What do you call a polite Dinosaur?
Yes, Pleasie was inspired by a dumb grade school joke, and my daughter's love of the Loch Ness monster. When she was little, she would read and talk about plesiosaurs. Once she even dragged me to a 1:00 AM panel at Dragoncon because it was about cryptos. Over the years, I would look for plush toys of her favorite prehistoric creature, but everything I would find was not well-made or was cast hard plastic. Nothing on the market reflected what I would want for my child. My daughter is now grown, but she still loves these long necked aquatic creatures, and this love grew in me.
13 years ago, Kickstarter did not exist, and the idea of hiring a factory to create my designs was beyond what I could do as a young newly divorced mother. Now, after 2 years of going back and forth on the pros and cons of large scale production, I have decided to jump right in and get my flippers wet starting with a creature that is so special to me because of my daughter.
Updated: Because of the flu, I never filmed myself with Pleasie to talk about her. She is 8.5 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 9 inches from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail. Pleasie also is weighted with belly beads so she does not flop about. She is made of super soft minky and her face is embroidered.
My background as a doll maker
I have been sewing dolls, dragons, and teddy bears for about twenty years professionally as well as sculpting dolls for the last 2 years. In 2009, I won an award for best textile/fiber in the Dragon Con Art Show and more recently, I won second place in the fantasy division of the 2017 ROSE International Doll Show. Bringing these things to life from my imagination is my passion, and I take great pleasure in what I do.
Why use a factory when you can obviously sew Pleasie yourself?
The main reasons: time, cost, and production levels.
- Time- I could never produce this many plushes on my own in a timely manner. A single plush can take me up to a week to sew. An artisan doll can take me up to a month to make, longer if I am sculpting and casting myself.
- Cost- If I was to sew this design myself, it would triple the price passed onto the buyer. This estimate is based on buying fabric and supplies at retail plus having to pay myself for the week it takes me to complete each item. I would also have to invest in an industrial embroidery machine, which typically cost 5K, to get the speed and quality needed to make Pleasie.
- Production Levels- Normally when I make a new plush or artisan doll, the number is limited on how many are made before I retire a pattern. This can range from 1 to maybe 25 depending on my mood, access to certain fabrics, and popularity of the design. By using a factory to produce Pleasie, more people can have access to what would otherwise be a very limited run.
The only true negative of going this route? That even when using the best manufacturing company, there is a chance that 10% of the plushes sent to me will have flaws and imperfections. This means I have to make a larger order to insure that everyone gets an adorable well-made Pleasie.
But don't worry, even this negative Pleasie can turn into a positive. All the slightly flawed Pleasies will still find homes. I plan to donate them to various charities depending on their want/needs for new plushes: Toys for Tots, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Shriner's Children Hospital, and a reputable Houston area child/family charity group that is LGBTQ friendly.
Break down of how funds will be used.
Via Kickstarters FAQ:
To change your pledge amount, visit the project page and click the “Manage your pledge" button that appears next to your pledge amount and then select "Change your pledge" on the following page.
From here, you’ll be able to adjust your pledge amount or choose a new reward tier you'd like to pledge for and your pledge amount will update automatically. If you don't want to receive a reward, select "Make a pledge without a reward" and enter your new pledge amount. Alternatively, you may change your pledge amount within the reward tier modal.
Note that you are not adding to your existing pledge; the amount you enter will be the total amount collected if the project is successfully funded.
Risks and challenges
This is the first Kickstarter I have ever run, so I am planning on there being some growing pains and learning from this. I am working with very trustworthy and reliable companies, and I have been happy with the results I have seen so far. It took me 6 months to get the prototype for Pleasie, so I really feel the worst is behind me on this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)