Yikes! It’s been nearly a month since our fund raising campaign has ended — time is going by much too quickly! Finally a long overdue update on our results and what we’ve been up to.
Results of our campaign!
At the end of our 45 day campaign on StartSomeGood.com; we raised a total of $5,660 from 95 contributors!! I can’t say enough how humbled I am by the entire experience. As I’ve said before, I had no idea what to expect when launching this campaign and I am pleased to say that the outcome was a great success not only because we were able to raise some seed funds but because we we able to get some people thinking — a bit differently. At least this is my hope. All in all, the campaign exceeded my expectations and the biggest lesson I learned is simply to keep sharing and giving (genuinely, without any expectations) — you’ll be surprised how much you will receive in return.
Soon, I will be participating in an interview with StartSomeGood.com about the details of our campaign, stay tuned!
In the mean time, I’ve put together a little slideshow with all the photos I could find of the people who donated — (without names). I wanted to make this to show the diversity among our contributors. Our campaign reached various regions throughout the world — we had contributions from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. It’s been a pleasure to receive support from such a diverse range of people; many of whom I met during very different stages of my life (school, work, social gatherings and travels). I even had a donation from a friend I used to copy homework from throughout elementary school, which I found so ironic! haha (you know who you are 😛). Also from friends’ parents and families, people I haven’t seen or spoken to in years, a sweet gal whose blog I used to stalk for travel inspiration has somehow found my blog and even made a donation —
times like these throughout the campaign made it so worthwhile.
I made an effort to not mass market my campaign and push it upon anyone; rather, I had many nice conversations with people not just about my campaign but life in general and that was by far the most rewarding part of this experience. It’s unfortunate that many of us have hundreds or even thousands of friends on our various social media networks but just a handful are people we really “know.” For me, this campaign gave me a reason to reach out to many people on a more human level; allowing me to share something I’m passionate about and getting to “know” some of my friends and family as well! 🙂 Thank you all for the love & support.
Many have asked if they can still donate or support since we did not reach our total goal of $8,100 — YES!!
we are still raising funds and your help will allow us not only to get our business going but for us to focus our time and efforts solely to our start-up. Click the photo for more details on how you can help! We still have rewards to give away as well!
I have yet to make any purchases towards our business as I am very cautious about spending the funds!
For the most part, the tasks which I think I can learn — I do it. It’s a lot more time consuming and often frustrating but I know it’s important for me to learn and understand all aspects of starting a business. In the past four weeks since our campaign has ended, the next step was to get our shop up and running. So, I’ve been working on our e-commerce site, learning about eco-packaging, designing our own packaging and promotional materials (tags, business cards), teaching myself (via online tutorials) illustrator and photo shop so that I can learn how to design our own promo material, website, look book and line sheet for buyers, working with my suppliers on our orders, planning another trip to visit the artisan villages AND to top it off…….my tourist Visa is going to expire in December which means I’ve been “planning” my trip home to the states.
Needless to say — I’ve had quite a bit of work to do and very thankful for all your support which is allowing me to do all of this.
Here is a glimpse into some of the things I’ve been up to (the prettier side of things) 😉
Learning about sustainable packaging.
Pretending that I know how to design….because I’d rather not pay for a designer; it’s the Chinese in me. Read more about the status and ideas of our packaging here.
Learning how to create a line sheet using illustrator. I now have even MORE respect and appreciation for those who has helped us in creating our fliers and minor photo edits until now. However, I do love the fact that I can now say I (kinda) know how to use illustrator 😛
What is this for? I hope to have retailers carrying our goodies; so I’ve thrown this together for buyers. We’re already getting inquiries and I can’t wait to send this baby out 😉
As promised — I try to squeeze in a little time each day to write our thank you letters and figuring out the best way to distribute our rewards. We’re very excited to send our gifts out!
Looking through pretty fabric swatches for some Oimei Co. accessories to be made. All naturally dyed — Aren’t the colors beautiful!
Attended a handicraft fair here in Bangkok. The fair had various booths representing different artisans and their crafts throughout Thailand. Always a great place for some inspiration 🙂 Below is a pillow case made by traditional Batik dying method.
In case you have not heard — much of Thailand is currently facing terrible flooding and is expected to hit Bangkok in the next few days. I’ve spent some time with a few friends raising funds for this….and since this is making things a bit slower for us to have our requests processed; I’m headed to Hanoi then on a train to Ha Giang, Vietnam where I’ve discovered there is a weaving co-operative that employs women who have been victims of human trafficking. I’ve always wanted to work with people of my own heritage and am very excited to share what I learn during this trip!
To wrap up this post — I’d like to say again that as things progress — it keeps getting scarier than ever and I’m really beginning to see that entrepreneurship is like swimming upstream. Not only am I faced with the obstacles of starting a small business for the first time with limited funds and knowledge. But I am constantly bombarded with questions about what’s to come next (and sometimes I just want to shout “I DON’T KNOW but I’M TRYING!!”) — especially from my mother who thinks her baby daughter has gone completely bonkers. All this, combined with the various life’s decisions we’re all faced with is……..freakishly overwhelming!
Most people don’t “believe” until they see money — to put it blatantly. And, this is what I find frustrating but it’s also what motivates me. I know that the concept of building a socially conscience business is still quite new but this is what drives me. I’ve never had this much determination in anything else — I’m often up until the crack of dawn everyday and will continue to work or think about work until late night because I think about the bigger picture. I firmly believe that true success and fulfillment can not be achieved by pursuing money alone.
What keeps me going is reminding myself to take things one at a time. And that no decision is really permanent because at any moment I am able to change or alter my direction and my thinking.
Most importantly, the people who inspired this from the very beginning — the people living in the rural poor. They remind me how fortunate I am to have access to so many resources and the choice to do something I am passionate about even if it means a few failures. They remind me how lucky I am to not just “want” to help others but that I have the capability to do so…even if it means starting small. And of course, the wonderful people who have supported my little initiative! You all give me a HUGE reason to keep making progress! This is what helps me re-focus when the road ahead gets blurry.
Before I get back to work, here is a quote from the late Steve Jobs that resonates with me very much at this moment. Enjoy! and…Happy Monday 🙂
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” -Steve Jobs