I am an artist. I have been all my life. I have learned a new craft, however, and I love the work I am doing in this genre. I am ready to commit to my craft full-time and live the dream of making a good living by creating beautiful leather items. I am halfway there. I have studied under a master leathercrafter for a year and a half, which is something I have wanted to do all my life. I have the knowledge and skill to create many leather products. My college education and 25 years of experience as a professional visual artist allowed me to bring many skills and talents to this project. I worked for 6 years as a gallery owner and managed my folk-rock band for 5 years in this same local environment. I am currently connected with the Rapid City Arts Council and Dahl Arts Center as a teacher there, which gives me a front row seat to the up and coming artistic activities and events in our city. My life journey to this point has given me necessary experience for networking, advertising, and navigating the local art community, which is essential for being a successful artisan.
In order to ensure that this becomes a business rather than a side job, I need time. Time allows me to take what I have learned and create something completely mine, completely constructed of my own heart and soul. Time allows me to further my studies in my arts and learn more, for an artist is never truly done learning to become better. Time allows me to travel, which is the most direct source of inspiration for all my artistic endeavors. Time gives me space to compose ideas, and to learn more about who I am and what I have to offer. Time gives me the ability to reach into different markets like cosplay, LARP, SCA to sell well-researched and period appropriate leather items. It would also give me the ability to connect with dog owners who would enjoy unique and custom dog collars. These are just a few examples. Time costs a lot of money these days.
This is where you come in. With your generosity and backing, I will be able to have the time I need to be the person I can best be and give the best I have to offer. I'll have time to set up this business, build product, design new product ideas, network within the local arts community, advertise my products, set up gallery shows, create product for gallery shows, scout places in which to sell my leather products, make phone calls, connect with others online. I will also have funds to purchase the rest of the tools I need, office supplies, a business phone, and to pay for a webpage that is dynamic and easy to navigate so that I can start selling my products online.
My skills and talents are practiced and excellent, and I have the experience to make this business thrive. With sufficient financial backing, my dream of making a living as an artisan will come true. Alone, I will continue to have to work two jobs to make ends meet, and will not have time to do anything with all this skill and talent but cobble together a few items a month on the side. With your help, I can focus on what I do well, live a life that is more joy than struggle, and put beautiful works of art into the world.
Risks and challenges
Every adventure includes some roadblocks. My largest roadblock is my health, for it will keep me from putting the usual 50+ hours a week that most entrepreneurs tend to spend creating their businesses. There will be days I cannot make it to the studio. This line of work, however, includes so much thought and planning that even if I am not in the studio, I will be working to create new tooling designs, product designs, or ways to sell my arts.
Each person who makes a pledge will be getting product months after that pledge. I am hoping to get those items to you sooner, but I am being realistic about the time it will take me to create those products if all the pledge caps get met. Specifically, I must believe that the max amount of pledges in each tier will come through, and I have to reasonably create and send out all those products in the time specified. In order to do that, I need to have the time to make them all. I will be making every order by hand, and I would far rather tell you to wait 6 months than promise something in one month that I cannot deliver in that time.
- (30 days)