A crowdfunding campaign you can get behind: Help make it happen for a blind entrepreneur

Since Accessible Insights is a blog devoted to advocacy, accessibility, and assistive technology, I get a little squishy whenever I post something unrelated to those topics. However, to paraphrase an old song, it’s my blog, and I’ll write what I want to, write what I want to, write what I want to…

This post will consist of a short explanation and a call to action. I need your help.

My little enterprise, Elegant Insights Braille Creations, has enjoyed a five-year run as your source for all things beautiful Braille embossed jewelry and accessories. Now, I have a bit of a problem, and, as they say in entrepreneurial parlance, it’s a good problem to have. My business is expanding, thanks to an invitation I received to showcase my products on the new Amazon Handmade platform. Amazon is seeking to aggressively compete with Etsy, which, in case you don’t know, is an enormous online destination for all things handcrafted. There you can find everything from woodwork to knitted pet blankets to scrapbook supplies. There’s plenty of handmade jewelry there, too. You will not find me there, instead, I chose to go my own way, and set up shop on my own domain, http://elegantinsightsjewelry.com/.

Etsy does billions per year in business. That’s right. I said billions. Amazon wants a piece of that very sweet pie, so they solicited artisans from a variety of sources to showcase their items on the Amazon platform. I applied, and was accepted. I think I may have read the congratulations letter about a hundred times. I was very excited.

My excitement was quickly quelled, though, by the realization that I was somewhat unprepared for the task. I needed to buy a whole lot of jewelry making supplies, sheet metal, findings and components, tools and other assorted parts and pieces. Not to mention the extra hands I would need to hire in order to put it all together in sufficient quantity to meet demand. I realized that I needed to raise some money.

To that end, I’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indie GoGo. Wow, has that been a learning experience. As is the case with many other adventures in life, there’s more to crowdfunding successfully than one might think, given the many startup victory dances that seem to be going on everywhere. Just when I think my head is about to explode from learning yet another new skill, I find out I have a lot to learn. My head may explode anyway.

I’m raising a relatively modest amount of money, just enough to get the ball rolling on my plans. The campaign period is 30 days, and I’m just over halfway through it now. Here’s where you come in. Remember that call to action? Here it comes.

Crowdfunding is, to some degree, part advanced planning, part momentum, part luck, and part numbers game. It’s also a ton of work. the more traffic you can drive to your campaign page, the more likely you are to attract a stranger who thinks what you’re trying to accomplish is cool, investment worthy, and they may decide to back your campaign by throwing some coin your way. In exchange, you offer perks, or thank you gifts, as a way of showing your appreciation for said stranger’s contribution. Hopefully, your family and close friends have already contributed, so by the time said stranger hits your page, you are already a small percentage of the way there.

I’m about 35 percent of the way there, and with just under two weeks to go, I feel the distance between me and success is a long one. I have worked tirelessly to this point, and have abandoned just about everything else in an effort to shepherd my campaign to the finish. Please take a look at my page, read my story, and contribute. If making a direct financial contribution is not an option for you, please let me leverage your network. Please tweet, blog, share, and nudge your friends on my behalf. Let them know that there is a video, photos, explanatory text, and a one-woman army driving the campaign. I appreciate any and all support, even if that support is in the form of an interview on your podcast, a guest post on your blog, or a link on your Facebook page. Please help me spread the word about my efforts, and help me make it happen.

Here’s the link: https://igg.me/at/ElegantInsights

If you need a gift for an upcoming birthday, or for Mother’s Day, which is right around the corner, I’m offering some great perks in exchange for your contribution, so check it out. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, which is another way of saying I’ll be promoting the ever loving daylights out of this. It’s been pretty hard to get away from me recently, I’m all about this right now. Thank you for your help, and for your patience.