This is The Snarky Company's third Kickstarter!
Note: This is a longwinded project introduction and story: if you don't have the time, feel free to scroll down to the pins.
I'm Liz and i'm the creator and owner of The Snarky Company. I'm a photographer, artist, pin maker, and this is the third Kickstarter i've launched. I've worked as a freelance photographer, lived abroad in England, traveled around Europe photographing different countries, I have a full time job at a rad tech startup, I own a pin company, I have both a bachelors and a masters degree, and my baking skills are Great British Bake Off level. All of that sounds really great on paper, but what that paper doesn't tell you, is that I struggled through hours and hours of work, and frustration, to accomplish those things...i've got ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. First and foremost, ADHD is my main squeeze, anxiety and depression are a result of living with ADHD.
As is common with girls and women, I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until later in life. When a psychiatrist first said "My professional opinion is that you have ADHD", I just didn't believe her. I was a good kid, did marching band for 8 years, I did really well in school, and I was at the top of my class during my undergrad – surely she was mistaken.
I researched the f*ck out of ADHD. The more I read, the more I realized that I carried the same misconceptions and ideologies that the general population does. I thought ADHD meant that you had trouble concentrating or sitting still. What I learned is that everything about ADHD is so complex, that it borders on being incomprehensible at times. Even the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is misleading and incorrect in describing what it is. The symptoms, the brain chemistry, the cognition, the neurological and genetic theories, are so far beyond "not being able to pay attention". Every time I did research, and read about other people's stories, it was like someone was telling a story from my life.
I studied film and media theory for my undergraduate degree, so for my master's degree I chose the Film, Photography, and Media studies program at Leeds University in England. One of the best things about studying media, is that it is so pervasive, that you can study pretty much any topic. The concentration of my master's degree was studying the representation of people with mental illnesses, and the associated stigma, through media, from the 19th century to the present (talk about getting really niche. I studied everything, from how people with mental illness were represented, to associated stigmas and their detrimental effects to all of society, and even what happens in the brain of a person with a mental illness, when they consume media. This resulted in a 42 page thesis and a photo essay that took a look into the small and intricate cues of my "disorder". Getting a post-graduate degree with ADHD was arduous, but at that time, I did it without stimulant drugs like adderall, and I graduated with honors.
One of my dreams in life is to give a TED talk on ADHD, breaking down how the ADHD brain works, and what life is like living in a world where your brain works differently. I would gladly sit here and debunk whatever misconceptions are out there, but then we'd be here for years. This is just my story, but the whole campaign isn't just focused around ADHD. Needless to say, mental illness, mental health, and stigma are topics that are very near and dear to my heart. I have wanted to create this project for a very, very long time.
While you're perusing through the project, please keep in mind the following:
You'll find that the first 9 pins of this project focus only on ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression. I am aware that they are not the only mental illnesses that exist in this world. In fact, there are a multitude of different illnesses, disorders, and conditions. Mental health is unique to everyone, so I can only speak from my own experiences. While I would love to branch out and make pins for other illnesses, so that everyone feels heard and represented, I don't feel like I can interpret an illness that I have not experienced or lived through. I don't feel that I have that authority.
While these pins are based off of my experiences, my hope is that maybe you'll find a pin that you can also relate to. If any of these pins resonate with you, remember that you're not alone, because I, as well as millions of other people, have gone through the same struggle. We may experience our illnesses in our own unique ways, but there are some common stigmas and experiences that we have all had to face. I also understand that some people may disagree with what I have to say, and that's totally cool, no one is forcing you to pledge to the campaign.
Why did I title this campaign "Own your Stigma"? – Also a long story.
When I was first diagnosed with three mental illnesses, I felt guilty, selfish, like I was a burden. I didn't want to believe it to be true about myself. I went to therapy, tried some medications, and kept it all on the down low. Then over the course of 6 years, in my early adulthood, I went through experiences that were traumatic for me. Soon after that it just kind of clicked for me. I was sitting in my room and out loud to myself I just said "This is so f*cking dumb. I didn't choose this, my mental health problems are not my fault. Why have I allowed other people to dictate how I feel about my own life?" It may have just been something I gained from age, or from some empowering sociology classes in college, but my best guess is that I came face to face with one of my deepest fears. Ever since then I have been 100% percent honest and open about my mental health, and the fact that I take medication and go to therapy. I realized that if you can just be a genuine person, and communicate honestly and openly to others, you'll learn that there are so many other people fighting the same fight, that have the same fears that you do.
