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About this project

I invite you to join me in a journey back to a special place in time. Follow me down the cobblestone lane, through the gate and into a valley of wonder, both real and imagined. My goal with this campaign is to release four new items and its related storybook and revitalize a magical place I created called Ivy & Innocence.

Retired pieces in the original Ivy & Innocence Collection.
Retired pieces in the original Ivy & Innocence Collection.

Ivy & Innocence is a highly detailed village of miniature cottages, shops, characters and accessories, styled after a quaint English village life adorned with ivy vines and decorative flowers. The detailed pieces are introduced as a chapter set or assortment composed of one brick building and three or four accessory items that complement the main structure. New pieces are brought to life in a relating storybook, depicting a community of folks where events and happenings unfold.

Each addition brings additional tales, interacting the new pieces with the old, blending seamlessly into the magical world of Ivy & Innocence and the village grows.

With your support, I wish to continue Ivy's next adventures by introducing four new pieces and matching storybook.

The purpose of the Kickstarter project is to rekindle Ivy & Innocence.
The purpose of the Kickstarter project is to rekindle Ivy & Innocence.

A snapshot of Ivy 

Ivy & Innocence is a special place created from my imagination. It is filled with hopes and dreams and if you help me bring Ivy & Innocence back to life, you will discover a place filled with joy and inspiration. A homespun place where vines are abundant and colorful flowers adorn just about everything in the village, providing beauty and tranquility. The whimsical shops and houses harken back to a previous era, when things were built by hand using materials that came from the land.

And when you meet the people of Ivy, you find them relaxed, enjoying life, and ready to lend a helping hand. Quick to spread robust laughter and warm smiles, these humble folks with old-fashioned values are your family.

Ivy & Innocence was first introduced at the Atlanta Gift industry trade show in January of 1997. It was wonderfully received, garnering awards and prestige. I signed a licensing agreement with a company that, two years later, merged with another. Not long after, this union failed. At the time, my attention was focused on raising my family.

The cobblestone streets of Ivy went quiet. The candles dimmed, flickering low in the windows but... the flame never went out.

With your support, I wish to rekindle this humble flame and give Ivy & Innocence another chance.

Ivy Throughout the Home
Ivy Throughout the Home

Ivy is a Magical Place

When I took pencil to paper, designing the four new figurines featured in the next Ivy storybook, I wanted the pieces to be special. I did not want a shop or store, but something that would blend flawlessly with the existing line and, yet, be uniquely different. I decided to create a cottage. A piece everyone could love. A warm place that would welcome folks home. 

At the heart of Ivy's return piece is an exceptional item covered with the traditional ivy vines and decorative flowers, multiple roof contours and two chimneys that give it an additional warm feeling any cozy cottage in Ivy would have...

  • Nanna Colleen's Cottage - Beloved by children all over Ivy, Nanna Colleen invites you to her cottage for a cup of tea, a plate of warm-from-the-oven cookies, and a tale or two of magic from her Irish homeland…

Next, I began creating the accessory pieces to compliment the cottage and complete the next chapter:

  • Wandering Brook Bridge - Here, travelers are encouraged to follow their dreams and enjoy the beauty of the Wandering Brook, regardless of the weather, all thanks to the new, sheltering Wandering Brook Bridge
  • Picket Fence - A symbol of peaceful living in a place where possibilities are abundant, evidenced by its beautiful buildings and lavish gardens surrounded by the classic, white Picket Fence
  • Garden Greenhouse - Ivy is a community that blossoms at all times of the year. The folks now keep their garden goodies fresh and gorgeous flowers blooming with ease inside Ivy's new Garden Greenhouse

These four charming figures will be created with the same exceptional detail, quality and uniqueness found in every Ivy & Innocence introduction.

Each piece will be featured in its own wonderful story with photos and beautiful illustrations, artistically showcased in a delightful new storybook.

The Picket Fence, The Garden Greenhouse, The Wandering Brook Bridge, along with Nanna Colleen's Cottage (featured above), complete the set in the "Return to Ivy" Additions. © 2015 Susan Reader
The Picket Fence, The Garden Greenhouse, The Wandering Brook Bridge, along with Nanna Colleen's Cottage (featured above), complete the set in the "Return to Ivy" Additions. © 2015 Susan Reader

* Note: These new introductions have a small section of the picket fence uniting them together nicely. No other Ivy assortment or chapter has this special 'bonding' feature. This unified set will enhance your original Ivy village or work as a wonderful starter set.

Sculpting the backside of Ivy's Retired Bed & Breakfast #05000
Sculpting the backside of Ivy's Retired Bed & Breakfast #05000

The 7"x10" Storybook...

Along with introducing the four sculpted figurines to the Ivy & Innocence Collection, our project includes the development of the next storybook. Each chapter unfolds the wondrous tales of how these new arrivals become a part of Ivy & Innocence.

