Dearest Kickstarter Supporters,
I hope you and your loved ones are happy and healthy. Thanks to your caring, patience and support, I am doing so much better, and the project is coming along beautifully. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful letters. You all mean so much to me!
I haven't made an update in some time. I'm sure you all all busy with holiday preparations. I just wanted to make a "quick" update regarding rewards.
I have completed the "Thank You" post cards ($10+ contribution), which have been printed and are currently in transit to me. I hope they turn out well. :)
I have completed the set of 4 postcards featuring Electra Designs corsets ($25+ contribution), which have been printed and are here. They turned out really nice! I hope you like them. :)
I have completed the marionette design ($50+ contribution), which has yet to be printed. I also need to order brads, ribbon and popcicle sticks to go with the marionette. I plan to have them printed very soon.
I am in the process of coloring the design for the fragrant herbal sachet ($75+ contribution). It is based on the Marie Antoinette marionette design. After I finish coloring it, I have to send it to be printed on fabric, after which I will construct the sachets. I will likely use the same design (or elements of it) for the corset-printed lingerie bag ($250+ contribution), but I have to prioritize a few other tasks before I make the lingerie bags.
I have not yet started designing the paper dolls ($100+ contribution). In an earlier update, I asked supporters if it would be ok if I focus on the project (instructional materials) before designing the paper dolls. The feedback I received was in support of doing the project first before making the paper dolls. Many supporters also said they would be fine if I switched the paper dolls for another, comparable reward. I have to give this reward more thought, but first I want to send out some of the lower-tier rewards. I would really love to make paper dolls, and I think it would be really cool to make them black and white so you can color them yourself, like the marionette.
My attention has been focused primarily on my health/recovery, the instructional materials, and completion of the first few tiers of rewards. In order to save money on shipping, and natural resources for mailers and shipping fuel, I would like to ship as many rewards as possible in the same package, however, I as I have already completed some of the rewards, and you have all been so patient, I intend to ship rewards to supporters in the $10- $75 pledge brackets first.
My intention is to first ship "Thank You" cards, post card sets, marionettes, and drawer sachets. After I ship those first tiers of rewards, I will continue to work on the first corset making course, which I would like to complete before resuming work on gifts.
After the first course is complete and made available to the public, I plan to finish up the remaining gifts for contributions $100+, so I can ship all of the rewards in those tiers together. I'm sorry that this means higher tier backers will have longer to wait for their rewards, but I am only allowed to request backer info (addresses and gift preferences) from each pledge tier once. It makes sense to wait until I have completed all of the gifts to be shipped to each supporter in that bracket, in case someone moves. It also saves money on shipping, money that I would much rather invest in the project. Based on the feedback I have received, most project backers who invested $100 or more are more interested in the completion of the project, than the rewards themselves, and are willing to wait for all of their rewards to be shipped together at a later date, after the first corset making course is complete. I appreciate your generous contributions and patience. ))extra corset hugs for $100+ backers((
I have sent out surveys to project supporters who contributed $10-$75+ (under $100). Please respond to the survey (check your spam folder if you are in that bracket and did not receive a survey). I am only allowed to send out one survey per contribution tier, so it's important that supporters respond, especially if you have moved and wish to update your shipping address, or, if you wish to forfeit your reward. If you have moved, and fail to update your address, your gifts may be lost in the mail. I am unable to replace rewards that are shipped to addresses that are no longer valid, so please double check to make sure your correct address is on file.
I do not have an estimated date of completion for the first corset making course. My intention was to make it available in time for Christmas, but that was foolish. The holiday season is very stressful, and a terrible time for deadlines. I made the same mistake last year, and I am finally beginning to learn my lesson. Based on the current state of the project, my health, and other considerations, my new "rolling deadline" for the first product is spring on 2015.
The first course is THE BIG ONE on corset construction. Creating it is comparable to writing and illustrating a book, making a movie (directing, acting, editing, etc.), and building a web site, all in one, and it includes patterns. The first lesson (plus rewards) will complete my obligation for this project, however, my intention is to make a career of teaching corsetry (still making custom corsets on the side), so the construction course will hopefully be the first of many corset making lessons to come (not officially as part of this project, but an extension of it). I plan to offer corset making kits as well, but that will have to wait until I have enough money to invest in wholesale corset making supplies. I plan to invest proceeds from the sale of the first lesson in corset making supplies for kits, and, if all goes well, future corset making courses.
I mustn't get ahead of myself! Please be sure to respond to the survey I sent if you are a supporter who contributed up to the $75 (less than $100) bracket. I will finish up the rewards for these supporters and ship them together soon. Meanwhile, I will continue to work on the first corset construction course.
I have tried really hard to avoid accepting corset orders since the inception of this project because I want to focus all of my energy and resources on the project and rewarding my supporters. Thankfully my disability benefits have been reinstated (they had previously been revoked as a result of the kickstarter project). These modest benefits have made it possible for me to keep my head above water financially while I work on this project and my recovery. However, I have accrued over $10,000 for debt incurred when my social security benefits were denied, medical treatment, therapy, and vet bills (my dogs are old and sick), so I will likely have to take on some corset orders to supplement my benefits so I can manage my debt while I work on the kickstarter project. Financial struggles lead to stress, and stress could lead to symptoms that may cause remission and further limit my productivity.
I would MUCH RATHER just finish the first lesson, sell copies, pay off my debt, and get on with the rest of the rewards, but, realistically, I'm going to need some money to get through the winter. I'm hoping to sell Playboy Bunny uniform corsets and accessories for Valentines Day, which will be available in my etsy shop as soon as I get some professional photos of the corset sample. I will probably accept a few custom corset orders as well. If you are interested in ordering a corset, please be sure to follow my Electra Designs Corsetry fan page on Facebook, because that is where I will anounce it when I have openings. Once the announcement is made, I usually get booked within hours, so please email me if you are interested. I would like to give my project supporters priority ordering.
I am about to go cook for Thanksgiving (I just realized I haven't even eaten breakfast yet and it's nearly 2:30 pm! So much for a "quick update"!). If you live in the US, I wish you a happy, healthy day filled with love, compassion and warmth. For those of you who live in other countries, or who don't celebrate this holiday, I wish you the same. Thank you all so much for your support, not just for the project, but for me, as a person, with all my struggles and shortcomings. You make me stronger, and I appreciate you so much.
Ps. Please forgive the lack of pictures. I will do another update with photos soon.