Posts tagged ‘plush’

Purrista Pawfee: Coffee Cat Kickstarter

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Just a quick entry here to let you know that I’ve launched my next Kickstarter. This one is to fund the cats of Purrista Pawfee. The star of the show is Catpuccino – a kitty and coffee shaped plush. Once again, I’ve got stretch goals lined up that continue the theme. Danish Pawstry, Mewcaron, Biskitti and DeCat are all waiting in the wings.

I’m hoping to get these plush funded and delivered here in time for me to sell them at CatConLA – an amazing convention all about, you guessed it, cats. I had an awesome time last year and am already paid up for a spot again to sell in the artist’s village this year.

As I need to get the plush order in before Chinese New Year shuts down the factory for February, I’m only running this Kickstarter for 21 days total. Final day is Monday, January 25, 2016. As of writing this, I’m getting close to 50% funded for Catpuccino and it’s only day 2!

Even if you can’t pledge at this time, please help spread the word to any friends you have who love cute, cats, coffee or all three!

Thank you!

January 6, 2016 at 5:58 am Leave a comment

Plush Manufacture: How Do I Fund All This?

This is the third and last of a series of blogs regarding the plush process. Part 1 is about choosing to manufacture. Part 2 is about choosing to go direct to factory or to use a middle man.

You’ve considered the pros and cons of getting your plush manufactured. You’ve done the research and decided to go either direct to factory or go through an established middle man. So now, you have all the numbers to bring your creation to life and Holy weeping bank account, Batman!

Yep, the average plush can set you back a minimum of $4,000! And that price is just a rough estimate. Cost depends on size, complexity, factory chosen, shipping method and where they need to ultimately be delivered to. Since most of us are small business owners, we usually don’t have thousands of dollars just laying around. In order to fund plush, many turn to one of two methods – pre-order events or crowdfunding.

Pre-Order Events

Pre-order events I find can be a bit risky if you don’t have a large, active following. If you’re totally reliant on X amount being sold before you can afford to place the order, there’s really no telling how long it will take to get there. It could be anywhere from 1 week to 7 months or so to meet the goal amount. This means it’s equally ambiguous setting an estimated delivery date since nothing starts until the payment has been made to the factory.

When people are paying for a future product, it’s a much easier sell if you have a more firm deadline set ahead of the time. Granted, timelines can flux when dealing with all the moving parts involved in overseas manufacture, but having a date (and keeping your customers updated about it) is a good way to give them confidence that you intend to deliver a product.

Additionally, communicating updates can be a bit rough. Facebook and other social media can be a bit sketchy in message delivery due to their alogrithms. You can create an email list and/or newsletter for updating, but sometimes they can get lost in spam filters. You can update your website, but traffic may be slow there. And let’s face it, you can (and should) update all methods of communication, but that’s a lot to keep track of.

Crowdfunding

The other option is crowdfunding through a website like Kickstarter or Indigogo. In a nutshell, you post a project that will cost X amount to produce. You offer different levels for people to pledge at with specific rewards attached, often including the product to be funded. You set a deadline (average is 30 days for a campaign) and if your amount has been made by the last day, your backers are charged and you get the money to make the product. If you reach the last day without meeting your goal, you may get whatever was collected during the campaign or nothing at all. Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal. Either way, you may be short of your funding goal and unable to produce the plush.

Screen shot of my successful Kickstarter to fund my Punny Buns plush.

Screen shot of my successful Kickstarter to fund my Punny Buns plush.

These sites have rules that hold the creators accountable to their backers. They must deliver the promised product to their backers if fully funded. This can help backers feel more confident when putting down money on a future product. So realize that if you decide to go with one that isn’t all or nothing, you are still on the hook to produce a product to your backers and you are on the hook to make up the missing difference in funding. It can be a bit nail biting to have something so final as ‘all or nothing’ with Kickstarter, but it feels safer to me since I can’t be stuck to make up $$ on my own to complete a project.

Additionally, you’re hooking up your little boat to a big ship. These sites have whole departments devoted to search engine optimization (SEO) and an established global name. Their reach is global! They want your project to succeed just as much as you do since they get a percentage for hosting your project. So while you definitely need to be promoting your project religiously, you do have the added bonus of using a well known website.

A side bonus to running a crowd funding campaign is that it’s a fantastic marketing opportunity for your brand. If you’re doing your due diligence with marketing it, you can reach a whole different audience that you may not reach through going it alone and running a pre-order. I know for Kimchi Kawaii, I’ve had people comment that they found me through my various Kickstarters.

Hopefully, you’ve found some tips and had some questions answered about plush production. I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot of work and those huge dollar signs can be scary for sure. But, if you have a strong design that you’ve tested already among your market, it can really be the key to take your business to the next level. Just make sure you have plenty of storage available for all those plush!

November 6, 2015 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

Professional Plush Manufacture: Direct to Factory or Middleman?

You’ve thought about all the realities of getting a plush manufactured and are ready to make the investment. Now to choose the method of getting your creation brought to life.

Continue Reading October 27, 2015 at 7:07 pm 3 comments

Professional Plush Manufacture: Factory or Handcraft?

You’ve got a plush design that you like and it’s selling so fast you can’t keep up. Outsourcing your plush is looking like the solution to all your problems.

Continue Reading October 21, 2015 at 5:03 am Leave a comment

Artist Alley Review: CatConLA 2015

This past weekend, I sold at the very first CatCon LA. This was billed as ‘Comic-Con for cat lovers’. It was such an amazing weekend and exceeded my expectations by far.

Continue Reading June 9, 2015 at 6:09 pm 7 comments

Punny Buns Kickstarter: Two Weeks Left

I’m currently running a Kickstarter to add to my plush inventory. This one is focused on the Punny Buns – my cute line up of bunny characters that are all based on bread and pastry themes.

Continue Reading April 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Catpuccino Pre-order Event Extended

Ending Feb 6, 2015. Pre-order and save $5. All pre-orders will be entered into a random drawing to win an additional plush from the current stock, including Catpuccino.

I realize that ending a pre-order event at the end of the month is a bit rough, so I’ve extended the Catpuccino pre-order until February 6, 2015. Don’t miss out on your chance to save $5 and get the free Coffee Cats button set.

Also – everyone who orders before the cut off date will be put into a random drawing for an additional plush of their choice from my current stock! This includes Catpuccino! Yep, you could get a double shot, lol!

Head over to the Storenvy shop to place your order.

January 26, 2015 at 5:06 am 1 comment

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