I thought I would do an update and let you know how my crowdfunding campaign is going for my new business venture with my friend Martins. Last time I checked in, in this blog post, we were just 5 days into our campaign to open the crafty cafe The Stormy Teacup. As of today we have 9 days left and are coming into the finishing stretch. We've managed to raise just under €5,000 and now have to make €1,000 to reach our goal, but if we don't get over the last hurdle we get €0, eek!
Neither myself and Martins are very good at asking for help, both of us are doggedly stubborn, and prefer to work all the hours under the sun rather than admit we need someone's help (something I'm working on!!). So it was quite surreal to so publicly ask for help and money. But we had a business idea that we knew would work, we just needed help getting it off the ground. We all know that banks are not lending to small businesses at the moment, so we needed to think outside the box if we were ever going to get this started.
It's been a really crazy and emotional process, we've both been amazed at how generous people have been. We knew that our friends and family would show their support, however much they could afford, but we were really amazed at the amount of strangers that donated to the campaign. It totally renewed our faith in humanity and also showed that there is a real desire for something like this to open in Limerick. We've been really touched by the outpouring of positivity and goodwill towards our project. Even if people haven't been able to afford to donate money they have been enthusiastically sharing and liking our pitch.
If any of you are sitting there at your desk daydreaming of the amazing boutique/cafe/barber/bookshop that you could open, maybe think about really doing it. Crowdfunding is a way for communities to help themselves, taking out the middleman of the bank. It gives people with the drive, energy, and ideas the power, rather than those who tick the right boxes for getting a loan. Over the years we've all seen small businesses dwindle in our towns and cities. I really believe that crowdfunding is a way for people to invest in a small way in the businesses/project that they want to see in their community.
If you would like to read about our experience over the past month with this campaign head over to Write on Track to and interview I did with social media guru Lorna Sixsmith. Also if you would like to donate to our teashop head over to our campaign, the clock is ticking!
Wish us luck!