Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

SEW STRONG: Black Mountain apparel company Bulletprufe Denim is adding shorts to its existing line of pants for explorers. "We understand that it’s adventures and memories that make a life worth living and we hope that by making pants that’ll last longer and take you farther, we can help enhance your experience," says founder Will Fisher. Image from Bulletprufe'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.

Bulletprufe Denim’s Teton shorts

After six years of making rugged jeans, Black Mountain-based clothing company Bulletprufe Denim has created a line of shorts that “are equally at home on the trail, in the surf or at the brewery.” The Teton model is quick-drying, light-weight and stretchy, making it suitable for all sorts of adventuring, though the style is still “refined enough for town,” according to the campaign page. The company has already far surpassed its $5,000 goal, but will continue to administer pre-sales of the Tetons and other items through Friday, June 30.

Almost Cured documentary

“Shortly after moving to the small town of Brevard … in 2004, I heard that in 1963, [the town had] the first public high school in North Carolina to [racially] integrate,” Tom Dierolf writes on his crowdfunding campaign page. “The integrated football team won the state championship that same year! I was always curious about why and how this happened in a small, predominantly white mountain community.” Deirolf’s forthcoming documentary Almost Cured explores that story through firsthand accounts from coaches, players and other community members, who were involved. “While celebrating a historic event, the film recognizes that we were and are still just ‘almost cured,'” Deirolf writes. He aims to raise $3,500 by Thursday, July 13, to pay for visual and sound editing beyond his own work, which was guided by his recently acquired Duke University education on documentary studies. He’ll also use funds to pay film festival fees and establish a website.

Clouds movie

Following a year of work “and countless cups of coffee,” Director Aidan Weaver and co-writer Chris Stephens are poised to transform their 174-page script into a film. Clouds begins by following pre-teen Milo around his small town. The child, who happens to have a stalker, uncovers few clues about the curious and disturbing events unfolding around him. Many years later, “Milo, now 27 years old, discovers a collection of unsettling videotapes he believes to be connected to his childhood, leading him on a mission to discover what was hidden from him for so many years,” reads a synopsis on the film’s crowdfunding page. “This is a story about the secrets that people sometimes bury — and what happens when they finally come to light.” Weaver and Stephens plan to film Clouds with a 20-person crew over 30 days in settings around Asheville, “from dingy dive bars to small-town elementary schools.” They aim to raise $5,000 by Tuesday, July 4, to pay for props, set design, location fees, crew compensation and food, equipment, music licensing and other film expenses.

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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