We did it !!! Big sigh of relief over here at the Poźniak household! The last few days we were anxious to say the least but we are now so happy to say a big weight has been lifted off our shoulders and our hearts are filled with gratitude. We are already starting to work on the rewards - especially the ones that need to be out in time for the holidays!!!
4 Days left! Stretch Goal-
We are so thankful to have come this far, but we do have a $80,000 stretch goal in mind. With our initial planning of this campaign we wanted to get things rolling, but also wanted to be realistic about the chances of being funded. Over 500 of you stepped up, and made it happen!
There are a few things that could really help us hit the ground running as a new business. The first of these additional expenses is a Die Cut machine, which runs at approx. $6950.00 + shipping. Second is a Laser Cutter which runs approx. $8700.00 + shipping. These are big expenses, but we know they will pay for themselves. Having these machines in house would allow for quicker profitable production. It would also allow us to take on smaller customized projects for our community. The remaining money that brings us to $80,000 will go towards advertising. We planned our budget to get up and running, but we all know getting the word out about the business is an integral part of its success.
What if we go above $80,000?!? Michelle speaking here - If that kind of magic happens I would love to get Janusz to Corning for that week long residency that he was hoping for. It has been a long time since he has had the freedom to work on a body of work for a gallery show. He always goes over and above selflessly taking glass blowing jobs for other people to support the family. I would love to see him do something truly for himself.
We are a wife and husband team looking to launch [Hohm-meyd], a home goods company that utilizes a network of local Makers to produce functional wares that we design. Driven by our core values of community, sustainability, and ethics, each product will be made with care and integrity. Simultaneously we hope to train and mentor local artisans.
We are excited for [Hohm-meyd] in the consistency and stability this new venture will provide us and the other Makers on our team. It will allow us all a purer and more personal artistic practice. We also know the limitations of our own two hands... having a community of skilled artisans on our team will help ensure that many more of our designs come into being, we have enough ideas for a lifetime afterall. Seeing the manifestation of our vision would be a dream come true!
Between the two of us, we have 50 years of making and selling work as artists. We also know that purchasing a piece of fine art is too expensive for many people. Given our combined experience, our community of other artisans and craftspeople and our growing family, there is no time like the present for us to pursue this shared dream.
Won't you join us?
Janusz Poźniak grew up in England, where he studied 3-dimensional design, specializing in glass. After he graduated, he worked at a studio in London for three years before making his way to Seattle to work with Dale Chihuly. Shortly after, he started working as an independent. For over thirty years now he has been working with a number of very established artists - while at the same time making his own art and traveling to teach workshops all over the world.
Michelle Poźniak grew up in Alberta, Canada, where she also studied fine arts, majoring in glass but also exploring other mediums, one of which was leather. She moved to Seattle and started designing and making leather handbags full time, first producing out of her home and then eventually moving to a shared studio space. She expanded her products over the years to include handmade soap and candles.
The specific goal of this campaign is to launch our website with twelve inaugural household goods available for sale. These products include:
Who will work with us? A core team of Artists and Makers in our collective community! These people may include: Aspiring Makers who currently work a day job // Students looking for flexible hours // Stay-at-home parents // Others who have life come at them in unexpected ways and need some flexibility. We intend to supplement and support income in a part-time capacity, affording our core team members the freedom they need to actively pursue their own artistic endeavors. This is very important to us.
What is the pay structure? The production in studio will be paid on a standard hourly/or day wage. The work produced at home or in a home studio will be on a per each product basis, so the work is seamlessly integrated into the schedule of the team member. With both these pay structures, we hope to add a level of incentive pay by making equipment and studio space available for personal projects.
What benefits will the team receive? Biographies of the team will be prominently featured on our website, to highlight the vast and diverse community of talented people who comprise our team. Artisans and Makers who are at the beginning of their careers will be exposed and learn a variety of skills. Training and mentoring the next generation of artists is one of our core values as a small business. We have had many "if only I had known that before!" moments that we learned from and insight we can pass on to others.
How will we make our products? Crafting our products will take place at our studio but we will also give artisans the opportunity to work from home. As two people who have been students (and who are now parents of a little one), we know the benefits and value of flexible work hours. Additionally, we will work with local studios for smaller production runs, the close proximity of these studios will increase quality control and will limit the need to ship in bulk orders from various factories.
