Natasha Dzurny (@TechnoChicShop) recently walked us through all of the trials and tribulations of launching a Kickstarter campaign, and it’s a must read for anyone planning to do their own crowdfunding campaign: part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, and part six. In this installment, we take a step back to ask Natasha about her overall strategy, her learnings, and see what’s next for her. Her latest Kickstarter for her Light-Up Paper Bow Ties is live now:
You mention in your series that you’ve run several Kickstarters. Can you tell us a bit more about what they were?
Each Kickstarter launched a new DIY tech-craft kit under my brand name, TechnoChic. TechnoChic is on a mission to make DIY electronics a crafting staple. Each DIY tech-craft kit is fun to build and educational – but most of all, it’s just plain cool. Attractive designs with detailed instructions explain every step of assembling a real electronic circuit, so creators feel successful right from the start. TechnoChic kits inspire the curiosity and confidence to explore what can be created with a basic knowledge of electricity.
The first few Kickstarters were for DIY light-up pop-up greeting card kits. Each kit includes pre-cut paper shapes and electronic components and instructs makers to construct their own light-up pop-up greeting card. Then, I Kickstarted my DIY light-up paper flower kits that let creators design, build, and wear their own light-up flower pin. Now, I’m back to add the perfect companion to the flowers — DIY light-up paper bow ties!
Do you feel like you were building on gained knowledge after each one, or was each campaign a unique thing that required different strategies? Maybe a little bit of both?
Every campaign has been totally unique. With the internet always changing, each campaign practically launches into a different era. My strategies have always been fluid — constantly learning what’s working, what isn’t, and updating what to do next — even after the campaign launches.
The biggest advantage of having done a campaign before is understanding all that needs to be accomplished before launch day. My actions haven’t changed much since my first campaign, but I’ve learned to be more organized and efficient on the road to launch (which is why I wanted to share what I learned with Make:!)
Your current campaign is for your DIY Light-Up Paper Bow Ties. Tell me about the idea behind these. What inspired them? What are they for?
When learning something new, the first step is important. DIY electronics can be very intimidating to get into — and that means that many capable people never try. My goal for TechnoChic, especially my DIY light-up flower pins and the new DIY light-up bow ties, is to make DIY electronics kits that are so easy to put together that everyone feels that they can be successful, then build on that confidence to keep creating.
What do you feel has been the hardest part of crowdfunding for you? Were you expecting that hardest part, or did it take you by surprise?
The hardest part is finding ways to market the campaign without breaking the bank. I wish I could hire a marketing firm or social media consultant, but I can’t afford it. (If the campaign doesn’t get funded, that’s money I’ve spent with no way of paying it back!) So, I’ve been sending out handmade samples to tons of bloggers in hopes that they will help me spread the word. I feel so lucky that many have featured me!
(Thank you! – Make:, Mario The Maker Magician, GeekDad, The Coding Train, Hyper Crafty, Craft Box Girls, 30 Minute Crafts, ClearBags, The Geekly News)
Is it just you running the show? Who/how many business partners/friends are helping out?
Yup, it’s just me. I have an amazing boyfriend who sits up late at night with me stuffing LED’s into bags and packing samples. I also have a small group of wonderful friends whom I have called upon several times when the work became too much. I dream of the day when I can hire a few people to work on these projects with me!
What’s next for you?
I hope the next step for me is manufacturing my DIY light-up paper bow tie kits!
My mission is to fill the gap between the worlds of DIY crafts and DIY electronics. For too long, creators have identified with a certain type of skill set — either hard skills like soldering and robotics or soft skills like knitting and sewing. These two groups rarely crossed, and that same line has often been drawn between genders. TechnoChic shatters these conventions by providing a resource for crafters to explore technology, and techies to explore craft. I hope you will support my journey by checking out my LIVE Kickstarter campaign today. Thank you!