Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Handcrafted journals and leather goods, laser etched with antique maps of the cities we hold dear.
Handcrafted journals and leather goods, laser etched with antique maps of the cities we hold dear.
171 backers pledged $14,867 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Atlas Series project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$14,867

171

The Story:

Our names are Sarah Kirkham and Anna Warren, and we are the founders of Tactile Craftworks. Our friendship grew quickly after we met.  A shared love of working with our hands eventually led us to create things together, and in January of this year we established as an LLC. By the time we first laid eyes on a laser etcher, our products had already begun to take shape, and we were combining our skills and honing our craft to make a coherent look for our goods. The night that we saw the laser cutter for the first time was like magic- it was as if a whole world of possibility opened up. We were giddy thinking of the ways we could use the technology to enhance our craft.

The decision to make a map journal was a natural choice for us. We both take pride in our hometowns, in our cities and their history. We designed other products for etching as well- 'The Good Land' series of travel mugs, etched leather clutches- but it became clear right away that the Map Journals were striking a chord with people.

The Milwaukee Map Book
The Milwaukee Map Book

Our good friends at Discovery World, the ones who introduced us to the laser cutter technology, were invaluable to us. They supported us by teaching us to get the most out of the laser etching, helping us in prototyping our design, and cheering us along. Since we began this project, we've been trading our time for theirs- teaching workshops in their lab in exchange for time using their machines. This relationship gave us the start we needed, but it's clear that we need to expand- it's time for us to purchase a laser cutter of our own. That's where you come in.

With the funds we hope to raise from this Kickstarter campaign, we plan to produce our Atlas Series map journals to keep up with the demand that we currently can't meet. How? First of all, we'd like to be able to keep our online store, craft fairs, and Milwaukee vendors fully stocked with the Atlas Series. Secondly, we want to expand the collection beyond our hometowns of Milwaukee and Chicago- and create journals and goods that feature other cities- your pages of the Atlas.

The Budget- $12,500 is a lot of money- how will we spend it?

$9500 - The laser cutter. This is the meat-and-potatoes part of our campaign- and the main thing we think we need right now to grow our business. This price includes the basic cutter machine, a lens for detailed cutting, a cooling system, a warranty on the cutter, ventilation, and a few other bits we need to get started. We're excited because we've found a laser cutter that's made right here in the USA.

$1800 - The materials. This will pay for the leather, paper, sinew, needles, brass studs, jars, cuppows and other bits and pieces that go into making our products. More specifically, the supplies to make the rewards you'll get for supporting our campaign, and the beginning of our retail inventory.

$1200 - Fees. This budget line is to pay for the necessary fees and processing charges associated with our Kickstarter campaign. No, it's not the fun part- but we'd be remiss in our planning if we didn't account for this part of the process.

More - What if we go over our goal? We will be thrilled if we hit our goal- we can't wait to get started on your Atlas Series items- but what do we have in mind if we go over? First up, graphics software- we'd love to upgrade our software. Secondly, there are some laser cutter upgrades we'd go for- a bigger cutting bed, back up laser tubes, different lenses, etc. If you all are feeling amazingly-above-and-beyond generous, some workshop upgrades (tools and supplies) and staff would be next- there are amazing people who have helped us along the way, and we'd love to be able to pay them for their time and talents.

 Thank you so much for considering contributing to our campaign. We both know that we wouldn't be where we are today without the support of the amazing people around us. We're excited to take the next step in our business, and we're so grateful that you are here with us.

Detail of Chicago Map Book
Detail of Chicago Map Book

Rewards:

You'll notice that some of our rewards come from the Tactile Craftworks collection, our standard line of products. You can see many more images of the items we make at our website www.tactilecraftworks.com, but here are a few images from that collection to give you an idea of what your reward will be.