The storybook is a heartening addition to the collection, sharing insights and sagas that make Ivy's inhabitants come excitingly alive. The stories give the village additional depth, scope and reality, bringing life to the humble folks strolling about the cobble streets of Olde Ivy Boulevard. The storybook portrays this imaginary community and encompasses everything the magical village represents.

7"x10", 32 page Storybook Sample Layout
7"x10", 32 page Storybook Sample Layout

The next storybook features the new releases, with not only quality photographs but will feature additional illustrations and abundant artwork. Each story reveals how each piece becomes a part of Ivy and the village expands.

But not everyone from Ivy is fine and dandy.

Trailing four miles beyond the quaint little town, out past the last building facing east, is the neighboring seaside village called Ivy Cove.

Ivy Cove stands at the edge of the ocean, exposed to the relentless elements of weather, water and salt air. Consequently, the buildings and people of Ivy Cove are a bit more rugged and robust, yet the lovely vines and flowers of the nearby Ivy village are ever present, adding a perfect balance to these rustic structures by the sea. Inspired by the refreshing spray from the notable, Limited Edition Lighthouse, a charming seaside community sprung up with chiseled buildings and colorful characters, adding a bit of excitement to Ivy's serenity.

Each town proudly wears its unique identity, and both blend together to make up Ivy & Innocence. They are neighbors with different attitudes and born from the same inspiration. The differences between the two settlements are delightfully profound and, yet, very similar.

With your help, I will be able to continue the storyline and develop additional illustrations, bonus artwork, and photographs and bring Ivy & Innocence back to life. Every inciting word and detailed brush stroke will draw you further into the charming world of Ivy & Innocence.

A Few Chapter Snippets...

The 7x10”, 32 page exclusive storybook first opens with Nanna Colleen and her journey from Ireland to visit her dear sister.

Storybook Closeup of Nanna Colleen's Cottage artwork. (Subject to change)
Storybook Closeup of Nanna Colleen's Cottage artwork. (Subject to change)

Discover how Nanna Colleen ended up as a permanent resident in the quaint township. Learn how she settled into her wonderful Ivy cottage with every lad and lass wanting to curl up in front of her crackling hearth and listen to her Irish accent spin fairytale pictures of faraway lands, while nibbling on her infamous cookies and sipping hot cocoa.

The tales demonstrate that despite our origins and differences, if we put our hands and hearts together, working with a collaborative effort, anything is possible.

Storybook Closeup of the Wandering Brook Bridge chapter artwork. (Subject to change)
Storybook Closeup of the Wandering Brook Bridge chapter artwork. (Subject to change)

The Wandering Brook Bridge, The Garden Greenhouse, and the Picket Fence are the chapter stories featured in the new storybook - with exciting tales ready for the relating detailed artwork and beautiful illustrations that showcase the next introductions.  

Artwork Samples of: 11"x8.5" Event Poster, 5"x7" notecards, 8"x10" Print (suitable for framing) and the 7"x10" Return to Ivy Storybook.
Artwork Samples of: 11"x8.5" Event Poster, 5"x7" notecards, 8"x10" Print (suitable for framing) and the 7"x10" Return to Ivy Storybook.

Highlights about the Book Design:

  • Title: The Return to Ivy & Innocence
  • Authors: Susan Reader & Tracy Comstock
  • Illustrator: Susan Reader
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Page Count: 32
  • Size: 7x10 inches
  • Optimal type size, line length (words per line), leading (spacing between lines), and margins to create a pleasant reading experience.
  • Type: Illustrated Fictional Storybook 
  • Ages: For all ages
  • Estimated Publication Date: November 2015

(*Note: Size correction to the reward tier 'Budding Level 2' listing - sized at 7"x9" when it will be a 7"x10" storybook.)

Process Timeline

  • My drawings are sent to the sculptors.
  • Photographs of the sculpting progress are emailed to me.
  • Changes are applied.
  • Once the sculpts are approved, the molds are poured (allowing 2-3 days for molds to set). 
  • The white prototypes are shipped out for me to hand-paint.
  • I paint two. One I keep and the other is shipped back for duplication. (Note: I currently devote every free moment I have to Ivy. I estimate a full month will be needed for me to paint the Ivy prototypes around my full-time job...  unless, after project launch, I am able to change my situation.)
  • A few weeks later, the counter samples I receive are compared to the second hand-painted samples I saved.
  • Once approved, an order is placed and the pieces are put into production.

If present during the sculpting phase, changes can be made immediately. The sculpts are approved. The molds poured, taking around 2-3 days to cure. Once the painting begins, under my guidance, several white prototypes are painted simultaneously, sampling with various coloration. The favored one is put into production and I return home.

