What we’ve been up to this week…

We had a stall at Gin in Teacups at the Arches, had a great time, met some marvellous people and ate fantastic onion rings. 
We got a lovely write up on the Life is Peachy Blog
We ‘re nearly at the end of our Indiegogo Campaign. Thanks to all who’ve supported by buying, tweeting and sharing so far. It’s really appreciated! Only a few days left!

Another key milestone!

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With just a week left to go in our Indiegogo pre-order campaign, we’ve made it to 25% of our target, with a flurry of activity in the last couple of days.  Having broken through the £500 barrier is particularly significant, we’re now searchable on Indiegogo and unhidden from the public again, so we stand to reach a lot more people on Indiegogo who might wish to back us on our way.

We’re so grateful to everyone who’s decided to invest in one (or more) of our products, and to everyone who’s liked a facebook post, retweeted us on Twitter, followed us on Pinterest, read our blog or been there for us through what is quite a stressful as well as exciting process.

But we aren’t there yet!  While we’ve now sold the equivalent of 25 t-shirts, we need to take pre-orders for another 75 in order to reach our first target, to release more designs in our collection and to help develop and grow our business, all the while ensuring that you get your t-shirts, badges and colouring books in good time.

If you’re intending to buy but aren’t sure which designs are your favourites, don’t let that put you off.  There’s no need to make your mind up on sizes or designs until after the campaign closes, when we’ll send you an email with all your options.

Best of all, there are still a handful of t-shirts available at early bird prices, if you thought you’d missed your chance, think again! Now the countdown is on for our next key milestone of £1000 – who’s with us?  Simply click here to visit Indiegogo and chose how many t-shirts you wish to buy – see you there!

The perfect fit

There are only a few days left to pre-order to guarantee that your Mimi and Will t-shirt will arrive in time for Christmas.  To help you make your mind up, here is a guide to sizing on the t-shirts:

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And because we can’t resist another look at the whole of our collection so far, here’s a little reminder of the designs we’ve released for pre-order.

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Don’t forget to get yours here: www.tinyurl.com/mw-preorders

A new way to pay

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With only a few  days to go for pre-orders, here’s a friendly reminder to count up all the children on your Christmas shopping list, to have your favourite designs in mind and your order placed here: www.tinyurl.com/mw-preorders.  Previously, supporters in the UK have only been able to check out from Indiegogo (who is hosting our pre-order campaign) via PayPal, but now we are delighted to announce that you can also pay directly with your credit card – we never see your details during the transaction, but you don’t have to go through the extra step of PayPal to pay up.  

If you’ve decided that Indiegogo isn’t for you, or you’ve experienced problems with the checkout process (we’ve heard it can be tricky on some phones), but you’d still like to pre-order t-shirts, colouring books or badges, drop us a line through the contact us form or via our facebook page and we can send you an invoice to pay direct via PayPal, cheque or bank transfer.

Two Weeks to Go!

We’ve got two weeks left of our indiegogo pre-order campaign. Here’s a quick round up of what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks, in case you missed anything!

We have seven designers on board for the launch collection and have six sample shirts (we’re still waiting for Lucy Farfort’s design to come back from the printers, but you can see a proof below:

I Love Puddles by Emma Henderson
I Love Puddles by Emma Henderson
Winter of Our Discount Tents by Laura Donald
Winter of Our Discount Tents by Laura Donald
Supersaurus by Neil Slorance
Supersaurus by Neil Slorance
Puffer by Julia Smith
Puffer by Julia Smith
Lion by Poosac for Mimi and Will
Lion by Poosac
Treehouse by Jolly and Hodie
Treehouse by Jolly and Hodie
Jelly Loves Ice Cream by Lucy Farfort for Mimi and Will
Jelly Loves Ice Cream by Lucy Farfort for Mimi and Will

We visited the Children’s Wood for their Bake-Off. Laura Donald came to visit us and blogged about it.

We also sold some of these badges, which we’ve decided to offer as a limited edition reward on Indiegogo.

Supersaurus Badges
Supersaurus Badges

And that’s about it! Remember, if you want to guarantee a shirt before Christmas, pre-ordering is the way to go!

As ever, give us a shout with any questions, queries, or just to say hello!

What are we all about then, part two.

A couple of weeks ago, when we started our Indiegogo campaign, I wrote a blog explaining a bit about who we were, and the reasons why we started Mimi and Will.

As I said in that post, the idea sparked when we wanted to buy a children’s t-shirt by a designer we knew, and discovered that producing screen-printed shirts in a range of children’s sizes wasn’t really viable for independent designers. We saw an opportunity to promote independent design, work with some really exciting, creative people, and make some really good t-shirts.

When we were looking at t-shirt suppliers and screenprinters, supporting small businesses and making really good t-shirts were our guiding principles. Our t-shirts are fairly traded, high quality cotton, screenprinted in the U.K. using eco-friendly inks.

That means we’re doing our bit to support independent businesses (and the environment), but we’ve also ticked the ‘really good t-shirt’ box too; high quality cotton feels nicer to wear and they wash well, last longer than thinner cotton shirts, and so make great presents that can be handed down.

And why are these two things important to us? We’ve both dabbled in the maker/ seller movement and know how hard it is for artists, designers and makers to make a living from their work. And it’s not just ‘creative’ businesses that find it hard- according to Enterprise Nation, 99% of businesses in the United Kingdom are classified as small, but this is a sector that has little or no support in order to promote growth.

