Felt is a bit like Etsy but for locally made goods by Kiwi makers, designers, artists and craftspeople. Sort of like how some folk call us like Kickstarter but for New Zealand (or they did before Kickstarter was in New Zealand and equity crowdfunding was legalised). But, other than the underlying functionality of the website we are both worlds apart from our global cohort.
Doing something with a local focus makes what you do tangible, real, hyperlocal, meaning you’re not just building an online platform but an offline community that can really truly care about you as a platform of accessible people not a platform of international pixel pushers.
Which is why we’re so excited about Lucy, Felt’s CEO, launching an equity campaign for Felt on PledgeMe this week (it’ll be live here from 5:30 PM on Wednesday). She’s already travelled up and down the country to meet with her potential investors, has over 700 people signed up interested to invest, and is in the final countdown to launching her campaign.
Her quotes from supporters are beautiful, and her pitch heart felt (which, makes sense, since her twitter handle is @iheartfelt). We were really lucky to see her pitch in action in Wellington and Auckland, and to meet some of her community of crafters and supporters.
We first met Lucy over 6 months ago when a shareholder put her in touch to discuss doing an investment round. At that point, she’d already done a lot of thinking about raising money, but had been planning to hit go pre-earthquake and to pitch to individual angels. Their world changed quite a bit when the Christchurch earthquake hit, but in some ways waiting was for the best because as Lucy puts it “the legislation changes allowed us to do what we really wanted — get our community of makers and buyers involved in our company”.
The community that Felt has created is a veritable who’s who of kiwi makers, but with sales made all over the world. Including to Antarctica.
Lucy came to our pitch kitchen in Christchurch in May, and since then has been working to complete her business plan, pitch video, and financials. The biggest hurdle was finding the time to work through the plan, but Lucy definitely made it happen in her own way, with her crowd of supporters around her commenting in Google docs.
I, personally, am excited to get another female founder up on the platform. Especially one from the South Island, and doubly especially one from Christchurch. That city continues to inspire us with their attitude towards doing things differently.