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A 30 day knitting frenzy in Berlin -- A small business incubator
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37 backers pledged $2,210 to help bring this project to life.

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September Collection -- American Made in Berlin project video thumbnail
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Hey, check it out! My very own Kickstarter campaign. For three weeks I been preparing non-stop for this project I'm calling September Collection. Since I talked with you last, things in Berlin have gone better than expected: I took a knitting machine course at Electronic + Textile Institute of Berlin which is an atelier dedicated to knitting and I've gotta tell you, I've taken my knitting to the next level. Three weeks ago I was offered space in the studio and on September 1st I will officially be Artist-in-Residence at ETIB. My last 30 days in Berlin I will be spent in the woolen midsts of knitting machines, sewing machines, dyes, textile printing, and craft artists with loads of craft and small business experience. 

What´s going on in there?
What´s going on in there?

September Collection is a month-long project dedicated to creating and investigating blankets and scarves as craft forms. Their ability to be manipulated is endless, which means plenty to discover and no two pieces of the collection will be the same. Each piece will embody grace, ease, integrity, pure line, and utilize subtlety in pattern and dye to highlight the natural beauty of form and fiber. This collection will be timeless and aims to provide visual-physical calm and comfort and a respite from excessive stimuli.

This weekend we will order all of my supplies (yarns, dyes, thread, needles, etc), and once those boxes arrive, I will be knitting like a mad man. September Collection -- Made in Berlin is my incubator, the beginning of the lifestyle brand I’ve been dying to create. By November it will be an Etsy storefront. It’s really happening!

Journaling the process
Journaling the process

I was thinking back to all the projects we've made together and how they are the foundation of September Collection and this Kickstarter campaign: April's candlelit salon with the 12 of us crammed into Kelsey's tiny apartment, discussing and dissecting art until 1:30 in the morning. Half of my joy came from planning the evening and mailing those handmade invitations. There was last June when we dressed in our Sunday's finest vintage to become the Lovely Day Brigade. The sound of new brass bells singing "ding" as we bicycled through the countryside in knickerbockers and picnicked in an old pasture. I had been dreaming of doing that for 2 years. I'm thinking about that first batch of cider we pressed, fermented, bottled, and labeled “Calvin the Gleaner”. You took the first sip and said "perfect," and I remembered how perfect life tasted when I discovered trees heavy with unclaimed fruit by the old tracks. I'm thinking about the curtains we made for your van before our urban camping adventure out East. The guy in the market sold us 9 meters for $20 just to be rid of it, but it was exactly what we were looking for. All day you ironed and I sewed and when we hung them, we joked they would last longer than your van – and they will.

The events and parties we’ve imagined and created, the themed dinners we’ve cooked, all of those handcrafted shops that inspired us during our road-trips across America and Europe, dreaming of having our own shops back home, all of the dedication to meticulously crafting moments, food, and objects have made way for this opportunity I’m creating in Berlin.  

Okay, back to work. I just wanted you to know what I’ve been up to. I also want you to know that I could not have done any of this without you. Simply put, your enthusiasm and willingness to dream with me are the fuel for my creative process – I love to share all that I discover and make with you.

OH and guess what! At the end of September when I’ve finished knitting, Christine Hoberg, my friend since middle school is visiting and will play music at my Berlin Trunk Show. Did you hear she raised $3,900 on her Kickstarter Campaign last week? Two kids from Wisconsin making art and collaborating in Europe together, who would have guessed?

Sending warm wishes from a sunny Berlin. See you in October.

With Love,

Calvin 

Art is everywhere here.
Art is everywhere here.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge facing September Collection is creating a large branded collection for the trunk show before I leave Berlin on October 1st. Although I am knitting by machine, it still requires keen hand skills, patience, and attention to small details--the machines do not knit for you!

That said, working intuitively and with slight-of-hand, troubleshooting, and learning from mistakes is where I excel as an artist and craftsman. Most importantly I have 24 hour access to the ETIB studio spaces and can work early in the morning and late into the night (my most productive hours). I believe in the quotation, "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not enough time."the pressure of time is what gives the process and pieces their vitality.

Things that I most likely will not accomplish in Berlin will be the Etsy website and the last branding touches (packaging, print materials, etc.). However, these are perfect tasks following the momentum created in Germany and will be easier do in Minneapolis where I have a strong network of professional contacts and can conduct business in my native language.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Receive a thank you email, and stay in the loop. Find out when September Collection's online store launches.

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    --A thank you postcard sent from Berlin
    --An email and photo of the Berlin trunk show where your name will be given an honorable mention.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    --Receive a personal video of me saying "Woohoo! Thanks for your support!" from one of my favorite sights in Berlin.
    --Print set of 10 handmade postcards featuring original September Collection designs

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    --Invitation to the Berlin and Minneapolis Trunk Show Parties (Music by hometown friend Christine Hoberg in Berlin!)
    --10 handmade postcards
    --a knitted envelope! These envelopes are large knit samples of the collection and are perfect for storing your postcards and stamps and are exclusive for $50 donors

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    Pledge US$ 80 or more About US$ 80

    --September Collection tote bag
    --Postcard set and knitted envelope
    --Invitation for you and a guest to Trunk Shows in Berlin and Minneapolis featuring a live performance by Christine Hoberg

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 120 or more About US$ 120

    --September Collection Knit Wool Scarf
    --Invitation for you and a guest to the Berlin and Minneapolis September Collection Trunk Show Parties
    --Postcard Set
    --September Collection tote bag

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    Pledge US$ 240 or more About US$ 240

    ---Luxurious September Collection Knit Wool Blanket
    --Invite to Berlin and Minneapolis parties
    --Tote Bag
    --Postcard Collection
    ---Name a piece from the collection

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    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    --Wool knit blanket
    --Wool knit scarf
    --Tote Bag
    --Postcard set
    --Invitation to Trunk Shows
    --Email and letter updates from all steps of process
    --Name two pieces from the collection
    --A video of me celebrating, dancing, and singing in front of a must-see sight in Berlin for you.

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Funding period

- (10 days)