Who doesn't love dragons and foxes with a bit of flare? These are no ordinary plush or packs! These are shoulder packs. I have been told before that a plush has no purpose except to collect dust. "You can't use them for anything", I've heard that far too often. Well not my plush! I believe that plush should not only be adorable but should have a function.
The idea of my plush shoulder pack came from a dragon I designed six years ago, the Cape Dragon. This has been my most popular selling dragon at conventions. My customers love the way that the dragon forms around you making a cape and having its head look over your shoulders.
My customers for years have asked me to make backpacks. I decided to begin making backpacks this year. The designs for the packs would come from my two best-selling t-shirt artworks, a Japanese Inari Fox, and a Dragon. When I thought about making them into backpacks I felt like I was just making something ordinary, something to carry my items but something I would never really see. Its something that had been done before. That's when my cape dragon came into play. Why not have this dragon and fox sit on my shoulder too? I sketched out my idea. With each, I would have the head look over your shoulder with their paws on your back. My design included front, back and side images, these sketches were my prototype.
Inari Fox Pack: Kitsune spirit in Japanese mythology
You might be wondering why this fox is not colored orange, white and black as many plush foxes are. My reasoning for this is simple, I want to bring the Japanese legends of Inari Foxes back to life. I was inspired to make this backpack when visiting the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kamakura, Japan. When people ask about this plush it is not merely a plush, there is heart here and a story behind them. This is it in short: Fox spirits are common figures in Japanese mythology and folklore. The Inari Fox or Inari Ookami comes from the deity called Inari. He was believed to take the form of a fox and his spiritual messengers were foxes. The traditional coloring of these foxes are white with red markings. These foxes were believed to have up to nine tails, the number depending on wisdom, age and power. Our fox is young so he has been given 3 tails. Its my hope that our foxes and their owners can grow together in wisdom, age and power.
Advantages to our Shoulder Pack
I have worn a generic plush backpack before and while walking around with it, I did not like how the zipper was on the front. Anyone could walk up, undo the zipper and take my wallet without me ever knowing. So we came up with a better idea. Our Dragon and Fox shoulder packs have the zipper on the belly that will be on your shoulder. The pocket is bigger then it looks and can fit everything you need to get thru your day such as phone, keys, wallet, pens, etc. To make sure that our shoulder packs are easy to wear and can be worn all day long we provide an adjustable comfort strap that makes them extremely comfortable to wear. We also ship anywhere in the world!!
After receiving my plush samples I have been wearing them around for the past few weeks to see what the response would be from the general population outside conventions. The response I've received has been overwhelming. No matter where you go with the packs everyone notices them. The compliments have been endless with the pet dragon or fox on my shoulder. Young to old I have yet to hear anyone not enjoying seeing this shoulder pack but I have heard many asking "where did she get that?"
With the design in place now I face my biggest problem. The deterioration of the joints in my wrists. After eight years of sewing, I can no longer make the amounts of plush my customers were demanding, let alone throwing the production of backpacks into the mix! After my first procedure to help repair my joints, my husband began to investigate the idea of finding a manufacturer. For years I had rejected the idea but now I was left with no choice if I wanted to keep my dragons alive. Through a friend he was able to connect directly with a high quality manufacturer. My husbands has a business background and is able to communicate directly with the manufacture thus cutting out any markups from a middle man. This keeps our costs down so our prices can be lower. I understand the economy is tight right now and I want family's with kids, teenagers with first time jobs and anyone who wants a shoulder pack to be able to afford one.
We chose our manufacturer carefully. After our initial contact with them we did a great deal of research to ensure quality and safety. They have passed several third party quality tests regarding both their methods for making the plush, work environment, and safety of the plush after production. We have been in constant communication with them since our initial contact and they respond to any questions in less than 12 hours. The manufacturer we were connected with is not a large scale producer, or a giant corporation, because of this they truly value our business. The quality of the plush samples we have received from them are incredible. They were able to take my designs and produce the plush designs from the samples I sent to them.
I plan to utilize all the tools around me to make this project a reality but I still need your help. This includes but is not limited to my husbands business and financial experience, my husbands friend's experience dealing with overseas trade and customs, and my knowledge of what sells and why.
Backer Rewards (ships anywhere in world!)
Backers Reward Details
New ADD-ONS (Add-on are only available to people who have donated more then $25 dollars)
1) Press the 'Manage Your Pledge' Button above. If you have not pledged yet, it will say 'Back this Project'.
2) Increase your pledge in the 'Pledge Amount' Box by the total of the add-ons you want to add
3) After the end of the kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey that will ask you questions so that you can explain how you would like the add-on money assigned. Please let us know the size of t-shirt you would like as well.
No Additional Shipping for add-on items
Add-on are only available to people who have donated more then $25 dollars.
Stretch Goal #1: $18500 (REACHED)
Where The Funding is Going?
I am raising funds to be able to purchase my first round of shoulder packs, the Dragon and Fox are a package deal from the manufacturer. In order to keep costs down, the order has to be a significant size. My first order will consist of the minimum amount of over 1000+ packs. We have to order for them in large order to be able to produce the plush in a cost effective way for their company and for them to be affordable for my customers. We will be selling these at events across the country, online retailers, and through distributors to major retailers.
If this kickstarter is successful the dragon order will be placed and the delivery of the first run of dragon and fox packs will be in September. With this delivery we will be able to start sales at events across the country in September in Colorado, Utah, Georgia, and Texas.
Our stretch goals will include expedited shipping from manufacture, color options, and several new shoulder pack designs that we are working now and will reveal shortly.
THANK YOU FOR ALL HELP
Risks and challenges
After my project is successfully funded I expect there will be additional challenges. Together with my husband and our network of experience we will overcome any obstacle. We are well prepared to take on the challenging task of dealing with importing from over seas and getting thru customs. Through mutual friends we were able to find a company with years of experience with importing goods to America. With their help as our shipper we know that we have the best team in place that can handle the challenge of foreign trade. Our shipper actually picks up the product directly from the manufacturer and sends it directly to us here in Denver, the product is never out of their sight. Regarding the process of fulfillment I have for many years shipped my dragons without issue or incident. I will ship the packs on time when they arrive to me and ensure each order is sent and received by my backers. I believe in assessing risks and challenges before they arise that way we are prepared to tackle issues immediately if they should arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)