Our Journey on
Kickstarter.com is the largest online crowdfunding platform. With the first project ever being funded in April 2009, Kickstarter backers have since funded over $3 BILLION collectively among 12,000,000+ users! (See our campaign HERE)
"Crowdfunding is the use of small amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture." (Investopedia.com)
Being 2 University students with the intention of launching a company, crowdfunding became an extremely appealing option. The virality aspect of many Kickstarter campaigns, along with the reliability of a well-trusted website convinced us to take Beez Pleez to test: We would launch our very first crowdfunding campaign!
From January 2017 to April 26, the date we launched, the Beez Pleez team was hard at work. One thing we all agreed on as being an important factor in our success, was being overly prepared. We would spend the upcoming months researching, networking, adjusting, re-adjusting, and testing our project. We NEEDED it to be PERFECT.
In January 2017, we first recognized the potential a Kickstarter campaign could have for releasing our mission to the world. It would be a great way to cover our company's initial fixed costs, while treating it as a soft launch, to gain valuable feedback. As we investigated previous Kickstarter projects, our goals/expectations, and our requirements for funding, Kickstarter sounded more and more perfect. The majority of the month would take shape in the form of contacting previous project creators and simply looking into the requirements for creating a project on Kickstarter.com
Once the Beez Pleez team agreed that Kickstarter.com would be the most suitable platform for our campaign, the real preparation began. The month of February was filled with messaging manufacturers and suppliers to ensure we had discovered the most suitable partners to meet our specific demands. It was our month to build a strong foundation for the Beez Pleez campaign. We would continue reaching out to select individuals, inquiring about our project and asking for precious feedback. The information gained from conducting our own personal research, in combination from the advice given by individuals with years of experience, greatly aided the transformation of our simple idea- let's save the bees- to an actual plan!
One of the most exciting moments of our pre-launch came in early March when we met Kamloops beekeeper Murray Willis. Since then, Murray has partnered with Beez Pleez and is in charge of managing the first 2 Beez Pleez hives! He has been a great resource for teaching honey bee basics to new and upcoming beekeepers and manages the Facebook page Kamloops Beekeepers.
In March we also received our first prototype of the candles, which surpassed all expectations. The candles arrived one Friday evening, and we couldn't wait to get our hands on them. Immediately, photos were taken, the candles were lit, and notes were scribbled down. Our first impression: a slow-burning, beautiful, honey scented candle- we LOVED it!
Arguably the most vital month to date, and most stressful, would be April. Not only were 2 of the 3 founders pushing through their final university semester, which meant an abundance of exams + projects, but the launch of the campaign would be set for the end of the month. The planning that was put into the Kickstarter campaign well outweighed the planning into our studies... Although we both did exceptionally well, the Kickstarter always felt like the priority.
In April, we also spent endless hours editing, designing, writing, and contacting influencers, all of which would play a huge part in the success of our campaign. Creating a Kickstarter campaign is not easy, and being on a student's budget, we needed to be resourceful. It meant a lot of DIY projects, which resulted in a lot of invaluable learning experiences.
April 26 - The day we released our idea to the world! (watch our launch VIDEO)
All of the hard work and long hours in the previous months would be put to the test. It was nerve-racking for the entire team, but we had little doubt we would not succeed based on our drive and desire to make the project a success.
The day started early, with the Beez Pleez team preparing messages to send to our family and close friends, hoping to get any bit of help. We were extremely fortunate to receive the amount of support we got and managed to end the first day with $1,163 raised!! It was a huge relief to see the positive feedback on our campaign.
The same day, Brayden H. and Kolby K., two of the three co-founders, were interviewed by the Thompson Rivers University on the new business start-up. It was an amazing chance to see what the professors thought of all the ideas and our progress, and an opportunity for them to see us apply the knowledge they had passed along.
The interview can be found HERE!
The majority of our campaign was running in May. We spent, what felt like, every second of every day promoting our campaign and spreading the word. We needed to see what people thought. By early May, we had over 50,000 views, 2,000 shares, and 150 comments on our launch video.The feedback was amazing!!
Later in May, our video got featured on Backyardgardener.com, a Facebook page with over 2.2 MILLION followers. The huge surge of interested individuals sent our way helped the growth of our campaign, and got us excited to see our message broadcasted to thousands of new individuals.
Furthermore, an interview with BCIT news was published in May. We discussed the current progress, including the short term and long term goals for Beez Pleez.
The interview can be read HERE!
TIP: The combination of influential sources promoting our brand, and assisting our project had a huge influence on our success. To like-minded individuals, who are considering starting a Kickstarter project of your own, we 100% recommend contacting as many sources as possible. This includes relevant blogs, news distributors, Facebook groups, forums, etc. Simply informing people of your mission can peak interest and lead to valuable new connections.
PROJECT SUCCESSFULLY FUNDED
3 Days before our campaign came to an end, we DID IT, we hit our goal! Seeing 100% on our Kickstarter dashboard was easily one of the most rewarding times of the entire journey. It confirmed that our project had been well-received, and we could now continue growing our business in the sustainable direction we have such a passion for. Receiving our funding meant Beez Pleez can now purchase MORE honey bees, and expand to work with more beekeepers.
We would like to thank everyone who has shown support for us, whether it be in the form of a purchase, entry in our giveaways, sharing our content, or simply following us on social media. We could not #BeetheChange without YOU!
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