I am like many people in that I always have to be making or working on something. I can't just sit still for a long period of time without having something to keep my hands busy. I, of course, ended up with a big pile of completed items that were taking up space in my home. Thus began my Etsy store. What began as a hobby has slowly grown to the point of being a business. I started with cross stitch and plastic canvas. I then picked up crochet and discovered my love for filet crochet. I saw a distinct lack of modern pattern designs for this craft, so I started making some of my own, and I love it!
I have now expanded my interests to include chainmail. I taught myself how to make chainmail several years ago. My first project I ever made was a belt, made using the very basic European 4-in-1 weave. Whenever I would tell anyone what I was working on or even showed them, I noticed that many would almost get dismissive about it. It was hard to find someone as excited about chainmail as I was.
After some thought, I came to the conclusion that many people just don't realize the versatility and beauty in such a craft. There are so many possibilities out there!
I have also begun having a table/booth at some local craft fairs, and I want to open up my business enough to be able to attend these shows regularly. Currently, I do have a day job in the tech support field, but, like so many out there, I want to be able to focus on my own business as a full time job and work for myself. This kickstarter to launch the beginnings of my chainmail line is one of the first steps in attaining this goal for myself.
My goal with this kickstarter is to be able to offer up a new line of items in my store for people to be able to see and show off just how much can be accomplished with chainmail. I need a good starting amount to purchase supplies for what I am envisioning. The problem is, there are so many items needed. I need to build up a basic stockpile of the different gauge rings, sizes, colors, material, etc.
Since this is my first kickstarter and I am just getting started with this new line, I wanted to keep the goal small and the rewards simple.
The bracelets below were made with anodized aluminum and EDPM rubber rings (to give it the stretchiness). The rubber rings are latex-free. Since they have that stretch to them, no clasp is needed at all! They stretch over your hand to fit snugly on your wrist. These bracelets are made 8 inches long, but if you need a little shorter or longer, I can accommodate!
The colors available for anodized aluminum are:
- Pink (not pictured)
- Sky Blue
- Royal Blue
- Dark Purple
- Bright Aluminum (silver colored)
(I accidentally forgot to add pink to this picture! You can see it in the center bracelet in the picture below, however.)
Helm (or Parallel)
I want to start with the Helm (or Parallel) Weave. I love this weave. It is a lot of fun to make! This was one of the first weaves that I learned, and it has become one of my staples.
Half Persian 4-in-1
Next comes my personal favorite, the Half Persian 4-in-1 weave.
The Helm Weave used to be my favorite, but once I started making these, I fell in love with them!
They are simple and elegant, yet appear complex.
In addition to the bracelets, I also want to offer ornaments, as well. This is the Star of Bethlehem ornament, made with acrylic spikes, anodized aluminum, and EDPM rubber rings. Below, I have 2 different color schemes, but there are many more possibilities!
To try and keep things on a manageable level, I will offer these two color schemes, but the spike colors are definitely your choice!
Spike colors include:
- Royal Blue
- Sky Blue
Eventually, I want to broaden my chainmail line to offer more bracelets and ornaments, necklaces, earrings, rings, wallet chains, dice bags, keychains, anything at all. There are so many things that can be made, and I can't wait to make them all. This is my first step, and I want you all to be a part of it and of many more to come!
In an effort to prevent and avoid the mid-project stagnation of pledges, I am now increasing the reward options and adding 2 new reward tiers! The first new reward option is simply a variation on the Helm Weave previously available. All current and future backers can choose the Helm Weave, the Helm Variant, or the Half Persian 4-1 as their reward choice. This Helm Variation uses silver colored aluminum ring for all the large rings, but you can make your choice of color for the smaller rings, which are the EDPM rubber. Here is a picture of a couple that have already been made as examples.
Here are the colors available for the rubber rings in these bracelets.
Next, If you take a look at the reward tiers, you will see 2 new ones! If you pledge at either of these levels, or upgrade your pledge to them, you also will have a choice of receiving an Orbit Weave bracelet. These are very versatile, as well. You can choose solid segments, striped, etc. Below are a few different examples.
I love wearing the Orbit Weave bracelets! I love the way they move and feel on my wrists. I couldn't leave them out altogether. With this weave, the stretchiness is from the rubber rings that are connected to each silver ring through the colored rings.
“What’s in it for me?” you may ask. Well, if we make this first stretch goal, I will open up the bracelets at all reward levels to have colored rubber rings as an option, rather than just the black rubber!
The color choices will be the same as the small rings on the Helm Variant:
• And, of course, Black
This will open up much more customization options for your rewards! For example, here are some bracelets made with the white rubber rings:
So promote to your friends, spread the word far and wide about our kickstarter, so we can add more color options to the bracelets!
If we do make the stretch goal, the additional funds will be used to purchase some bookkeeping and inventory software to help streamline my business needs.
(Note: For the Orbit Weave bracelet, the rubber color will not be changeable. The main reason for this is because it isn’t even really seen, so it wouldn’t make much difference overall)
Now that we have exceeded out first stretch goal, I had to come up with another one!
I wanted to come up with something new and awesome, so for our second stretch goal, I am introducing a new weave option!
If we make it to $800, all the pledges for bracelets will have another choice! The new weave is a Bisected Byzantine weave. To add a little extra kick, in addition to the choice of colors for the aluminum and rubber rings, you can also choose if you want to add plastic silver spike beads to the bracelet, as well!
Keep in mind, this bracelet option is only available once we meet the stretch goal. This weave will not be available as an add-on!
Below are examples of this weave, one with and one without spike beads.
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges:
Nobody likes to admit that anything could possibly go wrong, but it must be mentioned! I can only foresee 2 possible issues that could arise.
The first issue is a possible backlog on supplies from my supplier. If such a thing does happen, I do have a couple alternate suppliers I can fall back to, so there should not be any major supply delays.
The second issue I can foresee is timing. Let me explain what I mean by that:
I am hand-making everything by myself, I do not have a staff to help me out. If things take off to a much higher degree than anticipated, there could be some unforeseen delays in shipping the rewards out as quickly as desired. If there are a huge amount of orders to fill, I will let everyone know of my expected timetable to ship out the rewards, and if needed, I can take some vacation time off from the day job to give me more production time. Ultimately I would love to quit the day job completely, and this will be a huge step toward that end.
If absolutely necessary, I can also train up some staff to help out. If this does happen, be assured that I will check every item to ensure they are up to my personal quality standards before they ship out. I am very picky!
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