With one of the best coaching teams in the business, we were excited to discover that our own Sami Mauger, Head of Coaching & Project Innovation here at Crowdfunder, is planning to launch her own Crowdfunder.co.uk project for the very first time.
Hi Sami! We all know you in the office as the coaching expert that supports projects from initial planning stages through to ultimately achieving great success, but it’s definitely a first for you to put your own Crowdfunder.co.uk project on the platform. Why is it that you are crowdfunding?
About a year ago, I started to dabble in making bracelets as gifts for my sisters for Christmas. I really liked the idea of making something really personalised, so I went on to do a silversmith course in the evenings after work. I loved it! A lot of friends and family started asking me for rings and necklaces, so I decided that I would give it a go at setting up a little business – which I’ve called Catch The Sunrise.
For me, my Crowdfunder.co.uk project came from the realisation that I need the cash flow to purchase the few pieces of equipment and machinery needed for my business – and they are quite expensive. My Crowdfunder project will enable supporters to pre-order pieces of jewellery (my ‘rewards’), and with the funds raised from this I can buy the required equipment and materials. I’ve planned for my project to go live in October, which will allow enough time to make the pre-ordered jewellery and deliver it before Christmas.
Have you thought about who will support your project – or what we like to call, ‘your network’?
Initial and ongoing support has come from my friends and family – they are the people who have been enthusiastic from the start and are right at the centre of my network map. I also recently did a pop-up stall at Boardmasters festival here in Newquay, where I sold about 20 pieces of my jewellery. The interest from the pop-up was a great indication that there is potential support for my project outside of those friend and family groups – another load of people to add to my network map! The festival was the perfect place to engage with my target audience – active and outdoorsy women, who I feel respond well to my jewellery because it’s nature inspired, very lightweight and where possible, made from recycled silver. At this stage of a Crowdfunder.co.uk project, I think it’s important to understand who your target audience is, but to also fill out the network map as much as possible. Testing out my product with real people (as in not my close friends and family) was an amazing experience, and really gave me the fire to go for it.
One of the biggest pieces of advice we give to project owners in these early stages of project planning is to think about building a ‘team’ – a term that can sometimes seem a bit daunting. Can you talk us through who is on your Crowdfunder team?
The people on my Crowdfunder team don’t actually know that they are on my team! It’s less of an official grouping, but more of a recognition of the people who continue to help along the way. It’s important to know that you have people you can call upon when you need a hand. I have a couple of friends who are photographers, and also a videographer, who have been amazing at helping and giving up their time for me. Whilst I’m trying to fill a lot of the roles myself when it comes to promotion, because that’s what my background is in, it’s mainly my friends that make up my team. Everyone seems to say yes! People are really busy, but their willingness to make the time and help has been the biggest surprise.
We’ll be following Sami’s journey from planning and creating, through to running her Crowdfunder project in our blog series, ‘Crowdfunding With Sami’.
You can keep an eye on her progress (as no doubt a few of her team members will be doing) by checking for updates on our Facebook and Crowdfunder Blog.