Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

BOTTOMS UP: Pants by Friendsday are made in Brasstown with used cotton material and come in vibrant colors.
BOTTOMS UP: Pants by Friendsday are made in Brasstown with used cotton material and come in vibrant colors. Photo from Friendsday's campaign page

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Friendsday makes 100 pairs of pants

Kickstarter launched its Make/100 campaign in January, encouraging individuals to produce and distribute a collection of 100 creations through the crowdfunding website. For Friendsday owner Aino Riiho, the undertaking has involved transforming lots of colorful t-shirts into adjustable pants, which are “great for comfy living and hanging out and stretching and dancing and being pregnant and after giving birth and circus tricks and being still,” she says. Riiho’s Brasstown-based company uses second-hand cotton shirts as the main input and organic cotton material for the waist and ankles. For a decade, Riiho has been selling her handmade pants offline, but the crowdfunding project marks her digital debut. She has already surpassed her $1,000 goal, but will continue taking online orders through Thursday, March 2.

UNDERCITIES short story collection

last fall, more than 60 authors responded to Dirty Bird Press’ call for short stories that “celebrated the imagination and possibility of inclusive urban fantasy.” From those submissions, the independent publisher — whose mission it is to promote works by queer authors and authors of color — selected pieces by 11 authors for its UNDERCITIES collection. These tales “combine the impossible daring of magic with the experiences of the people with whom we share the world and put the voices of LGBTQ+ creators and creators of color at the forefront of these narratives,” according to Dirty Bird’s crowdfunding campaign. The organization has far surpassed its $2,500 goal to cover project expenses, but will continue to administer pre-sales of the book and other perks through Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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