Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Not only do Bari Naturals founders Moriah Luzius and Sarah Becker hope to curb water consumption by releasing their dry shampoo product, but they also plan to combat social and environmental issues with future product releases. "We want to build a network of orginizations that are actively addressing the most daunting issues that our generation faces," reads their campaign page, which also lists a community-oriented production space in West Asheville as a stretch goal. To start, they're partnering with The Her Initiative. Image from Bari Naturals' 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.

Bari Naturals’ dry shampoo

“Not only does washing your hair daily dry your hair out, it actually causes your scalp to produce more oil,” reads the Bari Naturals crowdfunding page. “The natural oils are stripped from your hair and scalp every time you wash, and your body compensates for that by over-producing oil — which in turn causes you to wash your hair more often, only furthering the issue.” By contrast, Bari’s new dry shampoo absorbs oils on contact, saving gallons of water. Although founders Moriah Luzius and Sarah Becker source many of their ingredients — kaolin clay, mica and slippery elm bark, for example — from Western North Carolina, their product is designed to reach far beyond Appalachia. The two are partnering with The Her Initiative “to bring clean water solutions to communities in the developing world.” For every bottle sold after the crowdfunding campaign’s completion, Bari will donate a bottle (or its monetary value) to the organization, which provides clean water and hygiene information to those in need. Now that Luzius and Becker have a prototype ready, the entrepreneurs aim to raise $22,000 by Sunday, Nov. 22, to cover the cost of ingredients, packaging materials and other expenses associated with the initial production run.

The Broadcast’s new album From the Horizon

Asheville-based soul rock quintet The Broadcast has independently booked and performed more than 500 shows in 80 cities over the past three years. “We’ve rocked out to audiences ranging from 10 and 10,000, opened for legends like Charles Bradley and George Porter Jr., slept on couches and shared motel rooms more times than we can count,” reads the band’s crowdfunding campaign page “And through it all, we love it.” Last year, the female-fronted group was contacted by producer Jim Scott (Grace Potter, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash), who stumbled upon their music videos on YouTube before inviting the band to record at his home studio. “What a dream it was,” the band members recall, but “point blank: it costs a lot of money to release an album properly.” With tracking complete for album From the Horizon, The Broadcast aim to raise $20,000, by Saturday, Nov. 21, for mastering, art and design, reproduction and packaging, merchandising, distribution, publicity, promotion and a professional radio campaign.

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.

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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