When someone stigmatizes you, for whatever reason, they're exerting power over you. This doesn't mean that they're always doing it maliciously, sometimes it's out of sheer ignorance or lack of knowledge. When I was younger, if someone called you a slut, it was an insult. If someone were to call me that today, i'd probably find it funny and laugh. It's a good example of a word that carried a stigma, and instead of fearing that stigma, overtime, women just took ownership of the word. We started speaking out about slut shaming, and about how women should be able to be open about their sexuality. Women took ownership of that label, and once we owned it, we took the power back.
If someone tells me i'm being over emotional, I say "yeah? so what. What's wrong with showing emotion?" People don't know how to respond to that because then they have to admit, out loud, the unspoken rule that we always have to keep our emotions in check. A really sh*tty ex once called me crazy and erratic when I became emotional and anxious, from discovering his unfaithful activities and compulsive lying. Needless to say, that relationship did not last, and it has been over for some time. When we first got together, I had failed to see the red flag when he told me "his ex had depression and emotional problems, and that she was crazy". Recently, we had contact where we got on the topic of our relationship. He told me that he couldn't be calm and faithful when someone, (meaning me) was so volatile. Ironically, I had never even raised my voice at him, until I found out what he was doing behind my back. Let me interpret what he was really saying, "I was unfaithful, and I didn't like your emotional and behavioral response to that, so that justifies my unfaithfulness." He tried to stigmatize my ADHD by saying I was erratic. He used my ADHD and anxiety as a scapegoat so he couldn't be held responsible for the pain he had caused me. At that time in our relationship, I had responded with a completely unapologetic emotional response. Did I take the high road, probably not. I said some terrible things out of anger, and did a few things out of pettiness. A good amount of time has passed since then, but from our last encounter a few months back, it's clear he hasn't changed. Many people have asked why I stayed so long. He had his own mental health issues, addictions, and vices, and for the longest time I was patient, forgiving, and I made every attempt to be understanding and to not stigmatize his issues...but I was not met with the same compassion. Indeed this is a long story of an ex, that involved so many more factors, but the importance here, is that this was the most traumatic time that anyone had ever used a mental health stigma to manipulate me, shame me, and take away my power. For a long time I was angry that I let someone do that to me, I felt weak, like I wasn't the strong, independent woman I wanted to be, but it was the most pivotal moment in my life. It was the moment I realized that if I just took ownership, than my ex, or anyone else, could never have that power over me again. I owned the stigma he tried to place on me, I took the power back, and I became a stronger, more empathetic, and caring person.
When this Kickstarter meets its base goal, the first three brain pins will be unlocked. All pins after that will be unlocked when they hit their "funds raised goal". The pins will first be sold at an early bird price of $8 per pin, however, there are a limited quantity of early bird spots. When the early bird spots are gone, each pin will sell for $10 each, unless noted elsewhere. This campaign involves 20+ pin designs. More pins will be uncovered as our funding increases. All pins in this campaign are hard enamel, unless noted elsewhere.
The Once Daily pin is the first time we are experimenting with new materials. The left side of the pill will be filled, by hand, with a special epoxy. This is so we can create the look of a pill with one colored half of the capsule, and the other side clear. We've ordered a test batch of these pins from the manufacturer, because I personally will be filling each pin with the epoxy. If the test does not work, and we realize this was a bust, we'll still produce these pins. The only change is that the clear part you see on the left will be filled with stained glass enamel. Stained glass enamel is not clear, but it does create a unique look.
The freebie pin is only included in pledge levels that include pins, meaning if you only pledged for the stickers, you won't receive this.
