Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

ECCENTRIC ASHEVILLE: A budding yogi admires main character Maeve's "killer energy" during an early episode of the web series Transplanting. The comedy will explore more quirks of Asheville living in season two, which the producers aim to fund through a Kickstarter campaign. Still frame courtesy of Transplanting

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.

“Transplanting,” season two

Season one of web series “Transplanting” saw leading lady Maeve (played by Hayley Meninger) adjusting to life in Asheville following a move from New York City. At roughly five minutes each, episodes provide colorful snapshots of the realities that make Asheville such an adventurous place to live in — and laugh at — including the dreaded housing market, an exciting herbalist practice of vaginal steaming (placenta snacks included) and romantic encounters with a new-yet-devout yogi, to name a few. Along the way, co-producers Lea McLellan (writer) and Andrew Vasco (director) make a point to highlight local businesses, artists and actors. While season one was funded through personal savings, the two are counting on crowdfunding to pull off the next round of 10 episodes, which will explore “hot-button local issues, including craft beer, poetry buskers, cult meetings, bachelorette parties, questionable yogi gurus and more.” McClellan and Vasco have surpassed their initial goal of $3,300 for production costs, film festival fees, web presence and more, but will continue fundraising until Sunday, March 27, with the intent to compensate actors and crew with additional contributions.

Tiny Undies LEARN Collection

From the creator of the Tiny Potty educational book comes another tool to usher toddlers along the bathroom learning curve. Author Andrea Olson has placed Bear, the star of her potty training book, upside down on the front of a new line of youth undies, which also have bright orange fabric along both sides and different colored leg holes. Her goal is for children holding the underwear to see bear’s right-side-up face looking back at them (which indicates the correct orientation) before pulling the orange sides up and on. “Lets give our kids the best odds possible at feeling successful in toileting and self-dressing,” she writes on the campaign page. “The impact on their well-being is priceless.” Olson aims to raise $10,000 by Sunday, March 20, to fund manufacturing, shipping and marketing her new product line.

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

  1. Big Al

    “Transplitting” was a concept with sooooo much potential, a “Portlandia” for Asheville, but the resulting series was incredibly disappointing. The humor was stunted and the setting downplayed so far that it could have been about anywhere. It literally needed a sign in the background to say: “:This is about Asheville, NC. Oh, and by the way, it is a quirky town.”

    The one bright spot in the whole shebang was the episode at Orbit DVD, thanks in great part to local actress Samantha Stewart. In fact, I would go so far to say that the series should drop Hayley Meninger, the most boring “straight man” I can recall, and center the piece around Stewart’s character, Jade. Maybe replace Hayley with a straight-laced male in-comer that Jade can toy with and maybe even seduce to the “weird side”?

    I will continue to watch (and hope for improvement) the second series. I have heard rumors of an episode about dogs in strollers. That would be awesome, if they don’t screw it up.

  2. boatrocker

    I watched an episode (Transplanting) online and found it to be a bit cutesy for my taste. Portlandia at least skewers hipster culture for what it is- vapid and narcissistic.

    Can I pitch an idea for a web series? How about a homeless guy in Asheville who is mistaken for a rich transplant who moves into an overpriced downtown condo and engages in tomfoolery and hijinks with his various condo tenants? He could have a neighbor in an adjacent condo who disaproves of drum circles and rainbow flags, a token homeless busker friend with a dog on a hemp leash and a New Agey Mother Earth type wise womyn figure who dispenses valuable wisdom like Whoppi G’s bartender on that awful Star Trek The Next Generation show.

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