Oh lord this is terrifying.
And if writing a post about it is this terrifying what on earth is the actual campaign going to feel like?!
So… yes, here goes. I am planning my first Kickstarter campaign to fund the purchase of the beautiful Vicobold press that I have been renting (and growing ever more attached to) since January, and the running of letterpress workshops.
For those of you who don’t know, I started letterpress printing only last year after my crazy husband bought me an Adana 8×5 for Christmas. I’d always been a stationery fanatic with a love of letterpress, and when I had a taster session at Crafty Fox Market in 2013 with the lovely Rachel from Prickle Press, I went home to wax lyrical about the process and how simple (haha) and fun it had been.
My husband doesn’t take a lot of encouragement and promptly went online to buy me my trusty table top Adana.
It was a steep learning curve (aided by a huge amount of advice from Rachel, and a day’s workshop at Harrington & Squires) but I started printing my own cards for friends, and finally had the courage to open my Etsy shop in August last year.
Well, I say courage. I actually set it up in a panic the day before People of Print’s magazine launch! And with that I’d not only opened shop, but I’d also given my first letterpress taster sessions!
It was October before I started paying proper attention to selling – taking better product photos and actually driving traffic to the shop, and the feedback I got was really positive and motivating.
By last Christmas I was outgrowing the corner of my spare room. Surrounded by cards and bits of paper I scanned the internet for an affordable studio that I could spread out into. I hadn’t much faith that I would find anything, but then, startlingly, I spotted a picture of a printing press. Both the press and the space around it were available immediately, and (I couldn’t believe my eyes) it was only a 15 minute walk from home in the corner of a commercial printers’.
I got in touch with the lovely Amelie of La Belle Press who was on maternity leave and looking for someone to share her incredible motorised Vicobold press, on what would turn out to be an ongoing basis.
A quick glance at Instagram will show you all the things I’ve been up to with the Vicobold, including my foray into stunning split fountains (printing with several ink colours at once to create a beautiful graduating effect).
Having a larger press to work with, and the ability to create my own designs for polymer plates rather than just work with lead and wood type has allowed me to change my whole product line and really develop my own style.
But now, things are changing. The office that currently houses the press needs the space back, and Amelie is taking a full time job so is looking to sell it on.
This is where Kickstarter comes in (I got there eventually, thanks for waiting). I have done a lot of research, and though it’s hard to say what the exact studio costs will be before securing one, I have estimated I need £6,500 to get me up and running.
This covers the purchase of the Vicobold and the cost of moving it (no mean feat), plus the use of a second Adana 8×5 (very handy for workshops!), equipment such as a drying rack and guillotine, printing supplies like additional chases, quoins and composing sticks, three months of estimated overheads like rent and insurance, down to smaller items like aprons.
The list goes on!
After all that painful estimating, I then got to plan the fun bit – REWARDS!
I’m still finalising things but there should be something on offer to please everyone, from exclusive prints and notebooks, to Adana workshops, to “print your own design” Vicobold workshops, like I did with Patch last month!
I’m looking for studio space in South London, near a tube or overground station to make it easy for people to reach and I want to make it feel like Inky Collective, in all it’s colourful, happy glory has come to life! A really positive place for people to come and learn about letterpress and get creative.
I need to get my Kickstarter page up and running, and am hoping to launch it within the next week. As soon as I’ve sorted my video – argh!
The whole thing is totally nerve wracking, but the few people I’ve mentioned it to so far have been hugely excited and supportive already. Which has made me a bit emotional. You guys.
I’ll keep you updated on Twitter and Instagram of course, and you won’t be able to shut me up once the campaign is live. I’m going to try not to be shy about it as this is something I really want to happen. I really hope you want it too!
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