About this project
1st STRETCH GOAL MET AND INCENTIVES ADDED!
We met our $20,000 stretch goal! As promised, we have added three new rewards. The first is a $20 reward for the book and the other two are $2500 rewards (limited to one each!) for naming the Monster and human child characters in the book.
The book can also be added at all levels by increasing your pledge by $15.
We've put the estimated time of delivery for the book at February, so we can focus on taking care of the Monsters themselves and get them out to all the backers. However, we will try our darndest to get the books made and ready for distribution sooner. We'll keep you updated on the progress as we move ahead!
Now, back to our original Kickstarter....
Lyla has always enjoyed art. When she was 3 years old, she drew a monster and told her mom that she wanted to give it to her daddy for a present... but first, Mom needed to help her make it real. Luckily, Lyla had gone to the right person. Her mom, Erin Slattery Black, happens to be quite an artist herself with two Emmy Awards to back it up.
Erin got her start in New York with the Jim Henson Company, where she worked on the Sesame Street Muppets and met her future husband, Eric Black. She has other credits in film, television and stage, too. She also spent some years teaching costume design at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Erin combined her experience with Lyla's imagination to make that drawing real. Lyla picked out the exact fabrics and style she needed for her dad's Monster, and Mom helped her pull it all together. Needless to say, her dad, Eric, was thrilled with his gift! After making that first Monster, the family realized that friendly Monsters could keep bad monsters far away. By making more Monsters, the family could bring a good night's sleep to kids all over the world!
Since Lyla Tov means “good night” in Hebrew, the name seemed perfect for a whole cadre of helpful Monsters who could carry on their creator's name. We started toiling away making Monsters and bringing them to craft fairs and starting a website to distribute them.
It has been a family labor of love and everyone in the family has helped out in one way or another. Erin fabricates the Monsters. Lyla chimes in picking fabrics and deciding which Monster gets what parts. Eric manages web sales, marketing and corporate matters. Quinn (Lyla's little brother) is the chief huggability tester. Everyone helps out stuffing arms, legs and bodies whenever they can. Tessa (Lyla's little sister) played our first costumed character (see picture). We've also been known to wrangle an uncle, grandmother, friend or babysitter to lend a hand, too!
In February of 2012, Lyla Tov Monsters debuted at the International Toy Fair. We talked to tons of people who loved our Monsters and thought we had a great product, but with our limited resources, we couldn't make the number of Monsters that larger retailers would want to work with. Through hard work and dedication, we have managed to stock select boutiques and gift shops in the Northeast.
Every step of the way, no matter how much money we have raised through Monster sales, we've made sure to give a portion of the proceeds to deserving charities that support children, including Tikva Children's Home, March of Dimes, United Cerebral Palsy, and The Floating Hospital through The Pajama Program. We want to teach our children that every business has an obligation to give back to its community. Helping children will always remain a cornerstone of the Lyla Tov Monster's mission.
Each Monster is currently one of a kind, but that’s an awful lot of work for one family to do in their small home. We're running out of space and can't keep up with the demand. It seems like as soon as we have our website fully stocked, the Monsters are gone! We get an order from a shop; people contact us needing Monsters for presents; and each of our fuzzy friends in the website store is snatched up before we can pull them to fulfill offline orders!
We soon realized that to support our mission of providing a good night’s sleep for as many children as possible, we needed to get some Monsters made in a factory. Though this will save us quite a bit of work, we need to purchase a minimum of 1000 of each type of Monster to get them into production, which means significant costs.
Through Kickstarter, we are hoping to subsidize the cost of making two limited edition Monsters. After some research, we began working with Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company on prototypes. We currently have one boy Monster prototype approved and are hard at work on a protype for a girl Monster. Once our project is fully funded, we can start the ball rolling on production!
Rewards: We have lots of rewards available and most of them involve Monsters once they are made. The two Monsters we will have available at the beginning will be one green and one purple that will look something like this:
Green and Purple Monsters: These will sell on our website for $25 plus $7.50 shipping & handling, so anyone ordering from Kickstarter will be getting a discounted rate and guarantee they'll be able to get one (or more) of these Limited Edition Monsters. You'll pick the Green or Purple Monster after the campaign is ended and you receive your Kickstarter survey.
One-of-a-Kind Monsters: This will be the last mass production of one-of-a-kind monsters in our home. That's the whole point of doing this Kickstarter! Once the appropriate amount of Monsters are designed and made by Lyla and Erin, stuffed with help from Eric and hug tested by Quinn, they will be listed in a special section of our website for backers to choose on a first-come, first-served basis. We will alert everyone by email when the website will be open, so everyone has a fair shake on getting a Monster they like. Really, there are no bad Monsters coming out of our home!
Lyla Tov Monster Launch Party: The party will be for friends, family and appropriate donors at a time and place to be determined later. We're imagining a kid-friendly pajama party with snacks, games, beverages (for kids and adults) and Monsters for sale.
Monster Naming: Our fans had expressed that they liked our Monsters to have names. Up until now, all the Monsters have been named by Lyla and Eric. For the first time ever, we are allowing generous donors to name each of the Monsters we'll have made at the factory. (Names must not infringe on anyone else's intellectual property, must be appropriate for children and must be approved by Lyla and Eric.)
Assistant Creator: One incredibly wonderful, dedicated Monster lover will also be able to be a part of the Lyla Tov Monster creative process and design and name a limited edition Lyla Tov Monster that we will produce. The Monster will need to be consistent with our brand, so Lyla and Erin will consult with the donor who will be able to choose colors, fabrics, hair type and/or clothing.
Stretch Goal #1 - If we are able to fully fund the first two Monsters and get funded to $20,000, we would add on a children's Lyla Tov Monster book. We already have the text and storyboard created and would just need to complete the artwork and printing.
Stretch Goal #2 - If we get to $27,500, we will add a third Monster.
Stretch Goal #3+ - If we are fortunate to exceed those goals, we'll start adding more Monsters to the list. We'll have to determine the amounts when we get there!
Note: The order of the Monsters for Stretch goals was determined by polling on our Facebook Page and may change.
About Our Video - The video was written, directed and edited by Eric Black. HUGE thanks to our Director of Photography, Jennifer Piazza (Bawdy House Media) for volunteering her camera and lighting skills!
Check out our website at www.lylatov.com!
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges with Lyla Tov Monsters are very limited. We have spent the last few years establishing a market, building a website and researching the toy industry. Through personal communications, tables at craft fairs and representing ourselves at one of the toy industry's major conventions, Toy Fair, we have done a lot of leg work to make our product viable.
We took bids on the job from two manufacturers and chose the one we thought could best bring our vision to life. The only matter remaining is to get the funds available to make the Monsters. Our current quotes require us to make a minimum of 1000 per type of Monster. We would like to begin with one male and one female Monster, but could expand that with a very successful Kickstarter campaign.
After that, the greater challenges consist of storage, marketing and sales. We are currently exploring storage possibilities with our manufacturer and local, low-cost storage options.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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