A sampling of handcarved Items from the Tactile Craftworks Collection
A sampling of handcarved Items from the Tactile Craftworks Collection

Risks and challenges

As we see it, the biggest challenge ahead for us is a technical one. We've had a lot of help with our laser etching thus far, and learning the ropes on our own machine will be an adventure. What is our plan for getting through this part of the process? Well, we have backup! The laser cutter company we've chosen builds and services their machines right here in the USA, meaning that customer service is just a phone call away. We plan to purchase a package that includes 5 hours of in depth technical support- a package designed for newbies like us. In addition to that, we've got some friends in town that are laser etcher pros, and have promised to lend a hand when we get rolling.

The other challenges that lay ahead are things that we are already facing since starting our business. We've spent the last few years learning about how to manage our inventory, how to track our accounts, how to effectively communicate with each other- and how to fit canoeing into our busy schedule. Yes, it sounds silly, but that quiet time on the river is when some of our best conversations happen.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Tactile Craftworks maker's mark sticker- and personal thanks on our facebook page.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A hand crafted leather key fob, a Tactile Craftworks maker's mark sticker, and personal thanks on our facebook page.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    28 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A handmade leather wallet from the Tactile Craftworks collection, a TCW sticker and facebook thanks!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A classic leather wrap journal from the Tactile Craftworks collection (for Atlas Series, see $100 reward and above), a sticker and online thanks!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    18 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A 12 oz or 24 oz travel mug from the Tactile Craftworks hand carved collection (for Atlas Series, see $100 reward and above), a sticker and thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A flask from our hand carved collection, a sticker and thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Get the project! A small map journal from our Atlas Series, your choice of either Milwaukee or Chicago. A hand-bound leather journal with 90 pages, depicting one of the cities we love. This journal measures 4.5" x 6" (For the larger journal, see the $150 reward.) Plus, of course, a sticker and thanks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    33 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Get the Project! A large map journal from our Atlas Series - your choice of either Milwaukee or Chicago. A hand-bound leather journal with 90 pages, depicting one of the cities we love. This journal measures 6" x 9". Plus, of course, a sticker and thanks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A map clutch from our Atlas Series - your choice of either Milwaukee or Chicago. A soft leather clutch, laser etched with an antique map of one of the cities we love. Plus, of course, a sticker and thanks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A custom guestbook for a wedding or event. We'll create a customized hand carved or laser-etched guestbook, filled with heavy weight paper and hand bound in the coptic style. Plus, of course, a sticker and thanks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your page of the Atlas! A custom map journal created for any city you choose. This leather bound journal will contain 90 pages, and measure 6" x 9". As always, a sticker and thanks.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

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

    Get the project! One map journal from the Atlas Series - your choice of either Milwaukee or Chicago. Also, let us use our new laser cutter to customize 10 flasks or travel mugs using one logo, name, or symbol of your choosing. Excellent for staff or client gifts, wedding parties or family reunions.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    The Wedding Package! Let us create a customized hand tooled or laser-etched package containing a guest book, a photo album and 8 custom attendant gifts (travel mugs, flasks, or journals.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

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

    A Tactile Craftworks event. Let us host an event for you. Perhaps you'd like a holiday trunkshow of our products for your friends. Perhaps you'd like to host a workshop for a small group to create a product in our studio. We'll host you and your guests in our workspace. We'll provide the drinks and treats. You'll get to take home a personalized item of your choice as a memento of the event. (Travel to our studio is not included.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

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

    The holiday gift extravaganza! Let us take care of your holiday gifts in 2015. You'll join us for a planning session at our studio in Milwaukee, where we'll provide snacks, drinks, and a chance to choose customized gifts from our collection for everyone on your list. (Well, the first 20 people on your list.) After you've made your choices, we'll hand craft your items, beautifully wrap them, and deliver them to you in time for your holiday festivities. Travel to our studio is not included, but we'll be happy to host your consultation over Skype if you can't make the journey.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Tactile Craftworks weekend getaway. The Tactile Craftworks ladies, and their husbands, will host you and a guest for a weekend in a cabin getaway just north of Milwaukee. We'll cook amazing meals, mix delicious cocktails, and sit on the beach or around the fire, go canoeing, hiking, or whatever family friendly cabin activities you'd like to do. Travel to the cabin is not included, but, of course, you and your guest will each receive a custom item as a memento of your weekend with us.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (31 days)