Bright Stem is a small creative business run by myself Andrew Wood. I'm an Artist/Designer who works from a studio at the top of an old mill in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I create bright, colourful, ethically manufactured products that I sell through Bright Stem’s online shop www.brightstemshop.com and on www.amazon.co.uk.
This crowdfunding project is to fund the production of 4 new product lines: A set of 8 unique pop out baubles, a porcelain mug with robin design, 3 sheets of wrapping paper of different designs and 8 unique gift tags. By funding the production of these products you’re funding Bright Stem.
So what is Bright Stem...? One of its biggest influences is the Bauhaus Art and Design School based in Germany during the 1930s. At the Bauhaus they believed that by Art and Design working in connection with Industry we could create a better world. This belief shaped the world we live in today from the graphics we see to the products we use to even the buildings we live and work in.
Bright Stem aims to achieve the same goal: to make the world better through developing connections. The most important connections being between the design of the product, the Ethics involved in its construction and the business of selling said product.
This ethos can take many shapes and forms for example the patches I sell are hand made by myself, the mugs will be sourced from a German manufacturer (ensuring the workers are paid fairly) and the notecards I sell are printed on 100% recycled card. Whilst the popout baubles show how a little bit of creative design/sideways thinking can produce unique, cheap, ethically made items with a very low carbon footprint.
By making a pledge to this campaign you’re not just buying a new product from an upcoming artist/designer. You’re saying there’s a better way to do business. We can create quality-designed products at sensible prices that have been produced in an ethical manner.
To enable Bright Stem to take the next step in its journey its crucial we raise this money. It’s approaching Christmas again so everyone will want their Bright Stem presents! I know there is already a very enthusiastic customer base out there and an increasing demand for new product lines. So now’s your chance… If you want to become an integral part of these exciting new ventures, make a pledge and you’ll receive one of the 1st edition of these new Bright Stem products!
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Risks and challenges
There are always challenges with getting new products off the ground. Heres a run down of what I've done so far and what comes next for each product line.
To ensure colour consistency all of my paper products will be made by the same company based in West Sussex . They focus on providing affordable and certified green printing solutions, and are the leading wrapping paper printers in the UK.
So far: Initial artwork for the baubles has been sent to the printer with a description of what I'm after and I've received quotes.
Getting the products made: The 8 designs for the front and 8 for the back will be printed out on one 400gsm FSC A4 sheet. This is the thickest card available unfortunately they don't make 100%recycled card at this thickness but it will still be FSC accredited. The individual bauble shapes will then be die cut, meaning that you can just pop the baubles out of the A4 sheet of card. The company have a 7 working day turn around for this type of product.
So far: I've received quotes and have had sample wrapping paper sent to me. The paper is 100% recycled of good quality and heavy enough not to crack when folded.
Getting the products made: The artwork is all ready to go to print and I don't foresee any major problems. There is a folding service at the printers so I will be getting half folded half flat (depending on demand). The company have a 5 working day turn around.
So far: Initial designs have been sent across and samples/quotes received.
Getting them made: The tags will be produced via the same method as the Baubles. Meaning I'll only need one die cut template which will cut costs. But this time they'll only be printed on one side and on a 325gsm uncoated 100%recycled card. The company have a 7 working day turn around for this type of product.
So far: I have been in contact with a wide range of different manufacturers. The mugs I'm getting made are porcelain rather than bone china as I was uncomfortable (being a Vegi) with them being made from 50% bone. It's not been possible to find a manufacturer of quality porcelain mugs in the proportions I'm wanting within the UK or Ireland. So I've had to widen the net a little. The manufacturer I found is based in East Germany and have been producing mugs since 1909. We've been in contact for the last couple of weeks and I've been really impressed with the information they provided. The style of the mug and the final design has been decided. I'm now getting ready to get a sample mug made.
Packaging is really important for this product as I don't want any mugs getting smashed in the post. I've had a range of sample boxes sent to me but in the end I've decided to stick with the same type of box that I use for my Notecards. As there tough/durable being made from 720micron card and look really nice! These will have a paper slip wrapped around which will have the product details, barcode and artwork on. And ether bubble wrap or packing paper will be used inside to protect the mugs. Then the whole box fits snugly inside a second postal box which all in all should mean your mug gets to you in one piece!
Getting the products made: The mugs will first have to be fired then the design printed on. Posted to me in Belfast then i'll have to get them packed and posted to you. So where probably talking early November. The boxes and slips should be pretty strait forward as I'm used to ordering these they will take just over a week to be produced. Its then a mater of packing and drop testing... I've done my research (i.e. contacted other retailers who sell mugs online) so we should be fine.
You can be assured I'll be working night and day to get all the products to you on time. And should have some comfort in the fact that i'm not green to this process i.e. these aren't the first products I've had produced and have therefore learnt how to plan for most eventualities!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)