The Mosaic Heart is a pin that will contain stained glass enamel. The white part you see is regular white enamel, but the colored sections will be stained glass enamel. This process means that all the colored spots will be cut outs, that are then filled with an epoxy/enamel mixture. This produces an opaque look, somewhat like, well stained glass. If you hold it up to the light, the colored parts will show some light. While stained glass enamel can be beautiful, it is sometimes hard to produce, and can be risky. The color of the stained glass may vary from pin to pin, and there is the possibility of a few very tiny bubbles in the enamel. These should be minor things you will barely notice. The most important thing to note here is that this process can be expensive. If you choose this pin as one of the designs for your pledge level, it will be the only time you'll be able to get it at that price. After this campaign ends, this pin will retail for somewhere between $12-$15. If you've never seen stained glass enamel, google it, and you should find some examples.
The rainbow pins you see above are what's called anodized, or rainbow, metal. The metal plating is a rainbow color that looks really nice in the light. Pins made with anodized metal will always be soft enamel. All pins in this campaign are hard enamel, unless noted otherwise. Below is photo of our logo pin so you can see what this metal looks like.
The Spectrum pin will contain stained glass enamel. The white opaque part you see, inside the prism, will be a milky opaque stained glass enamel. If you hold it up to the light, some light should shine through the stained glass part. While stained glass enamel can be beautiful, it is sometimes hard to produce, and can be risky. The color of the stained glass may vary from pin to pin, and there is the possibility of a few very tiny bubbles in the enamel. These should be minor things you will barely notice.
I'm more than happy to create more label pins. I like fonts.
If there is a label pin you'd like to request, please message me directly. Please message me with the mental illness, condition, or disorder, and how you think it should appear as a label. For example, if you have Bipolar Disorder, should the pin read Bipolar Disorder, or just Bipolar. Please also keep in mind that I will only create labels for another three conditions, because if I made one for every condition, we'd be here all damn day. Please don't message me with a physical illness or condition, for now i'm only making these for mental illnesses recognized in the DSM-V. (i.e. Autism, Bipolar, PTSD, OCD, etc). I know there are some people who have qualms about "labeling". This pin isn't saying that your illness is all you are. I wear my ADHD related pins in hope that if someone wants to ask, i'm more than happy to answer any questions... and the next time my partner looks at my disorganized room with a smirk, i'm going to smile and point to this pin. Even though i'm only making another three label pins, this doesn't mean there that others won't appear in the future. Another note: It might seem that this stretch requires a much larger sum of funds raised to unlock. This is because even though these pins are small, they call for three seperate mold fees. Mold fees are paid only once, but they impact the cost when producing a new pin.
Freebie pins are only included in pledge levels that include pins, meaning if you only pledged for the stickers, you won't receive this.
*Due to the nature of this pin and it's complexity, it's subject to change. We'll notify you of any changes made to this pin before your survey lockdown.
The other day I did a rough estimate of how many pins we’ll be manufacturing...and it was over 20K. That’s alot of pins which means alot of backing cards. Now I know there are some of you out there who collect backing cards, some of you just throw them away, and some of you even graciously offered to not have one, but I like backing cards. I like designing backing cards, I like quality cards, and even before I launched this campaign, I was designing the backing cards for it in my head. I wanted to try something new, and having a campaign with such a high volume of pins, meant that this was the time to try it. So here’s how the backing cards will work. We’ll be using 4”X6”, 22pt stock, postcards, and each card will hold 4-6 pins depending on size. If you purchase one 1-2 pins, you’ll receive your pins on a typical square backing card. If you purchase say 7 pins, then you might get 5 of them on a postcard and two on regular sized backing card. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to choose whether you receive postcards or individual backing cards, and you won’t be able to specify which pins go with which cards. While buying more than 20K regular backing cards is possible, it would mean we would have to cut the quality. I won’t do that for this campaign because I have a special idea in mind. Let’s say that you purchased 5 pins, so you’ll receive them all on a postcard, but you’re really adamant about a single, regular sized, backing card, because maybe you want to give one pin as a gift. In this case you’ll be able to purchase a single backing card in the add-ons section for 25 cents a piece. (also take note that freebie pins come in the regular factory bag and not on a backing card)
After this Kickstarter campaign has ended, Kickstarter will collect the funds for your pledge level. If your payment is declined, Kickstarter allows you 7 days to "fix" your pledge. If you miss the 7 days, you will still have the opportunity to reinstate your pledge through your BackerKit survey. After these 7 days have passed, we will send you a survey from a pledge manager called BackerKit. This survey will first ask pledge level questions, this is where you designate which designs you want. Once you've finished your pledge questions, the designs you've chosen are automatically added to your item list. After pledge questions, you'll go through an add-ons section (sort of like an exit through gift shop situation) Add-ons are optional, and do not affect the items from your pledge level. We haven't posted pictures yet, but here are some things you can expect to find in the Add-Ons section.
