5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Bucking Industry Standards

Whether they started up in fashion, fitness, education or art, these fundraising women are trying to show their contemporaries newer, better ways of doing business.

Maria Kleftodimou Smith By Maria Kleftodimou Smith

The activist, entrepreneurial women behind the five crowdfunding campaigns featured this week are using their creativity, work and businesses to promote change, whether to benefit the environment, our health or animals’ welfare.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Wearable Recycling (via Kickstarter)

The Business: April Rose Gedney Ramirez and Barbara Corea are veterans of the fashion industry. During their careers, they witnessed the environmental and social harm that the industry causes, especially in the Philippines — and they knew there had to be a better way to design and thrive. To prove it, they launched Hebe Rose, a company based in New York City that makes fashionable metallic and faux fur handbags out of up-to-100-percent recycled materials. Now, they want to bring their message that it’s cool to be conscious to a broader audience.
The Money: The pair’s campaign has raised $1,640 of a $5,000 goal, and there are 9 days left before it closes. The money will be used to elevate the business by ramping up manufacturing.

2. Running for Everyone (via StartEngine

The Business: Fat to Finish Line co-founders Angela Lee and Jennifer Roe started their joint venture after filming a documentary of the same name. During production, the pair realized that the running world did not cater to the challenges overweight runners like them face. And Lee and Roe knew they had the experience to provide the specific sort of training and support that other plus-size runners need by creating a virtual and physical community of like-minded people. Today, From Fat to Finish Line has more than 15,000 members worldwide who cheer each other on, both online and in-person.
The Money: With 18 days left, the equity campaign has raised $75,564 of a $50,000-to-$1,000,000 goal. Participation requires a minimum $150 investment, which gets an investor 120 company shares. With the money they raise, Lee and Roe hope to launch a mobile app, develop a membership plan and organize training groups in the coming months.

3. History Told Through Fairytales (via Indiegogo)

The Business: London-based photographer and teacher Fiona Compton saw firsthand that the history of the Caribbean, where she’s from, was missing from school curriculums. Now, she aims to share it with children by using photography to recreate familiar fairytales, replacing white “fictional characters with real-life heroes” from the Caribbean’s vibrant history. Compton plans to work with Caribbean costume designers and writers to ensure authenticity. Once completed, the photographs will be taken on tour to schools across the U.K. and the Caribbean, to help children learn about the unsung heroes of the Caribbean.
The Money: The campaign has raised $655 of its flexible goal of $7,500, with a month left before it ends. The money will be used to pay Compton’s Caribbean designer and writer collaborators.

4. A ‘Vaute’ to End Animal Exploitation (via Wefunder)

The Business: As a child, Vaute founder Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart felt that wearing animals for warmth was wrong. So, as an adult, she created a line of vegan coats that the she hopes will eliminate the need for animal harm. The company’s name is a combination of the letter v, for vegan and the word “haute,” and rhymes with “vote.” Hilgart argues every purchase we make is a vote — or a Vaute — for the world we want to live in, and that her coats promote a world without the suffering of geese for down or sheep for wool. The company, based in New York City, also makes vegan and eco-friendly swimsuits, clothing and accessories for men and women.
The Money: Hilgart is also selling stakes in Vaute via an equity crowdfunding campaign. So far, she has raised $39,000 of her $250,000-to-$1,000,000 goal. Money from the campaign will be used to fund the company’s first paid marketing campaign.

5. Feminist Empowerment Through Dance (via Indiegogo)

The Business: The Laboratory Dancers, an artist collective based in Chicago, has announced its fall dance concert, “Ladies First.” The production will explore what it means to be a woman in modern American society, retelling the personal experiences of the dancers using a combination of movement, film and sound. The performance will consist of three independent pieces united by similar themes, and will take place in September at the Athenaeum Theatre — the collective’s largest venue yet.
The Money: With one month remaining, the campaign has raised $595 of its $4,500 goal. The money will go towards production costs and promotional material.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at info@thestoryexchange.org.

Posted: June 28, 2017

Maria Kleftodimou Smith5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Bucking Industry Standards