Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

“My Kickstarter campaign Pirate Mama is about changing the stereotypes of single moms and rewriting my own narrative focused on possibility rather than challenges,” says writer Ky Delaney. To that end, Delaney and her son will soon sail around the Virgin Islands for a month, acting as environmental stewards along the way. Photo by Meghan Rolfe

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.

Pirate Mama

Sick in bed, Ky Delaney, an outdoor adventurer, writer for Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and mother of 4-year-old Tobin Creek, began turning pages to pass the time. “I read about a female pirate Anne Bonnie,” she says. “At three months pregnant, Anne Bonnie escaped prison, gave birth on a pirate boat in the middle of the sea and then sailed around the Caribbean with an infant. For the first time, I really glimpsed the possibility of a badass single mama.” Delaney says that revelation inspired her to rewrite her own narrative — from a story of loneliness and struggle to one of “possibility, adventure and giving back.” Armed with her newly acquired sailing certifications and a small crew of other women, Delaney and her son will sail around the Virgin Islands for 28 days. They’ll document the trip on a blog with the potential to assemble the narrative into a book after the jouney’s completion. During the trip, Delaney will collect water samples to be used by reserachers of microplastics, plus she’s arranged to work with island youth groups “to connect children with their watery backyards” and foster their interest in conservation. She aims to raise $15,000 by Wednesday, Nov. 4, to pay for charter fees, internet, moorings, fuel, insurance, crowdfunding platform fees, reward fulfillment and other miscellaneous expenses associated with the trip.

Bear Taco hammocks

The makers of the Bear Taco hammock call their domestically sourced product “strong and wide enough to hold two people easily with a whopping 800-pound capacity. Once combined with our suspension system, it allows you to lay in any position you like.” And the spokes-bear mascot featured in the new company’s campaign video confirms, “This design gives you the ability to fine-tune your hammock hang so your head and feet will always be exactly where you want them to be.” Each strap and stitch on Bear Taco’s lounging apparatus has been carefully and intentionally conceived to support a high-functioning, low-impact hammocking experience. For that, Gear Junkie managing editor Sean McCoy recently praised the product as “a strong place to get your sway on,” inviting readers to pack an entire family into the sturdy contraption. The family startup, consisting of Travis Monk, Lane Monk and Michelle Turner, aims to raise $10,000 by Thursday, Nov. 5, to produce and bring to market their already-designed hammock system. Eventually, they hope to lease their own production space.

Southern Songs and Stories’ Tellico episode

WNCW personality Joe Kendrick and Moonlight Mile Productions owner Tony Preston have announced that the forthcoming, third episode of their Southern Songs and Stories documentary series will feature Asheville quartet Tellico. The band’s music, Kendrick writes, is “a familiar friend from the first notes: acoustic music rooted in Appalachian traditions that is fresh and new, with notes as sharp as morning sunshine. But uncovering all the layers of what makes them special can become a kind of captivating mystery story. Here you have music that both respects and reinvents its lineage. Tellico can appeal to die-hard old-time, bluegrass, ragtime and blues fans while bending the ears of folks who never liked songs that even came close to a pair of overalls.” Kendrick and Preston are hitting the road to examine the musicians’ work, personalities and influences, plus other fun facts like the artists’ vinyl shopping habits. They aim to raise $4,000 by Wednesday, Nov. 11, to pay for production, editing and a crew to handle lights, sound and cameras.

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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One thought on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

  1. Local radio show since 2009, The Fuzzy Bunny Cuddle Time Hour, has started a fundraiser to start a NEW internet radio station in Asheville. If you are new to the show, check out the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/fuzzbunn). If you’re interested in helping the cause, check the Indiegogo campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fuzzy-bunny-radio/x/602004#/
    All donations are greatly appreciated and will help Fuzzy Bunny get on the “Air.”

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