- Stickers (both sticker packs, and individual stickers)
- Locking backs
- Pins from previous campaigns or what we have in stock at that time
- Any extra pins you might want from this campaign
Keep checking back, as i'll soon add the sticker design mockups.
Below are the first four stickers for the add-ons section. There are more to come, and not all are just sticker versions of the pins. The stickers range in size from roughly 2" - 5".
It's hard to show what a holographic overlay looks like on a sticker mockup. It's essentially and overlay that reflects back a full spectrum of rainbow colors when you move it around in the light. Below are holographic stickers that Snarky Co. has made in the past.
What is an Add-On Stretch Goal?
The reason we use a pledge manager like BackerKit, is because it allows us to create more comprehensive surveys, and streamline our shipping process. BackerKit has a feature called an Add-On Stretch Goal. For my first campaign, I had an idea for a t-shirt design, but I didn't know if anyone would actually want to buy it. So I contacted some screen printing companies, priced out t-shirts, and then added it to the add-ons section of the survey. Three people ordered it. Whenever you manufacture a product, there's a minimum order quantity. The minimum quantity is usually the product at is highest price. To have t-shirts printed, I needed 50 people to order them, and that didn't happen. I ended up contacting those three people and letting know that I had removed the t-shirt from their order, and that they wouldn't be charged for it.
The add-on stretch goal will show up in the add-on sections, and it'll have a banner that says something like "Hey we need 50 people to make this happen". As people add this item to their carts you can see whether this product is going to be made or not. When you complete your survey, if you add any extra items, you'll be prompted for your card details. You won't be charged when you complete your survey. You'll be charged at the lockdown date, and we'll notify you when that date is. If we don't meet the minimum quantity for an add-on stretch goal you may have ordered, then it is removed from your order, and you are not charged for it. This allows us to put out other products like patches, t-shirts, and key chains, to see if people actually respond to them. It's essentially a fail-safe, if we like a t-shirt design, but then find out no one else does, we aren't stuck manufacturing 50 t-shirts because only one person ordered it.
We are still talking to manufacturers to work out pricing on all these items, so we don't have a price estimate at the moment. What we do know, is that we are offering add-on stretch goal items at a discounted price to Kickstarter backers only. If you pre-order these items after the campaign, you'll order them at full price.
Below is a somewhat blurry photo of a chenille patch. The red and light green are the chenille, which is a soft fuzzy material. The seeds and stem are done in embroidery, and the black outline is felt. Chenille patches are often what you see on varsity letterman jackets.
During the Kickstarter campaign you can pledge a monetary amount in any of the pledge levels. Your money won't be withdrawn from your payment method until the end of the campaign. Funds will only be collected if we meet our goal.
After the campaign ends, your funds will be drawn from Kickstarter, and then you will be sent a survey to pick out your rewards and add your shipping info. We will be using a pledge manager called BackerKit to send out surveys. There will also be an add-ons section to your survey, where you can add on extra items, such as sticker packs, locking metal backs, or additional pins. Payment details will be collected in your survey to pay for any last minute added items.
Once the funds have been released from Kickstarter I can start production!
Once orders have been locked down we have a no refund or return policy. After orders are locked and funds are secured, production orders will be placed and paid for. The amount of funds determines the quantities that we need to fulfill this campaign. We will only offer refunds for extenuating circumstances or if you rewards were damaged in transit.
