Project image
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$5,659
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
66
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, February 16 2015 3:00 AM UTC +00:00
$5,659
pledged of $15,000pledged of $15,000 goal
66
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, February 16 2015 3:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Meet Gertrude

Gertrude is a 1973 Volkswagen camper bus, but — she is so much more than that. She is in mint condition, hot pink, and simply irresistible.

Anyone who believes in the “Seattle Freeze” need only cruise around with Gertrude and I for a few blocks to believe in the soft hearts of humanity again. People can’t help but smile when they see her – and most wave, shout out greetings, or flash the infamous VW club peace sign. She’s a catch and I feel like the luckiest for finding her.

Since teaming up Gertrude and I have delivered dozen and dozens of macarons to our devoted local wholesale accounts, popped up shop at more than 20 venues around town, and brought a welcomed touch of charm and deliciousness to countless weddings, baby showers, and other special occasions.

Gertrude has been my co-collaborator, my studio on wheels, and my constantly cheery companion. She has become such an integral part of my life — and my brand. Gertrude has become a Seattle icon in her own way and her presence naturally builds brand awareness and affinity. Going out on your own with a food business is no small thing, but Gertrude has my back and helps our macarons stand out from the pack. We just go together — like lemon and  poppy seeds, chocolate and espresso, or earl grey and lemon buttercream…oh, don’t get me started!

The tragedy

Smashed!
Smashed!

On Thursday, December 11 Gertrude and I were in an accident. We were driving south on Highway 99 in Seattle, just north of the Denny Way exit. It was rush hour, but traffic was worse than the usual terrible due to a storm that brought in high winds. We were only going about 20 mph, but when traffic stopped in front of us we were going over a large piece of metal (due to construction). Our brakes couldn’t get traction and we slid into the car in front of us. It was an awful situation. I wish it could have gone differently. Thankfully, no one involved was seriously injured.

Sadly, Gertrude was. Gertrude’s engine is in the back of the camper and her front end is lean and vulnerable. The impact of the crash pushed her front end into the inside of the camper.

The insurance adjusters assessed the damage as a total loss. And, because Gertrude is a classic vehicle she does not qualify for collision coverage.

The Repairs

At first glance we all thought she was un-reparable, but upon thorough assessment by Peace Vans it has been determined that she can be saved. Restoring Gertrude to her glory will require:

  • Taking Gertrude’s face off

  • Pulling out the emergency brake that was forced into the center of the bus in the collision

  • Finding a new face

  • Welding the new face into the frame

  • Repainting the restored front end her signature hot pink

Essentially, Gertrude needs a facelift. Facelifts are often associated with vanity, but in this case—it’s about survival. No major systems were damaged in the accident, it’s all body work, but she is not driveable in her current state. The restoration will take about a month of labor. The estimated costs are $10,000.

#SaveGertrude

Gertrude was a huge instigator in helping me launch my business and has become an integral part of my brand and day-to-day operations. She is also my primary means of transportation—my only vehicle for business and personal use.

As you can imagine, this accident has been tragic. I feel like I’ve lost a business partner and a friend. I’ve also lost my wheels and with no help from insurance, I don’t have the resources to buy a new car. I need to save Gertrude and I need your help.

Thank you so much!

- Alexandra

Risks and challenges

You might be wondering why I have to save Gertrude. Why not buy another VW van or another vehicle all together? That’s a valid question, but through this process I’ve learned even more about Gertrude’s value. 1973 VW vans are rare and it is almost unheard of to find one without rust. Gertrude has been well taken care of and was garaged for the past 10 years prior to me purchasing her. If repaired, she will be worth well over $35,000.

This isn’t about the money though. It’s about Gertrude. And, it’s about Alexandra’s Macarons. Gertrude is a van worth fighting for and we have a lot more to bring to Seattle and to the world with our macarons and other culinary schemes we’ve been cooking up. We were just getting started and we aren’t about to give up.

We need your help to raise $15,000. This will help us recover from the damages from the accident and lost business. Further, it will help us to take our business to the next level. Our vision is to:

Invest time and marketing efforts into establishing more sustainable accounts that would create a wider distribution of Alexandra’s Macarons in Seattle and the PNW.

Have the capacity to pop up shop around town as an official member of Seattle’s vibrant food truck community, which requires a few modifications to bring Gertrude up to code, an annual permit from the city, regular inspections, and rent for a weekly spot to park.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Help us out with $10 and receive a sweet temporary Gertrude Tattoo!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Blood Orange Prize Pack

    A sweet Gertrude tattoo and a seasonal three-pack of Alexandra’s Macarons!

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    14 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Black Tea Vanilla Bean Prize Pack

    Gertrude tattoo, a half-dozen delicious macarons, and an “I Heart Gertrude” t-shirt!

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    25 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Prize Pack

    Everything from the $50 reward level PLUS a ticket to an awesome 10-person cooking class with Chef Alexandra!

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    6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Red Velvet Prize Pack

    Your choice of a tea or coffee pairing with macarons for you and one friend, plus everything from the $50 reward level

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Key Lime Pie Prize Pack

    Membership to the Alexandra’s Macarons’ monthly macaron club (first month free) + everything from the $50 reward level!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Cardamom Vanilla Bean Prize Pack

    Private cooking party for you and 3 friends! Chef Alexandra will take your tastebuds on a culinary adventure AND you still get everything from the $50 reward level! What!?

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Strawberry Short Cake SUPER prize pack!

    Gertrude will Pop-Up at your event w/ 8 dozen macarons in tow! AND you get everything from the $250-level Key Lime Pie Prize Pack (monthly macaron memberships)!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    The Pot of Gold

    A private dinner party for you and up to 5 friends with Chef Alexandra, plus a slot in the cooking class (from the $100-level) and the monthly macaron membership from the $250 level!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Rollin' In The Dough!

    A lovely soiree for up to a baker’s dozen, catered and hosted by Chef Alexandra and Whisked Away Catering! Plus the rewards under the $50 $100, $150, and $250-levels!
    You will be one of Gertrude's favorites, forever!

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Funding period

- (30 days)