If you have been following the blog and Boy Wonder for a while you will know that we first launched our collection on Kickstarter back in June. Sadly, the crowd fund campaign was a big failure and it's taken a while to get back to the point of being able to relaunch again.
One of the big reasons I have really struggled to keep going was that I had been offered help by various industry experts, which for some reason evaporated. I totally understand how busy people are and so maybe it just wasn't practical for them, but it left me feeling very lost. It can be really difficult making decisions when you are running a business single-handedly, but as a widow I also have no life partner to help me either so it's doubly hard. I do have amazing friends and family who do what they can and have had some wonderful help and advice from various contacts, but the expert industry support would have been invaluable.
One of the hardest things to decide on is how high to set the funding goal. As Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfund site I have to set the target high enough to cover my anticipated costs but low enough to be realistically met. I have also decided to cut back what I am offering to just the jerseys which should help with reaching a minimum of 50 units per style. Any lower than this could make the project unrealistic unless I invest in the rest as stock which is very risky.
Anyway, after everything I have faced in my life I knew I couldn't just give up and had to give the collection one last shot. I have since been doing substantial research and analysis to try and work what went wrong (aside from the high prices) and what to do differently. So this time round I will have discounts and special offers to help stimulate pledges and will be featuring more about our amazing makers, press features and follower feedback during the campaign.
I have put an enormous amount of time and energy into promoting the collection and campaign across social media and mass media this time. Having contacted hundreds of contacts, journalists and bloggers, I have at least doubled my previous reach, but only had about a dozen people who are happy to feature us without charging me. So your help as my dedicated readers will be essential. You can help spread the word by telling your friends, sharing and commenting on our posts and signing up to our mailing list here.
Another time-consuming and costly element I have been dealing with has been switching to a new printer. On recommendation the new one will be far more reliable but it has meant having a third lot of fabric test prints done. Hopefully these will work out ok, as they haven't used the fabrics I wanted before.
Having invested so much of my own money in the business already this is really my last opportunity to have a successful launch and possibly to continue with the business. at all I don't have to resources to do it again, so if it fails again I will have to make some hard decisions and reconsider what I am doing.
On top of the all the cost and hard work of the last few months my old car died and needed replacing (we have a secon-hand electric one now!). We have also had various bouts of illness between me and my son and his school was flooded out and had to be closed. Then factor in the usual juggle of motherhood with working whilst being on my own, which sometimes seems an impossible thing to balance. My late husband's birthday has just passed too adding another layer of emotion to deal with. So we could really do with some good luck and for all my efforts to finally pay off!
On a good note, I have had lots of lovely responses to the Boy Wonder designs. Our subscribers list has increased by 116% since the last launch and our social media following is slowly growing. We had a double page feature in Future Textiles magazine here and been named in Drapers as ‘Childrenswear brand to watch’ and one of the ‘Alternative Occasionwear: The Brands to Know’ - high praise indeed! So, maybe things are moving in the right direction.
Thanks for sticking with us and I hope you will join us for the launch on Friday 6th December.
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