Shipping for your pledge level will be collected on Kickstarter during the campaign. This project is only shipping to the following countries: USA, Canada, The United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Switzerland.
If there is another country you'd like us to consider shipping to, please contact us directly. We will attempt to see if we can arrange to ship to your country. Shipping fees for other countries have not yet been determined, but when you contact us we will give you an estimate.
Pledge Level Shipping is a fixed rate that is based off of the amount of pins in your pledge level. Keep in mind some pledge levels have as little as one pin, and some pledge levels have as many as 20. We will be using the U.S. postal service for shipping.
United States: $4 - $10
Canada: $11 - $25
United Kingdom, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Switzerland: $15 - $25
If you choose to purchase extra items in the add-ons section of your survey there may be added shipping fees. Any extra shipping fees are based on the weight of your package, for example, adding a sticker pack has no additional shipping fee, but adding another four pins may have a shipping fee.
When shipping internationally we will make every effort to properly fill out customs forms. We will abide by your countries customs and shipping laws, which means we will denote the package value as the cost of your order, and mark this as merchandise. Please do not ask us to change the value of your package, or mark it as a gift. We are not responsible if your country holds your package and requires extra payment to release it.
Below you can find the estimated timeline for this project, as well as the funds breakdown.
- March – Kickstarter Campaign Begins
- April – Kickstarter Campaign Ends and funds are collected
- April – Surveys are sent out
- April/May – The pre-order store is open
- May – Orders are locked down and sent to the manufacturer
- May/June - Pins are in production
- July – Shipping of rewards begins (the reason rewards will not ship until June or July is because it takes several weeks to manufacture the pins, package orders, and send them out) If all materials are produced earlier than the estimated shipping start date we will of course begin to ship in asap.
Keep in mind that July feels like a long ways off, but for our last two campaigns we shipped well before the estimated ship date. Our first campaign was supposed to begin shipping in February 2019, and instead we sent out our last 20 orders in February. Our second campaign was set to begin shipping in April and we started shipping the first orders in the last week of February, and the remaining orders will all be sent out in mid march. We've consistently shipped early so far. We can't make any promises for this project because sometimes with crowdfunding there are unforeseen circumstances, but if all goes well like the last two campaigns, you should get rewards before July.
Check out our social media pages, Etsy store, and previous campaigns!
The Things to Know section contained our policies for this campaign, but we've now moved it to the Risks and Challenges section of this page. Even though we've re-located our policies, they still apply.
Risks and challenges
I'll be using trusted manufacturers that i've worked with before, but occasionally, minor mistakes can be made, and delays in production can happen.
I will always be upfront with backers along the way. I will disclose any setbacks, delays, and any other pertinent updates.
It's important to understand that this is a crowdfunded campaign. Crowdfunded campaigns are often subject to delays due to unforeseen circumstances. Please also understand that money pledged to a crowdfunded campaign is a donation or investment. This is not an online store and you will not immediately receive your rewards after pledging.
Please note that minor changes may occur in production, and that the images presented here are my mock up designs. There is a possibility of slight changes in color and size, but I don't foresee any major issues.
The Snarky Company offers two grades of pins, First Grade, and Second Grade. First Grade pins are really the only pins I offer in my online stores, and they are the only ones available for Kickstarter campaigns. Second grade pins are only available through online stores, and currently we're not offering any. Our pins are handmade and they may have minor cosmetic imperfections.
Examples of expected First Grade imperfections:
Small buff marks, scuffs, or scratches on metal/enamel
Small specks, pores, or bubbles anywhere on the pin
Slightly low or uneven fills
Slightly misaligned screenprinted details (for pins with screenprinting)
Slight variations in the distribution of giltter
Slight defects in text (this is usually only in pins with small text)
We want to make you aware that these First Grade pins may have small imperfections, but 99% of the time, these imperfections are non-existent or not noticeable.
An important note about color and size.
