I am pleased to announce that all of the tote bags and rubber stamp sets were shipped on Friday! If you ordered both you will find your stamps and acrylic block tucked inside your tote! Please allow 3-5 business days if you're in the US and 5-10 business days if you're outside of the US. Please message us through Kickstarter with any problems with your rewards.
TOTES: We had the bags custom made by EnviroTote. They're 100% cotton and made in the USA! They were printed locally by Hyder Graphics. Please note the laundering instructions (on the label) -- wash cold/line dry only. I mistakenly washed one of the previous bags we used (American Apparel) and it shrunk a couple inches in both directions -- you have been warned!
RUBBER STAMPS: The rubber stamp sets were locally made by Blue Diamond Stamps. In the back of each pack you'll find an insert and on the back of that is information about using, cleaning and storing your stamps.
GIFT WRAP: I've had the darnedest time sourcing a suitable paper and printer for our gift wrap. To make a long story short, we cannot silk screen the heavy three-color design on light weight paper without it warping, I couldn't find a colored paper in a light enough weight to do a two-color silkscreen, and cannot afford to go offset as I would have to do massive quantities. I found a printer in the UK who does small batch gift wrap but it was cost prohibitive to have it shipped over. Last week I was beginning to think it was a lost cause when I found a promising lead. I'm waiting for a quote and with any luck we'll have it in production in the next week or two. Phew!
This was our biggest and most ambitious project yet and it's taken a lot of time and energy, and that's in addition to the daily operations of running a store and a press. We appreciate your patience while we make sure that everything we turn out is up to snuff. We will now turn our attention to backers who did not submit their addresses in time for our initial shipments. We'll deal with this as swiftly as possible, but because it means a lot of extra work for us we will expect and appreciate extra patience from these backers.
Thanks as always for your support! Keep reading for my tips on being a better Kickstarter backer and project creator!
A few suggestions for Kickstarter backers:
- Don't use a junk email address for Kickstarter if you expect to receive rewards. Project creators need to communicate with you. Of course if you've already done this you are probably not reading this update (sigh).
- Respond to backer request surveys promptly for EVERY project you back. It doesn't matter if you've filled out your address previously, even for the same project creator, it will not show up in the final backer report and your rewards will be delayed.
- Read project and reward descriptions carefully before you pledge and contact project creators with questions before the project ends.
- Read project updates sent out by projects you are backing. They often contain important information. It's much more efficient to send a project update out to all backers rather than field questions one by one.
- Don't leave your questions in the comments section of project updates. Send a message to the project creator. Don't contact them outside of Kickstarter (via email, Facebook, etc.) unless directed otherwise. For instance, I direct backers to communicate through Kickstarter as I am not the only person managing the project and following up on messages, so they need to be in one place that's accessible to everyone involved.
Lessons I've learned over the course of our five Kickstarter projects for those of you who might launch your own projects:
- Don't offer subscriptions unless you've got a way to track them outside of Kickstarter. They're too easy to loose track of, lots of people will move in the time it takes you to fulfill them, printing and shipping costs change, and it might complicate your rewards offerings for future issues.
- Put time and energy into making a good video. There is a direct correlation between the quality of our videos and the ease with which we reached our goal.
- Don't forget to include the cost of packaging and shipping and project fees (10%) in your reward tiers and your total goal! It adds up fast!
- Give yourself ample time to fulfill the rewards. You don't have to be ready to ship the day your project ends and there are often unforeseen circumstances that will delay your project.
- Don't offer customizable rewards. Don't feel like you have to accommodate every single person's wishes. Reward tiers that build on each other and include everything from the previous tier seem to work well (this is where subscriptions become a pain because you don't want to force your subscribers to purchase another copy but want them to back your project).
- Perhaps most importantly and my hardest won lesson of all -- do your research before offering a reward, even if it's something very similar to projects you've done before. My gift wrap fiasco is a perfect example of this. After doing multiple print projects (several magazines, and several offset, silk screen and letterpress print projects) I had absolutely no idea how hard it would be to produce the gift wrap we offered.
- Finally, check out the Kickstarter School, Help Center, FAQ and Guidelines. Read through it all twice. Take a gander at the most successful projects in your category. Moderate your ambitions but don't sell yourself short -- make sure you're raising enough funds to pull off your project. Now hustle!