Friday, July 20, 2012

Erin Murphy Knits Diary of a Kickstarter Campaign: The Launch

At an event recently, I was talking to an executive about my new company, Erin Murphy Knits, and some of the things that I'd like to accomplish this year. She told me it sounded like a perfect fit for Kickstarter. So my journey into the fascinating world of "crowdfunding" began. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. People set a specific fundraising goal for a project and offer rewards to their supporters. My project, Erin Murphy Knits Alpaca Project, has several goals: to increase awareness of alpacas and the benefits of their amazing fiber, to support the local economy, and to develop and expand the Erin Murphy Knits brand by creating a winter/ holiday 2012-2013 collection. One of the main goals of my Kickstarter campaign, is to raise enough to get a portable alpaca corral, so I can bring the alpacas to special ed, school, hospital and boutique visits. It may seem silly to launch a project that features knit wear in the middle of summer. I was thinking ahead to the fullfillment dates of all the rewards. I wanted to make sure that everyone would get their finished products in time for winter and the holiday season. Wouldn't a handknit alpaca hat or scarf make a great holiday gift? I tried to come up with fun rewards that would appeal to everyone from the casual Bewitched fan, to those interested in owning luxury fiber products. Our family first got involved with alpacas as a form of pet therapy for our little boy with autism. As parents of a child with special needs, we were also thinking of a long term career option for our son, since animals are his greatest love. Alpacas are truly magical creatures. They are extremely eco-friendly and easy on the environment. They're clean and quiet animals, with padded feet. Alpacas are consdered exotic animals or livestock and are primarily used for their fiber. Once a year, the alpacas are sheared. Then we process the fleece and I handknit items with the yarn. Alpaca yarn is soft like cashmere, lighter weight but warmer than wool. Alpaca fiber is hollow and naturally water-resistant and fire-resistant. There's also no lanolin in alpaca, so people who are allergic to wool, or don't like the itchiness of wool, love alpaca knits! One of the great things about the concept of crowd funding is that you have the ability to reach outside of your small circle of friends. In order to do that, I need your help to spread the word! Tell your friends about the Erin Murphy Knits Alpaca Project on Kickstarter. Share the link below. While you're on the Kickstarter website, look around at some of the other projects. There are some really cool ones!

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