Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Recently Helga Wear launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund our first local production run. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I wanted to express my love and gratitude to the amazing people who contributed and tell you how started Helga Wear kickstarted my real-life love story.
Getting Helga Off The Ground
As a new entrepreneur, there was a lot to learn. The challenges I had experienced as an environmental engineer felt easy compared to launching a company. To ensure I grew the company effectively I enrolled in a training program for entrepreneurs. Mid-way through the program in the spring of 2015 I decided to create a crowdfunding campaign to secure the funding needed to take my Ida prototype through to production.
My advisors at the time were against the idea and considered it risky because of the catch - if you fall short of your funding goal in the time frame you set, you walk away empty-handed.
Despite their fears and my own, the campaign was a great success that exceeded the funding goal!
I will be forever grateful to my amazing network and to the wonderful strangers who saw something in my idea, who felt something from my story, and who helped me move forward by contributing their support to the campaign.
I will also be forever grateful that I choose to move forward with a Kickstarter campaign, even if it was risky because on top of helping me move forward with my passion it connected me with my true love!
Finding Love As An Unexpected Reward!
Kickstarter campaigns allow you to offer rewards in return for contributions. While it’s expected that you include your product as one of the rewards you aren’t limited to just that and can get creative.
My rewards ranged from $10 social media shout out ‘Thank-You’ to a $1000 tattoo of your initials on my forearm (yes, people actually bought that option, but that’s another story). At the $100 mark was the Local Lionheart Special reward - only for the bravest folks living in the lower mainland. To show my gratitude for the $100 contribution I offered a round trip to one of my 2 (secret) places to watch the sunset over breathtaking Vancouver City... on the back of my Honda Shadow.
While this reward may seem like a strange way to say thanks for helping fund a women’s workwear production run, creating it was the best decision I have ever made!
Midway through the campaign, some close friends of mine who have been incredibly supportive of Helga Wear were sharing my story with their long-time friend and neighbour who then went home and contributed, choosing the Local Lionheart Special as his reward. Although we were strangers, he had been hearing tales of my illustrious adventures with our mutual friends over the years and I imagine he decided it was time to join the fun.
His Kickstarter pledge came across my desk under his avatar name, Neon Mouse. When I showed up to his door, that name made sense. He was quiet and gentle, shining with Vancouver's neon nocturnal glory. He flooded me with attentive conversation and surprised me with islands of comfortable silence as we watched the sunset from a secret vantage point.
When I dropped him back at home, I had a feeling life would never go back to the way it had been and thankfully I was right!
He's famously private so I won’t give any more away but suffice to say we were married this past August, and his love and support have elevated me, and Helga, immeasurably along our journey.
When I set out to run a Kickstarter campaign I was optimistic but also nervous, never in my wildest dreams did I realize the impact this campaign would have on my business and life.
So thank you once again to all the people who supported our campaign.