Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Summer Skin, a color work by Kerri Bouffler, is available to view at her Etsy page along with a larger selection of hand-drawn work. Image courtesy of Bouffler

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.


While working as an after-school art teacher, Kerri Bouffler taught her children the value of turning mistakes into opportunities by utilizing permanent Sharpies for drawing. Upon leaving the program, the young artist employed precisely the same tactic, approaching her uncertain future with a sense of resourcefulness and creative positivity.

“I realized how much I loved being able to make thick, dark lines as well as thin, delicate lines with the same instrument and never stopped! I can quickly change rogue mistakes into awesome additions, and I am proud of every single piece I finish. I love what I do, and I want to make it into something more than just a hobby,” she says. Bouffler hopes to obtain a small screen printer to start but also wants to venture into more sophisticated equipment and start a T-shirt business in the long run.

“I want to see people walking down the street wearing MY designs — things that came out of my head and my heart,” she says. “Above all else, I need some new clothes!” Bouffler has already exceeded her $200 goal but aims to raise more funds for more equipment by Monday, Feb. 16.

Brandon Boyd-inspired piece by Kerri Bouffler
Brandon Boyd-inspired piece by Kerri Bouffler. More work samples are available in her  Etsy shop.


“I just want to go outside,” remarks a Swannanoa student in her peers’ campaign video for an outdoor interpretive disc golf course. Led by TerraSchool educator Keith “Zog” Aitken, the collaborative project is planned to reside on grounds owned by Owen Middle School. One of TerraSchool’s goals is to incorporate food, forests and fun into curriculum, and students involved in the project seem to agree that learning outside the classroom would be a beneficial strategy, calling the golf course “a great way to use the outside part of our campus.” Aitken’s clan aims to raise $10,000 by Friday, Feb. 13, to install the outdoor course.

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 WNC campaigns 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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