5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Intelligent Designs

The latest edition of our crowdfunding column focuses on fashionistas and creators whose works are innovative, empowering and inspiring.

Jesse Chase-Lubitz By Jesse Chase-Lubitz

The women running these five crowdfunding campaigns are demonstrating how clothing and art can be used to educate and empower some women, while making life a little easier for others. From highlighting the versatility and athleticism of female Olympians to crafting adjustable baby shoes, this week’s crowdfunders are making fashion and design their business.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Taking the Measure of Gold Medal Winners (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Graphic designer and illustrator Wendy Fox is using her fashion and design skills to celebrate the athleticism and diversity of female Olympians. Inspired by the physicality of the London Olympics’ women, Fox created a poster using the measurements, ages and nationalities of all 276 women who had won gold in the 2012 Games. She plans to do the same for the Rio Olympics and to create a book as well. Fox believes that female athletes don’t receive the positive coverage that men do, and she hopes her project will help young women celebrate these athletes.
The Money: Fox needs to raise $37,339 by August 25 to help her fund research, illustration, design and production.

2. The Better Way to Wear a Bag (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Isabel Fernandez has created a fashionable solution to an often uncomfortable and inconvenient necessity for many women: carrying a purse. Her Bag Bug allows women to hang their purses anywhere, while also alleviating shoulder pain caused from carrying a bag. Multiple design options give women the opportunity to choose which styles and colors suit them best.
The Money: By August 28, Fernandez needs at least $11,500 to facilitate production of her first line of Bag Bugs.

3. Adjustable Shoes for Fast-Growing Feet (via Indiegogo)

The Business: This creative startup manufactures adjustable, comfortable shoes for babies. Produced in the United States by female entrepreneur Amber Cruse, KINBE baby moccasins are 100 percent leather and can be adjusted to accommodate up to three sizes in one shoe. In addition to getting a great product, investors can feel good about where their money is going — 25 percent of profits are sent to an orphanage in Guatemala, which helps rescue children in danger and give them a loving home.
The Money: KINBE Moccs hopes to raise $25,000 within the next 19 days. In addition to supporting the orphanage in Guatemala, the proceeds will go to production. Since Cruse has a flexible funding goal, she will receive whatever sum her campaign generates.

4. Beauty Comes in All Sizes (via Kickstarter)

The Business: “Every day, 70 million plus-size, curvy, full-figured women encounter the same challenge: They can’t find apparel options that fit,” says Christina Marshall, the founder of Elu Made-to-Measure Apparel for Plus Size Women. Elu, a Native American word that means beauty, helps plus-size women embrace their curves with made-to-measure, customizable clothing. Marshall calls upon her extensive experience as a marketer and buyer for multiple billion-dollar brands to create, design and sell clothing that lets plus-size women feel beautiful and confident.
The Money: Before a deadline of August 31, Elu needs to raise at least $50,000. Those funds will help it expand its collection and begin designing its 2017 looks. The money will also be used to develop the Elu Smart Reflection feature, a virtual fitting room for customers to try new looks from home.

5. Fashion with a Purpose (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Tribe co-founders Sarah Hidey and Rebecca Taylor are not just designing fashionable clothing to wear, they are also creating jobs for women who need them. Tribe’s clothing line is inspired by a seamstress in Zambia who made beautiful African dresses. After spending time with women in Zambia, Hidey and Taylor sought to create opportunities for them to  be self-sufficient and provide for their families. Tribe provides training opportunities, as well as a work environment where women support each other, both in and outside of the United States.
The Money: Hidey and Taylor are looking to raise $15,000. The funds will be used to provide training to women, develop partnerships in Cambodia, pay for equipment and fabric, partner with the artisans who create the fabric, production, and to provide a living wage to workers. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to Children’s Future, a nonprofit for children in Cambodia.

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: August 11, 2016

Jesse Chase-Lubitz5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Intelligent Designs