WOW! We reached our funding goal so much sooner then I would have even imagined - just 51 hours, and we're still going strong! Thank you all for the huge outpouring of support. It's wonderful to know we are all in this together!
Over the past 5 years, Nightfall yarn has taken off and become a huge seller - more than I ever dreamed when I was first playing around with dyeing techniques and came up with my distinctive speckled-gradient process. My most pressing problem right now is that demand for Nightfall exceeds what I'm able to produce in my current situation. It's a good problem to have, but it's a real problem! I work in my family kitchen, so I lose an estimated 10-15 hours per week with all of the breaking down and setting back up I have to do to let my family eat. 15 hours translates to a lot of yarn! It's also a rather cramped space, so equipment placement isn't always ideal for working on multiple tasks at once. The purpose of this campaign is to move my dyeing into its own dedicated space. I will no longer waste time and energy with setup and breakdown. I'll be able to set all of my equipment up in the most efficient configuration. The bottom line is that I will be able to get more yarn dyed and satisfy more customers. The $15,000 goal I have set will cover the costs of renting a space (a few months rent as a safety net while I get things set up and back up to speed), moving costs, placing a big supply order to stock up, and some equipment upgrades such as energy-efficient induction burners, more pots, and a spin-dryer.
You'll notice limited quantities and varying delivery dates on some perks - yarn, sweater kits, etc. A limited quantity of each of these perks will be available for shipment by December 10th, which means if you're getting them as a holiday gift for a loved one or yourself, they should arrive in plenty of time (international orders may take longer once they are in the postal system, unfortunately). Early Bird perks sold out quickly - to be sure I can deliver them on time I cannot add any more for that timeframe.
I will also be adding some additional perks as we reach certain funding milestones. The first unlocking happened when we reached $5,000, then again at $10,000.
Just 51 hours after the project went live, we raised $15,000 and went from “I sure hope this works” to “We did it!!!” Now we’re approaching $20,000 and we need to shift our mindset again. Here’s a glimpse inside my head: What else can I do to increase Nightfall production? What would that require and how much more do we need to raise to make that happen? Kickstarter calls these “stretch goals”. After careful deliberation and research, here’s what we’re reaching for next.
At $20,000: I will be able to purchase additional equipment such as a twin swift and an additional ball winder to allow myself to do more at one time, or potentially to have an assistant work alongside me. I’ll also be able to make some important updates and upgrades to my computer system, which will help expedite order processing and boost FibroFibers’ presence on social media.
At $25,000: I will be able to upgrade my photo equipment. This means better photos of items on the website, and it will also be useful for patterns I publish in the future (not to mention getting better photos for existing patterns, some of which are in serious need of new photos). I’ll also be able to hire someone part-time to help me until all perks have been fulfilled, which means they’ll get done faster than if I do them alone. We will also add a new perk to all pledges $25 or more - FibroFibers logo stickers!
At $30,000: I will be able to purchase a water filtration system. This will improve the consistency between dye lots - dye chemistry is tricky stuff, and even minute trace elements and contaminants can make a color go very weird! I’ll also be able to install storage in my studio, which will allow me to order larger quantities of yarn and take advantage of my supplier’s bulk discount - this will help me to keep prices stable for longer, even though the global price of wool has trended upward in recent years. I would also be able to explore adding new and different yarn bases to my line. I’ll be able to keep my assistant on for longer, and perhaps even keep them on a permanent basis if things go well!
If there's another perk you'd like to see that hasn't already been listed, tell me about it! The whole point of this campaign is to try to better serve my customers, so let's talk about what you'd like to see and I'll try to make it happen!
Perks - What's in it for you?
In addition to knowing you're helping out an indie dyer and making an in-demand product easier for everyone to get, here are the items I'm offering. They appear in various combinations over in the right column. I'll be adding more photos later; I'm still working to get some prototypes ready and photographed.
Nightfall Yarn: My classic Nightfall Fingering weight Shawl Ball is 4oz/490yds of 100% super wash merino yarn. It starts out black on one end of the skein, then there's a speckled gradient transition to another color at the other end of the skein. For this campaign I'm offering your choice of nine of the most popular colorways, shown below. Halfway to Funding Bonus: I added three more colors for you to choose from!
Nightfall Special Edition Colorway: This very special version of Nightfall is the same base yarn and yardage and the same speckled gradient, but it has one key difference: no black! Fire Maple starts off in rich russet red, then undergoes the signature speckled gradient transition to glowing golden yellow at the other end of the skein.
Project Bags and Totes: These bags are a collaboration between myself and my good friend Brandon. I designed a special limited edition outer fabric using my logo, and Brandon is making that into three beautiful and useful styles of bags to contain your knitting or whatever else you need to carry. There is some cost involved with getting this fabric custom-printed, so prototypes haven't yet been made. I'll post photos soon when they're ready.