It is crucial to understand that while we have made pins before, the pins in this Kickstarter have not yet been manufactured. The designs you see on this page are only mockups, which means the final product may have slight changes in color and size. Taking your two dimensional design, sending it to a manufacturer, and receiving a three dimensional, physical object is difficult. From our experience, the majority of our pins turn out looking like the mockup design.
There are so many variables when you see a mockup that you are viewing on your computer or phone. Different computers, phones, or other devices have different screen settings which means we may not all be viewing the same coloration. We use a Pantone Solid Coated book to choose the colors for our designs. The manufacturers use those Pantone numbers to know which colors to mix and apply where, however, looking at a Pantone swatch on paper, is different than looking at a Pantone color in enamel.
Each mockup has a rough estimate of what the size will be. Our sizes are either specifying the general height of the pin, or width of the pin, however, the actual size of the physical product may vary.
When you view a mockup design that has components with glitter, it is crucial to understand how glitter overlays work in Adobe Illustrator. Glitter textures are artificially created in Adobe illustrator. We have glitter textures in various shades for each color, but they come no where near to the hundreds of different glitter colors that manufacturers offer. The mockup design may show you a section of dark blue glitter, that has flecks of dark blue and silver, however, the physical glitter may contain specs of other shades of blue, green, or silver. When you see a mockup design with glitter, understand that the glitter overlay is to give you an idea of the general color of the glitter, and where it will be on the pin. When a pin has holographic glitter, it will be labeled as holographic glitter. Holographic is what you could call rainbow glitter, each spec of glitter can reflect various different colors. What you should know about holographic glitter is that it reflects different colors depending on the enamel it is placed in. When placed in white enamel, it reflects a shade of light blue, when placed in black enamel it reflects a shade of green.
Refunds or Exchanges
After the campaign has ended, you will have ample time to make your pin selections in your BackerKit survey. You will be notified before surveys are locked down and any add-ons are charged. Once your order is locked down, we have a no refunds or exchanges policy. The only time we will issue a refund or replacement, is in extenuating circumstances, or if your pin arrives damaged (please read the section on pin grades to determine if your pin is damaged). Examples of damaged pins are, posts that are bent and unusable, posts that may have fallen off, or whole chunks of enamel that are missing. We will also offer refunds or offer to reship an item if it is missing from your order.
Rubber Backs vs. Locking Backs
Each pin from our campaign will come with rubber backs, but we highly recommend purchasing locking backs. If you choose to adhere your pin to a jacket, bag, or other item, with a rubber back, and it falls off, we will not replace the missing pin. We do offer locking backs through our add-ons section in your survey.
Please visit the shipping section to read about these policies.
Mental Illness can be a very intimate and personal topic. Any one who leaves a comment that I determine to be rude, defamatory, or ignorant, will be blocked with no explanation.
The Denim Jacket Pledge Level
If you pledge for this tier, after the campaign has ended, we provide a sizing chart where you can choose your size. We'll provide 1-3 different options for jackets. We prefer Levi's jackets, but we have other chosen brands that are also great quality. From the options we provide, you'll get to choose which jacket style, color (if that style has color options), and of course your size. For the collector's box you have three options for engraving. You can choose just our Logo, just your name, or you can choose to have the Logo and your name. You'll receive one of each pin, and if that pin has multiple color options, you'll receive one of each color (for example, the Pill pin comes in four colors, you'll get all four). All pins will come on backing cards, with locking backs, and arrive packed in the collector's box. Please be careful when choosing your jacket size, as we cannot provide an exchange or refund if it does not fit. Once your pledge level is locked down (you'll be notified before the lockdown) the pledge level is non-refundable. If any of your items are damaged in transit, we will replace them though. If you purchase this tier as an international backer, we properly fill out all customs forms, but we will not be held responsible if your country loses your package through their mailing service (this means once the package is no longer with the USPS), or if they hold your package and ask for additional VAT, taxes, or fees. You'll also receive any add-on stretch goals that are successfully unlocked. If any add-on stretch goal is not unlocked, it will not come with your order. If you have any questions about this tier, please feel free to reach out.
- (30 days)