How will we make our products as affordable as possible? Studio space and home equipment often goes under utilized. We intend to offer an opportunity to supplement income by utilizing a network of studios and equipment during their down time. With the smaller production runs, we can also avoid costly overproduction and be responsive to market trends. Real-time production allows us to keep costs down, avoiding unnecessary inventory and storage costs.
Seattle has a very large community of Makers in many mediums. Did you know the Greater Seattle area has over 700 glass artisans and 60 plus studios!? By working with this local talent, we hope to empower and help to support them.
Will operating on a smaller scale impact income for the business? We know some of these factors may be limiting, but we don't seek world domination. Products consistently made with thought and care are the first priority, not the bottom line. That being said, it is a business and we have lots of experience balancing values with pragmatic realities. As we develop and produce, we will conduct cost analyses to evaluate which products would be best for direct sale only and which products will lend themselves to a wholesale model.
We are thankful for your support in this campaign and took extra time and care to offer some exciting rewards as our thanks to you. For the full list see the Rewards tab.
The twelve products featured in our initial launch were selected for the following reasons:
- Many have already been product tested at Michelle's studio + storefront. This campaign will provide the tools/equipment and extra hands needed to scale up production.
- Custom packaging is fully designed, and we are waiting to order in a quantity that makes sense financially. The price range for quantities ordered varies considerably on custom packaging. An example of this may be $2.00 vs. $.50 for a candle box.
- A few of the objects will need minor design tweaks to allow for more efficient production, this will bring costs down and increase affordability. One example: making a mold for a blown glass form.
- The elegant and simple design of these items ensures quality production.
We feel confident this initial approach will provide our business with a solid foundation and enable us to design our more involved ideas, and there are many.
Although we have years of experience as artists and production on a smaller scale, we are currently enrolled in a Launch and Grow business class to help with the transition and prepare us for this expansion. Michelle is already preparing the studio space to accommodate new tools and materials.
November + December 2019 will be spent fulfilling the first wave of rewards, and managing our own businesses for the holiday season. New design molds will be completed to be ready for the next steps in the new year.
January + February we will get down and dirty with prototyping. Simultaneously working on rewards. (Also birthing a baby human;)
March + April we will fulfill the last of the rewards and start in on photographing products and making of the website.
May! Website launch and launch party!
June, July + August... Now that we have production flows/timing in place we can expand our network. We will be ramping up production and creating internships for university student out of class for the summer.
September + October will be for adjusting anything that we know will inherently come up...this might be website functionality / design / or adjustments to product pricing.
November + December will be dedicated to advertising and selling for the holiday season, while maintaining stock levels. Look for us at local markets/ pop ups and events.
Our budget breaks down into three main categories.
Tools + Equipment
Some of these costs include:
- Flame polishing machine: $4900.00
- Glass Blowing Molds: (Bowl Set) $1900.00
- Glass Blowing Molds: (2 x cups) $900.00
- Wax Melter for Candles $1650.00
- Paper Tape Dispenser $849.00
- Luggage Tag Cutting Dies $480.00
- Coaster Cutting Dies $380.00
- Optic Molds for Bowl Set $750.00
Production + Materials
A Large portion of the production costs will go towards the Glass Hot Shop rental fees. Depending on the number of glory holes needed as well as additional tools needed, the daily rate can range from $350-$700/Day. Production also requires 1-2 assistants per day.
Materials for products other than glass can sometimes be purchased in smaller quantities, but other supplies have minimum order numbers.
Some of these costs include:
- Gold Decals for Candles $2800.00
- Black Decals for Candles $1900.00
- Custom Soap Boxes $2100.00
- Custom Molded Pulp packaging $1200.00
- Custom Candle Packaging $2400.00
- Leather Hides average $350.00 ea.
- Bulk Wholesale Organic Essential Oils $1800.00
- Branded Paper Tape $380.00
Photography + Website
Although we like to think we are Jack and Jill of all trades, photography is one of the things we will not be tackling. A good size budget will be set aside for Photography. The beginning of our business will be based online so the product shots are going to be a vital part of our launch.
Cover Photo: Courtesy of Marble Media
Video: Derek Klein
Janusz Pozniak Glass Bio Pics: Russell Johnson
Risks and challenges
Timing is always a factor when trying new things. We feel confident that our website will be up by May, whether items are ready to ship could depend on how production goes. Our alternative plan would be items available for order until we get caught up.
Scaling up could be tricky, but if we find ourselves in that position then things must be good! We would look into engaging other communities near us possibly up to Vancouver, BC and down to Portland, OR.
- (21 days)