Blow your horn and tell them who you are
If you are a young gun starting out on your first adventure it may not seem like a big task to get your friends and family to support what you are doing and to have faith in your capability of seeing this project through. Most likely they are the first one to jump on the helping hand wagon and do what is needed for you to succeed. All parents want their children to have some form of success and your true friends do also want you to have success.
If you on the other hand are in this as a second carrier or even the third you are in for some more trouble. People are for example more likely to share post and give you support fore some thing they know you are good for. In my case I am known as a photographer and it has been hard for many members of my family to understand why I would want to stop being a photographer and go into the risky business of producing leather goods, let alone fishleather goods.
This is understandable. I have not been showing any thing of this nature through out the years but I have been exhibiting my photography and my skills as photographer. This is known to them and therefore any thing else I do is not taken seriously first when I present it. I can fully understand it as this was some thing that had to sink in with me also. Was I really up for it to give away my photography for leatherwork. The answer is that not only was I ready, I felt I had no choice but go for it. This is some thing I not only want to do but I have to do. If you answer this clearly for your self, converting others will be easier.
Several years back, when I presented to my friends and family that we where going to sell all our assets and by a motorhome and travel the world for unknown period of time, I was met with a lot of skepticism. Now that is out right madness, was the first reaction from every one, except my mother in law. She fell for the idea right away and became our biggest supporter. She even took to learning everything about using the computer and skype so she could follow us and what we where up to. Most other people did not believe in the idea until one day when we had sold the house and bought the plain tickets. That is when they realized we really where set out to do this.
My good friend Petur in Filmus, who no longer is Petur in Filmus, was a film director and after film school started the company Filmus. It was during cooperation with Filmus that I did get to know him and he thus became Petur in Filmus. To me it was his Identity. Petur Jonsson then went about and sold his share in Filmus to have a carrier in the music industry. Going from one crazy business, to an other even worse, was not the hardest problem for him. This was some thing that he felt he wanted to do and had to do.
Thus Petur in Filmus became Petur in Medialux, some thing that took my brain some time to grasp and I still today fall in the trap of using Filmus when ever I need to explain who he is. If Crowd funding would have been an option when he had his carrier change he would have used it. Definitely. But as there was no crowd funding channels at that time he took to Twitter ( then in its heydays ) as his megaphone to spread the word and gather the thought in peoples mind who he is and what he is good for. To make a long story short it was a success campaign for him. No one thinks of him as a Filmmaker or director to day. He is a guitarist, producer, music writer and the voice in several ads in Iceland. He is Petur in Medialux or Anthemico record or what ever music project he is working on. Mostly he is just Petur.
Convincing my friends and family this time is going to be a bit easier than last time, but I can still see the pattern of blogposts being more shared by members of my family if they are blog about photography rather than the posts about leather work. This is understandable as I have said, in their mind I am still a photographer and I guess it will take some more time for it to sink in that, yes I am a photographer, but I am also a designer and a leather worker and that is my main occupation now. Photography is my hobby and a helping tool in my work.
I guess that to a stranger it will not matter what I am or what I have been up to so far. To a stranger it is more going to be about who I am, what I stand for, and am I capable of living up to creating what I promise to deliver. But engaging strangers in your thoughts and longings is a bit more difficult than friends and family, except if those strangers share your values fro things like sustainability and respect for nature and natural resources or what ever your agenda and values are.
With 1000 of people out there pitching their idea it seems like a un executable task to bring your project to the world. But if you look at the statistics it seems like you don’t need more than 100 backers to get going. It of course depends on the size of your project, but how hard is it to gather 100 people around a cause. All it takes is hard work.
It seems to me that my strongest asset in lifting this idea of the ground might not be my products them selfs but in fact me my self I. I might be ugly old fart, but by coming clean and being sincere in sharing my thoughts and hopes on my projects. Laying out on the table my longings and life, it might engage some people to participate in this and give me support.
Actually this is my best bet. I am not inventing some thing new that the world can not be with out, but I am twisting an old idea into something new. Using fishleather, product that people used to throw away, and get people to stuff this waist in their pocket as a useful thing is a fairly new thought. Something with thought about current use of material with the future in mind. I hope there are others that are thinking along the same lines of sustainability.
This might also be your hope for your project. Be true to your self. Be true to your project and respect your supporters and also those that do not understand what you are doing and where you are heading. Things will then resolve them self. Next step is web and social media. We will take a look at that to morrow.
For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on regular basis about my work in relation to this Kickstarter campaign of ours. The preparation, launch and executing of it. Success and failures. It will be a kind of a diary. Leaving nothing behind. Hopefully it will give you some help in similar situation. Stay tuned, stay happy and keep on stitching.