickstarter-48-hours

What does it feel like to be 48 hours away from a Kickstarter launch?  In a word, nervewracking!  We’ve been working towards this day for a long while now, and we think we’re pretty prepared.  But we also aren’t so naive that we don’t expect to hit some roadblocks and hurdles in this next month.  But until then, in this pre-launch nailbiting waiting zone, here are just a couple of cool things that we’ve found while prepping our Kickstarter.

1. People are helpful.  I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that people would be so awesome and giving when it comes to advice, and connecting us to other people who would help us, and tweeting about us and sharing about us. We know how valuable everyone’s time is, and the fact that our friends old and new have been so giving of it has been really inspirational.

2. The Kickstarter team has been encouraging and supportive and they seem like they really have it together.  Our campaign got approved in three hours!  We were pretty stoked about that.

3. There’s a ton of good advice on the internet about how to run a successful campaign.  So much so that we cobbled together what made sense to us from many different advice articles and crafted a plan specific to our goals. We are so fortunate to have so much good, free information at our fingertips (read: Tim Ferris, Nathaniel Hansen). These guys have spent hours (days!) crafting awesome how-tos for all of us, and they’re very much worth studying before you begin.

Now we must get on with it – still more prep work to be done.  See you live at Kickstarter in 48!

Kickstarter and crowdfunding explained.

Mighty Yeti Kickstarter Coming Next Week

Last week I wrote a post about interactive storybook apps, what that means and what they are, after realizing that not everybody was familiar with them.  Now I’d like to talk about Kickstarter and crowdfunding for the same reason.  We’ve been so focused on getting ready for our Kickstarter campaign that we’ve neglected to realize that a lot of people haven’t been to Kickstarter and don’t know what it is or how to use it.

If you haven’t already, check it out really fast before you read further — www.kickstarter.com

When you get there you’ll see a featured project in the middle, categories and types of projects on the right, and more recent projects further down.  “Projects” are the things that people are Kickstarting, or trying to raise money for.  Kickstarter exists so that startups and even established businesses can raise funding from anybody who’s interested in their products and projects.  This is called “crowdfunding” – it’s open to anyone who wants to be involved.

Some of the projects seeking funding on Kickstarter’s homepage at the moment are the Duo Coffee Steeper, Outerlands – a documentary about video game culture, and a movie theater in Wisconsin raising money to convert to a digital projection system.

So for an example of how it all works, click on the Outerlands: Season One documentary:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/area5/outerlands-season-one?ref=home_location

They want to raise $210,000, and as of this writing they’ve raised approximately $97,000.

There are two twists with Kickstarter that make it different from normal money-raising and investing channels.  Check out the right-hand side of the Outerlands page, and you’ll see a rewards area, which starts with “Pledge $10 or more.”  If you give them $10, you’ll receive in return the rewards listed underneath.  If you pledge $25, you’ll get the stuff in that box.  And so on, with the dollar amount going up for larger rewards.  So instead of just handing over money and hoping the product succeeds, you get something in return.

The other twist is that if a project doesn’t meet its funding goal, it doesn’t get any money.  So in this case, if Outerlands doesn’t get $210,000 in pledges, they don’t get a dime.  $209,999?  Nada.  This protects the pledger and helps ensure that the project is on the up-and-up.

Kickstarter is owned by Amazon, which gives it street cred.  And there’ve been some fantastic stories about how struggling businesses Kickstarted their project, got way more money than they asked for, and got a whole new lease on (business) life.  One of my favorites is the Kerfluffles marshmallow lady:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1649827049/kerfluffles-marshmallows-all-natural-handmade-yumm?ref=search

She asked for $2,023, and her backers gave her $104,667!  S’mores for decades.

So for Mighty Yeti and our interactive storybook apps, the idea is that a crowd (you!) will fund our project by pledging money and getting cool rewards in return, and also feel good that you’re helping to kickstart us into existence and make our awesome projects a reality.  We hope you’ll participate when our Kickstarter campaign goes live next week!

 

Mighty Yeti Stuffed Felt Toy

Mighty Yeti stuffed felt toy

We’re gearing up to do a Kickstarter at the end of January for our interactive storybook apps, and around here we’ve been talking a lot about what to reward people with at certain price levels.  A lot of our ideas are the same as other artists offer:  books, posters, t-shirts.  And our books, posters and t-shirts are really cool!  But we wanted to do something fun that pretty much nobody else would have.  So I bring you:

stuff-Mighty-Yeti-felt-toy-02-mid

stuff-Mighty-Yeti-felt-toy-01-midThe Mighty Yeti stuffed felt toy

We think he’s pretty cute, and he’s charmingly handmade, and we think both adults and kids alike will really dig him.  Look for him in the rewards section of our Kickstarter when it’s live!  We’ll be telling you much more about it soon.

Things we like.

We’re big fans of Goldieblox around here.  But then again it would be hard to find parents of a four year old girl who know about it and aren’t.  We were early Kickstarter supporters of the Goldieblox folks and the playset, and have been happily watching their success over the past year.  And thanks to Santa, it’s finally in the hands of the Mighty Yeti children.  Let the engineering commence!

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