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!