Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

DOWN TO EARTH DOLL: The goal of David Horvath and Sun Min's new venture Dream Big Friends is "to create a series of 10-inch tall, articulated dolls based on characters that are as smart, funny, inquisitive and rambunctious as the kids we all know in our daily lives, and to develop a story where these individuals live and grow." The first character, pictured, is an Asian American rocket enthusiast named Yuna. Image from Dream Big Friends' 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.

Dream Big Friends’ Yuna doll

After two colleagues in the toy industry became parents, they began to want more for their kids, specifically “a play experience … that does not focus on blue or pink, super model or super hero, but instead focuses on dreaming big, doing what you love and aspiring to be happy,” according to the company’s campaign page. To that end, David Horvath and Sun Min are creating a line of 10-inch, articulated dolls, beginning with leading lady Yuna and her kitty. “We wanted our first doll, and all of her friends, to feel like very real characters filled with rich stories and personality — vessels for your imagination,” reads Yuna’s campaign page. “We think that her design is simply beautiful, just like we believe every person is beautiful regardless of height, color or body type.” Dream Big Friends aims to raise $175,000 by Sunday, Jan. 3, to produce their doll designs.

John Shore’s novel

Author and blogger John Shore calls his recently completed novel “the culmination of everything I have ever written and lived.” What I Did To You is set in San Fransisco in 1979, where protagonist David Finch grapples with a transgression he committed against the woman he loves while living out of a seaside motel. “David is an extremely funny guy,” Shore writes. “But his past isn’t funny at all.” Beneath the plot, the story is about “the raging lunacy, inexplicable durability and ultimately liberating finality of love. It’s about the slow-drip toxicity of dysfunctional families. It’s about necessary deceits and unnecessary betrayals. It’s about friendship. It’s about the psychological sinkholes created by broken promises. It’s about the real-world damage done by homophobia. It’s about the dangers of sliding into isolation as consolation. It’s about the glorious, agonizing, outrageous intensity of the human experience.” Shore aims to raise $22,500 by Monday, Jan. 5, to pay for backer reward fulfillment and to have the book edited, proofread, designed, typeset, prepared for print, printed in paperback and hardback and distributed on multiple platforms.

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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2 thoughts on “Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

    • Kat McReynolds

      Absolutely! Sounds like a very positive message, especially for young girls.

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