The typical production schedule requires approximately 3 months to complete the order. 

1st Timeline Scenario (a Nov Delivery):
2 months for prototype completion
3 months for order to arrive
1-2 weeks for delivery
*Allowing an extra 14-21 days to cover any unforeseen delays

2nd Timeline Scenario - Traveling Overseas (a Sept Delivery):
1-2 weeks for prototype completion
3 months for order to arrive
1-2 weeks for delivery
*Allowing an extra 14-21 days to cover any unforeseen delays

I have experience using both scenarios developing Ivy. The traveling scenario is certainly the preferred method and the shortest timeline. I will update you with pictures of the step by step process.

The Budget

The minimum I set is not about making a profit, it only reflects being able to produce the next four items and the storybook to revitalize Ivy & Innocence. This amount does not factor in all the funds already allocated or my time happily devoted. I am a humble volunteer doing everything I can to see Ivy & Innocence restored.

Estimated Costs

If the event reaches the minimum threshold, all funds are allocated back into producing the product…

  • Developing the four new items: sculpting, molding, painting, and shipping prototype samples for approval prior to production.
There is an additional fee for the brand packaging and bottom stamping (shown here).
There is an additional fee for the brand packaging and bottom stamping (shown here).
  • Manufacturing/Production order of 1000 pieces (200 of each design plus 25% overage to cover any damages in shipping)
  • Legal Services/Fees – The legal copyright, trademark and registration paperwork for each new design
  • Creative development of the storybook.
  • Operational Expenses
  • Editing, production & printing
  • Photo shoot of new pieces to showcase in storybook
  • Logistics/Freight Services – Arrangement of transportation of freight and cargo, details of shipping the product into the country including customs, insurance, port fees, etc.
  • Warehouse & Fulfillment Processing – Assembling, sorting and labeling, preparing  delivery to you. (All shipping/packaging materials)
  • Kickstarter fees at 5% plus additional payment processing fees of 3%- 5% or a total of 8% - 10%

My number estimates are based on previous experience. I have added $5k for any hidden expenses and unknown cost increases.

If the event surpasses expectations and unlocks a higher stretch goal, I will to travel abroad and supervise production. My traveling will not only shorten the estimated delivery timeline but will ensure excellent quality and workmanship.

The meaning behind the Ivy Logo

I designed the Ivy & Innocence logo after our family surname ‘Reader'. The young girl depicted the symbol of innocence, reading a book was for the family name and the ivy vines signified our family tree. The pale green stripes represented a trellis, support for the trailing vines. It embodied everything I wanted Ivy & Innocence to symbolize - virtue, support and family. Only after designed the logo did I learn the meaning of the ivy plant: Love; Fidelity; Friendship; Undying Affection; Faithfulness; Determination and Strength.

Looking back at everything that has transpired, the name and logo could not have been a more perfect fit.

Stretch Goals

  • Over 75k
    I would design additional illustrations and paintings for the event storybook plus create a special section with pockets and envelopes filled with little tidbits and extra details, like Ivy's Town Charter signed by Mayor Lathrop himself and a foldout map of Ivy. I would hinge the storybook and have a little key (the Key to Ivy). This would be an exceptional storybook, or rather, an artistic, hardcover keepsake.

  • Over 100k
    I pack my bags and travel overseas, sending you pictures and step-by-step updates in the process of developing your new Ivy pieces plus allowing the reduction to the delivery timeline.
  • Over 150k
    A narrated version of the “Return to Ivy” Storybook brought to life by Susan Reader, (including any sudden coughs, unexpected sneezes, dog snoring and an occasional tea slurping or two). 
  • Over 200k
    A Special "Ivy Seasonal Pack" - small Ivy pieces will be created to accessorize your village. These little touches will highlight your village through every season. Some ideas are:
    Spring - Upside-down, open umbrella filled with ivy and flowers.
    Summer - A picnic themed bicycle with a basket full of goodies.
    Fall - A garden scarecrow holding a rake, pumpkins, colorful leaves, ivy and flowers.
    Winter - A festive evergreen with decorations adorned with ivy and flowers.
    ** These are preliminary thoughts and subject to change. Further details / drawings will be posted once the previous stretch goals are unlocked.

When I first designed Ivy & Innocence, I wanted to recreate the wonderful place in my imagination where people took the time to appreciate life and enjoy the beauty that surrounds them. It is a magical place where anyone can go to escape, imagine and dream. 

