Kickstarting

Previous Sememsters

Wow.  It seems quite a large number of people have great ideas and just need a little more cash to get them accomplished.  When I first heard of Kickstarter, I believed it to be a place to get indie films and projects accomplished.  This was my first time really touring the site and discovering the different types of ideas, projects, and desires yearning for my cash.

With so much to look at, I decided to narrow down my search to my home city, Tampa, Florida.  I have to admit, it is really cool to see what local artists, musicians, creative types, and just regular folk like me for which are trying to raise funds.  I actually stumbled across someone I know, the lovely Lisa Casalino, a local jazz singer.  I know Lisa from my boutique, and also because she sings at popular local restaurants and events – even singing the National Anthem for some of Tampa’s sports teams.

Lisa is currently trying to raise money to fund her second studio album, and I am quite impressed by how much she has raised already.  I like that she offers incentives at different levels of donations including in-home concerts, tickets to the CD release party, and more.

(Also, shameless plug:  on her Kickstarter site, she has a previous music video for her song “The Good Stuff” – filmed last summer at The Pink Petticoat!  Check it out!).

 I can think of a million things I would LOVE to put on Kickstarter to raise funds for:  a nice dinner, a fun trip,  and other trivial things.  But I would never do that.  Maybe a boutique expansion?  Capital to open a second location?

My business is built more under the philosophy of working hard and reaping the rewards.  I opened my store with my own capital, and every change and expansion has been cash funded through profits from the business.  I think that I would feel guilty for taking other people’s pledged money.  Also, what happens if you don’t raise enough funds for the project?  Do you give the money back?  Do you keep trying to raise more?  I think there is a pretty large gray area with crowd sourced funding that I am far too nervous to venture into.  I think for the time being, I will stick to selling underwear to make money – until the time comes that I really want to take that tour of Europe, fully funded by my friends online.

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10 thoughts on “Kickstarting

  1. Lesley-
    I came across Lisa in the Tampa section as well, who knew our city was so full of creative entrepreneurs! I completely agree with you about the guilt complex I would feel taking strangers money. I wonder if that is commentary on our society as a whole in regards to becoming more entitled, that people feel a certain ‘manifest destiny’ (for lack of a better term) to do something as apposed to the old school work hard and reap the rewards method. There are some people on Kickstarter that have no business being funded because their idea is not that great (I know I sound harsh) and yet people are pledging money to them. I wonder if this will have any consequences in the future.

    1. I agree that a sense of entitlement in the age of reality tv fame and fortune is clearly present on Kickstarter. It almost makes it harder to find the real innovative ideas because they are mixed in with so much nonsense.

  2. Lesley, you definitely raised some good questions that I had not thought of. Now that you brought up these points, I think its something that should be looked into. Im curious to know what happens to the people’s money who pledged and the goal was not met? I can definitely see some great ideas and some weak ones that seem very self accomplishing. Great post and I guarantee that after this program you’ll know exactly what to do with The Pink Petticoat that youll be able to take two weeks off to go to Europe 🙂

  3. Hi Julie!

    First of all, I love that you had someone shoot a music video at your store – that’s kind of epic! I’m right there with you – when I first heard of Kickstarter, I thought it was just something to help people make money for albums and short films. I had no idea, until recently, that there were so many other fantastic ideas and projects living on Kickstarter! I admire your determination to keep your business a fruit of your own labor – and it seems like you have been quite successful at that! Unlike you, I couldn’t even think of one potential idea or project that I could justify a Kickstarter account for!

    1. I think Kickstarter is great for people who have no other options besides crowd sourcing. Luckily, I have not been in that position in business (yet). It’s nice to know that something like that is out there.

  4. I agree with you, Sami, and Wendy in regards to the guilt factor (though I think my personality makes me think of it as shame rather than guilt) and being nervous about what happens when a project is not fully funded, or even worse, what happens when a project is fully funded but the project fails….this is were my guilt would come in.
    I was thinking the same thing about maybe using crowdsourcing if you were considering expansion. I, too, would be really worried about the implications of taking people’s donations. Would it open up an entirely new set of “issues”? For example, say Sally donates $250 because she loves my store. She’s a nice person, a little eccentric and seems to gossip a lot. After she makes this donation, she comes into my store weekly, expecting a discount because she supported me in my project….that is the scenario I would be most worried about in a retail environment.

    1. Your scenario of what could happen after a Kickstarter is definitely a fear I have. A lot of people expect a lot in return for their money and I am not sure I am really ready or interested in dealing with that.

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