Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

For local vocalist and ukelele player Emily Bodley, the impetus for recording an EP is new fans. Without recorded music on hand, the singer has had to turn down potential buyers after multiple performances. Photo from Bodley's Facebook 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.

Emily Bodley’s debut EP

It’s easy to pigeonhole ukeleles as an upbeat an cheery instrument, but try sinking into the silky smooth lull of Emily Bodley’s strings and vocal chords on her cover of “The Moon Song.” As she approaches the milestone of two decades on Earth, the Hendersonville-based singer-songwriter has her sights set on another goal: “For the past two years, people have come up to me after a gig asking if I have CDs for sale, but I’ve always had to explain that I just don’t have the money to fund that kind of artistic endeavor,” she writes on her campaign page. “I was introduced to Kickstarter a while ago, but I was too intimidated by the idea of a crowdfunding campaign to actually launch a project. Now, here I am, conquering my fears and hoping for the best outcome — a sweetass EP!” Bodley aims to raise $2,800, by Saturday, Aug. 1, to record, mix, master, distribute and market her five-song project. The blue-haired belle also plays a free set at Luella’s Bar-B-Que on Friday, July 31, at 8 p.m.

Alina Shea Creations’ mobile studio

“I have the most awesome customers all over the world, and I’d like to start traveling to see the ones in this country,” says Asheville knitter Shayla Morrigan. Now five years into her business venture Alina Shea Creations, Morrigan offers hand-dyed yarns, knitted goods, embroidered items and various scented products in addition to her distance healing services. Although she’s currently selling through Etsy and in the process of building a full-fledged website, the empty-nest mom says she’s “ready to fly a little bit” by taking her crafts on the road with a mobile studio. The wheeled boutique would allow Morrigan to continue her operations while interacting with customers in-person — and catching every fiber show along the way. Morrigan aims to raise $15,000 by Monday, Aug. 3, to purchase and upfit a mobile boutique.

Alina Shea Creations
Photo from Alina Shea Creations’ campaign page

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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