-------------    Meet The Team    

Susan Reader - Artist & Creator of Ivy & Innocence / Professional Graphic Designer / Mother
Susan Reader - Artist & Creator of Ivy & Innocence / Professional Graphic Designer / Mother
Jean Kruse - Financial / Accounting Adviser / Iowa District Director S.C.O.R.E / BA in English / Minor in History, English.
Jean Kruse - Financial / Accounting Adviser / Iowa District Director S.C.O.R.E / BA in English / Minor in History, English.
Duane Hodges - National / International Sales Adviser
Duane Hodges - National / International Sales Adviser
Shannon Gorman - Communications Director / Multimedia Supervisor. BS in Multimedia Design / Photographer / Graphic Designer / Mom
Shannon Gorman - Communications Director / Multimedia Supervisor. BS in Multimedia Design / Photographer / Graphic Designer / Mom
Tracy Comstock - Storybook Writing Collaborator / B.S. in Education/ Masters in Literature / Published Author / Adjunct instructor for several local colleges in Missouri.
Tracy Comstock - Storybook Writing Collaborator / B.S. in Education/ Masters in Literature / Published Author / Adjunct instructor for several local colleges in Missouri.

----------------------

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." ~ Harriet Tubman

My reach only touches a limited network. Your liking Ivy & Innocence on Facebook, sharing, or sending a few quick emails to friends and family can go a long way to help us ensure Ivy's success! I hope that you love Ivy & Innocence as much as we do and pledge your support.

Thank you so much for being a part of our "Return to Ivy" Event!

Risks and challenges

When I previously launched Ivy, technology was not where it is today. Exposure to an international audience is a new territory for me. However, I see this as a positive challenge to overcome. I am eager about building Ivy’s global potential. There is a learning curve and I research as much as possible to prepare, always learning from my team and the experts in the field.

I am very passionate about Ivy and, because this project is so close to my heart, I will be involved in every step of the production process as I was in the past.

Our fulfillment forecast is based on previous experiences, timelines and schedules. I fully expect to honor all objectives, but with that said, I know there may be unforeseen challenges. If this occurs, we will let you know immediately. I will do everything I can to keep things moving along, informing you every step of the way.

I am excited to introduce these rare items and confident the introductions will turn out beautifully. With the team’s direction, expertise and God's grace, I hope to keep Ivy & Innocence alive and well for generations to come.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Root Level
    Help support Ivy because every bit helps! Receive a compiled, digital wish list of every Ivy & Innocence figurine released to track those items you have or want to add to your collection in our sincerest "Thank You" email.

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    Sapling Level
    A compiled digital wish list of every Ivy & Innocence figurine released to track those items you have or want to add to your collection / 12 Note Cards & Envelopes / An 8 x 10 Frame ready Event Poster / Project updates / Listed on Ivy’s Support Vine to let everyone know how awesome you are! Virtual *HIGH FIVE*

    (US shipping $5, International shipping $10)

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    Budding Level 1 - The Return to Ivy Storybook

    A 7” x 10”, 32 page Storybook containing the four stories about the new Return to Ivy releases full of drawings and artwork by Susan Reader / Rewards from Sapling Level.

    (US shipping $10, International shipping $15)

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    Budding Level 2 - SIGNED The Return to Ivy Storybook

    A 7” x 9”, 32 page Storybook with the four stories about the new Return to Ivy releases, full of drawings and artwork by Susan Reader / Signed Storybook / Rewards from Sapling Level with a signed 8 x 10 print. (US shipping $10, International shipping $15)

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    Sprig Level 1 - The Picket Fence

    The first new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Rewards from Budding Level 1. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Leaf Level 1 - The Garden Greenhouse

    The second new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Rewards from Budding Level 1. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Flowering Level 1 - The Wandering Brook Bridge

    The third new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Rewards from Budding Level 1. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Majestic Level 1 - Nanna Colleen's Cottage

    The fourth new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Rewards from Budding Level 1. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Sprig Level 2 - SIGNED The Picket Fence

    The first new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Signed / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Leaf Level 2 - SIGNED The Garden Greenhouse

    The second new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Signed / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Flowering Level 2 - SIGNED The Wandering Brook Bridge

    The third new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Signed / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Majestic Level 2 - SIGNED Nanna Colleen's Cottage

    The fourth new Ivy & Innocence introduction / Signed / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (US shipping $10, International shipping $25)

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    Silver level 1 – A Set of the ‘Return to Ivy’ Introductions / Rewards from Budding Level 1. (US shipping $20, International shipping $45)

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    Silver level 2 – SIGNED Set of the ‘Return to Ivy’ Introductions / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (US shipping $20, International shipping $45)

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    Gold level 1 – Hand-Painted Original Artwork

    The Picket Fence / Signed / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (Shipping incl.)

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    Gold level 2 – Hand-Painted Original Artwork

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    Gold level 3 – Hand-Painted Original Artwork

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    Gold level 4 – Hand-Painted Original Artwork

    Nanna Colleen's Cottage / Signed / Rewards from Budding Level 2. (Shipping incl.)

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Funding period

- (31 days)