Kickstarter entrepreneurs doing big business in the UK

By Jacqui Ma

 Here is a link to the article online featuring myself and Goodordering.

Jacqui Ma, 36, had been deliberating about launching a range of bags – retro panniers for bicycles – for three years. She already had her designs and had saved £30,000, but needed a final £12,000. Then a colleague told her about Kickstarter. It wasn’t perfect timing – she was eight months pregnant (her son was born last month) – and she didn’t expect the amount of work she would have to put in. 'I thought I would just make a video explaining what the project was, go on maternity leave [from WGSN, a fashion trend forecasting company] and sit back and see the money come in,’ she says. In reality her pledges came in slowly and Ma, who lives in east London with her partner, had to distribute flyers in her local area with details of her Kickstarter project, badger friends and family, and use social media to beg for funds.

But by December 1, she had 156 Kickstarter backers who had pledged £12,621. Her incentives included the chance to pre-order multiple bags at a discount, and two people who pledged £1,000 were allowed to name a bag design. In total Ma sold about 400 bags through Kickstarter to her backers, which will be shipped out this month, along with another 600 which she hopes to sell via her website and selected retailers.

Ma says that an unexpected advantage of listing her business on Kickstarter was that her backers helped publicise her business. 'People become emotionally invested in the product when they invest money in it – they end up putting it on Facebook and Twitter and spreading the word further.’

As well as the financial aid, Ma says Kickstarter gave her a psychological boost. 'All these people have given me money and so I had to get it done – never mind that I have a newborn baby. It’s brilliant. I’ve been thinking about this for years; now I’m actually doing it.’

By Jessica Salter 

Published 4 February 2013

1 comment

  • Just discovered your blog. I can’t wait for this to come out also. My nan, who psaesd away quite a few years ago, always left the house in style – with spritz of Chanel and a box of Tic Tacs to boot.

    Razu on

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