Sweater Kits: Earlier in 2014 I knitted myself a sweater incorporating Nightfall, (photo below). Now you can make your own Nightfall sweater! Kits will include two Nightfall Fingering weight Shawl Balls, and one 6oz solid skein of each of the component colors. This gives you 2,450yds total, which should be plenty for an adult sweater. Because I did not design the pattern I used I cannot reprint or distribute it, but kits will include lots of notes and guidance about how to make your own sweater, and we've started a discussion thread in my Ravelry group to support and encourage each other as we work. (Yes we, I'm excited to make another!) You'll be able to choose your colorway - pick one of the popular classic colorways, or the special campaign-exclusive Fire Maple colorway!
New Perk Unlocked! Nightfall Rainbow Sets: When we hit $5,000 (one third of our goal, in under 8 hours!), I unlocked this exciting new perk. You'll get six skeins of Nightfall in a rainbow of colors - Red, Bengal Orange, Yellow, Bottle Green, Royal Blue, and Deep Purple - pictured below.
Two Skeins of Nightfall: You'll get two skeins of Nightfall in your choice of colors from nine of the most popular shades, shown above. At the end of the campaign after we reach our funding goal, I'll send out a survey for you to pick your color(s). You'll also get the Digital Pattern Collection and a postcard.
Nightfall Combo Pack: You'll get two skeins of Nightfall yarn. One will be in your choice of the most popular colors (shown above), and the other will be a skein of campaign-exclusive Special Edition Fire Maple! At the end of the campaign after we reach our funding goal, I'll send out a survey for you to pick your color. You'll also get the Digital Pattern Collection and a postcard.
Two Skeins of Special Edition Nightfall: You'll get two skeins of Nightfall yarn in the campaign-exclusive Special Edition Fire Maple colorway. You'll also get the Digital Pattern Collection and a postcard.
Project Bags and Totes with Special Edition colorway: The first sets of these sold FAST! Lucky for you, Brandon agreed to make another run of the custom FibroFibers bags at the beginning of 2015 and they'll be part of the spring 2015 deliveries. This set of special edition project bags and totes will also be in the custom FibroFibers logo fabric and will include the custom Fire Maple colorway (exclusively available through the Kickstarter). These will go fast, so nab one if you want it.
Handknit Shawls and Scarves: I'm offering a few of my display samples as perks. They have only been displayed at events and modeled briefly. All were knit by the incomparable Brandon Thomas. Brandon is a wizard with knitted stitches, and he put many weeks of effort and care into these pieces, so we have set the pledge levels to reflect his artistry and hard work. These works of art are truly unique, and only one of each is available.
Risks and challenges
1. The biggest risk is not meeting the funding goal. Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal. If we don't raise as much as we set out to, then nobody gets anything - I don't get my funding, and you don't get the goodies you were so looking forward to. Bummer, right? This is why it's just as important for you to tell your friends about the campaign as it is to make your pledge. The more people we can get to chip in just a little bit, the more fun there is for everyone! And if we exceed the initial target amount, we can have even more fun. I'll be able to make additional investments and improvements in my business, and I'll be able to offer even more cool perks for you. ***This part isn't a risk anymore - we have surpassed our minimum funding goal, and both my funding and your perks are now guaranteed!***
2. Delays due to moving: The main objective here is to get Nightfall production into a new space, and I won't be able to dye while I pack, move, and then get things set up again in the new space. I've allowed time for this in my planning, but if the moving process takes longer than expected that could push production back. To mitigate this risk, I'm going to get as much done as possible to fulfill perks (particularly the Early Bird options with December delivery) before the move, and I've also been tweaking my production process to allow myself to get each batch ready more quickly. Of course, I will keep you fully updated throughout the process.
3. Health: As my business name FibroFibers alludes to and as many of my customers know, I have several chronic health issues. I've never made a secret of that. I have bad days sometimes and I have to take time to rest, but in general my doctors and I have things pretty well controlled now. There is always a chance that if a string of bad days clobbers me, production could be delayed. I'm addressing this concern in a few ways. First, I'll be transparent about where I am in the production process and any delays that may crop up. Second, since I started my business I've worked with the goal of accommodating my health issues, and setting things up so they're as easy on me as possible. All things considered, I think I've done well with that. I listen to my body and adjust my activities to suit my ability at any given moment. If I'm not able to be on my feet dyeing, I can do some winding or make some labels; there's almost always something I'm able to work on. I've also determined the ideal batch size so I can get things done without undue exhaustion and recovery time, and that makes a big difference. This is nothing new so it's not a big worry for me and I hope it isn't for you either. If you have any questions I am always happy to answer them. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
4. Volume of perks to fulfill: Now obviously more perks means more time to produce them, but I'll be very up-front about production schedules and update everyone as things progress. I've marked things as April 2015 for now; that date may get adjusted over time as I increase production and implement the changes you're helping me to make. Above all I will be diligent about updating you on my progress, and transparent about where things stand.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)