We’re only a tiny business, and we don’t pretend that we’re going to make a huge difference on our own. But we’d like to be part of the growing number of people who are trying, in some way, to make a difference collectively.

And the making good t-shirts part? Well, we just really, really, love a good t-shirt.

So this IndieGoGo site, what’s that all about?

So crowdfunding… what’s all that about then? Here at Mimi and Will, we know that a lot of you reading this will be well aware of what it is, how it works and have opinions on whether or not Zach Braff was right to use it.

But we know from extensive market research that we’ve been doing over the last few days (or, talking to our families, as it’s often called) that some people aren’t that familiar with crowdfunding, and are wondering why we are doing it this way.

So, we’re going to take a couple of minutes to talk to you about crowdfunding.  It’s a new way of raising capital for businesses who might not have access to other, more traditional funding streams, like loans, credit or shareholders/independent backers.  Although the main websites for crowdfunding have only been going for a short while, it’s a process that’s really taken off, and there’s a whole community of people out there who regularly support new businesses, get access to exciting new products before they hit other outlets, or help people to raise money to achieve personal or family goals – it’s not just all about business.   Some of the other sites include Kickstarter, Bloom and Gofundme.  We chose IndieGoGo because it gave us the choice to honour our customers’ orders even if we don’t reach our £2000 funding goal, which is super-important to us.

Everyone who buys a t-shirt via our IndieGoGo campaign will definitely receive a t-shirt, by December of this year.  We’re asking people to invest in us upfront by buying our product at the price we’ll be selling it for, or if you buy more than one, with a bit of a discount thrown in because you’ll save us on packaging and postage costs with a multiple purchase.

Here are some simple steps for visiting our IndieGoGo page and making a purchase.  Firstly click on this link

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You can see our colouring book and t-shirt bundles, and their prices, along the right hand side of the screen.

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If you want to see more close up pictures of our t-shirts, click on the tab at the top which says ‘gallery’.

There are some more pictures behind the ‘updates’ tab, too.  Or you can watch our video.

Once you’re happy with the product and you’ve decided you want to buy, go back to the main page and click on the big red contribute button.  Remember, you choose which t-shirt you want, and the size, at the end of our pre-order campaign, in October.  We’ll write to you with all the options on an order form then – our t-shirts come in 6 sizes from age 2-12, and we are adding more t-shirts as time goes on – so you don’t need to chose just yet.

You’ll see a screen like this, and you can scroll down to click on the item you want to buy.

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Once you’ve clicked on the item you want to buy, IndieGoGo will help you through the payment process.  It’s really straightforward, even if you’ve never shopped online before.  We don’t get to see any of your financial details, or even your address, that’s taken care of by IndieGoGo and PayPal.

If you’re thinking that all sounds really complicated, and why can’t you just go and buy one from an online shop, well that’s a really good question.  It costs us nearly £500 to create one of our t-shirt designs in all available sizes – this is why you can’t often buy children’s t-shirts from individual independent designers, unless they are set up for printing by hand on demand.  By working in a pre-order system, we can better assess which sizes are popular with customers and place our orders with our printer accordingly.  This means we can bring our customers well-designed, well-made t-shirts with a minimum of waste, printed traditionally by a fellow independent business.

Those readers interested in new tech developments will be interested to know that pre-order platforms are springing up in America as demand grows from designers and consumers to work more often in this way – by only making what is required, it means production can stay local as well as design.  Unfortunately there are no internationally-based, well-established pre-order platforms open to the UK yet… this is something we’d love to see in the future.

But in the meantime, find us here: http://igg.me/at/mimiandwill/x/3097542 and don’t forget to share our link!

What are we all about then?

Winter of Our Discount Tents for Mimi and Will by Laura Donald

So. Here we are, about to launch our t-shirt collection. You may be thinking, who are Mimi and Will? And why are they doing this? As we get closer to launch, we often think this ourselves, especially in the wee small hours of the morning. Only kidding! We’re very excited as we prepare to launch our funding campaign, so we thought we’d reflect a little on who we are and why we decided to start this project.

The team behind Mimi and Will are Katy and Jo, sometimes otherwise known as Girl Industries and Stella My Star.

Katy was looking for a toddler-sized t-shirt, and really liked this one by Neil Slorance. However, it didn’t come in kid sizes. We discovered that because of the range of sizes across children’s wear, it just wasn’t possible for most independent designers to order shirts in sufficient quantities to sell, unless of course that was their core business focus.

So we thought, well. What if someone worked with a number of designers, licensing their images for use on kids’ tees and overseeing production? And then we thought, why don’t we do it? So we approached some designers, who said yes and here we are!

At present we have sample shirts from four designers: Neil Slorance, Emma Henderson of Showpony, Kim Gurney of Poosac, and Laura Donald. Some have been created exclusively for us, others have been licensed. We’re working with the printer on final designs, and will post detailed images as soon as we have them. We also have a couple of other designs and designers waiting in the wings, so stay tuned for more info!

We thought long and hard about financing our campaign. In the end we decided to go with Indiegogo, and use it to finance pre-orders of our shirts. We felt it was the sensible option for us, allowing to accurately gauge demand across sizes and designs.

So that’s who we are, and where we are. We’ll post updates as we have them- stay tuned!