About Laura Lee
“Jane of all trades” is most likely the phrase to describe artist and creator Laura Lee Imhoff. Although, master of none certainly wouldn’t be something that follows it up. While Imhoff is known for her musical talent as a singer/songwriter, she has always been a visual artist at heart. Upon graduating from The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with a focus in traditional stained glass methods, Imhoff moved to Austin in 2008 to pursue her music career.
In more recent years, Ms. Laura Lee has found herself being drawn back to her roots as a visual artist, but not in the traditional sense. With a world that has gone high tech, she has found a niche in the resurgence of old time crafts: hand embroidery, the creation of canned goods, and giving new life to tired furniture.
About the blog
Imhoff’s blog, made by laura lee, launched in 2013 as a way to share her creative process, completed projects, and even artistic dry spells with friends and family, near and far. With its casual writing style and incorporation of personal content, made by laura lee is upbeat, simple yet relatable, and subtly inspirational. There is a wide range of subject matter and entries, much like Laura Lee’s expansive skillset, from canning to recipes, to music and community, and to her most beloved embroidery and refinishing furniture.
About the business
Like many artists, there is a strong desire to make a living from their work. Laura Lee began canning and hand embroidery as a hobby and creative outlet. After some time, this hobby slowly turned her apartment into a craft version of “Hoarders” or “Martha Stewart” gone wrong. Over the last year, Imhoff has begun casually selling her handmade wares and seeing a great demand for locally made goods. As 2016 rang in, Imhoff has taken on a studio space for her expanding side project of refinishing furniture. With the overwhelming support from the community, Imhoff is now in the beginning phases of turning the concept of made by laura lee into a business.
Imhoff has made big steps to pursue her dream of being a self-employed artist and entrepreneur: converted her humble blog into a website (madebylauralee.com), has worked with a graphic designer to create a cohesive brand, started her business plan, has taken care of the more mundane LLC and insurance paperwork as well (LLC, insurance), all while still actively creating.
Expanding the brand
The next steps of expanding "made by laura lee" will be revamping madebylauralee.com to include a much more user friendly format and an online store, to begin utilizing SEO, and increasing sales and marketing channels. In addition to technical side, "made by laura lee" would like to begin incorporating video blogging and online tutorials to the site.
Asking for $10,000 is a big step in "made by laura lee" history. What will the money be going to?
- close to 16% will be going to processing fees (Kickstarter) and taxes
- Ecommerce site building
- photographing merchandise
- marketing (online and print)
- promotional items
- paying the videographer (for making this video & other ads)
- cost of materials for incentives
- video camera for future online tutorials
Special thanks & mentions
- Dennis Burnett Photography
- Sweet Tweats by Lindsey (biscuits)
- Fiona and Blossom (bouquette's)
- Hammerson Kitchen (wooden vases)
- O'Day Designs (necklace)
- Everyone that has given me words of encouragement along the way, who has bought a jar of jam, a towel, paid me to refinish a piece of furniture, liked an instagram post, etc.
- TO YOU for contributing
- My friends and family
Risks and challenges
While this is the biggest milestone in "made by laura lee" history... and in the history of Laura Lee, asking for $10,000 is no small feat. The biggest challenge is meeting this goal. Not meeting the goal means no funds at all which means no growth at the planned rate.
If the goal is met, there will be other challenges, of course, but after years of restaurant management and other higher level positions, there are several things that Laura Lee has learned:
1. Prior planning prevents poor performance
2. Learn to adapt and find solutions
We can do this though! We are looking forward to celebrating the growth of made by laura lee! Thank you for your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)