Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Photo courtesy of 5th Sun Specialties

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 WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.


Asheville residents who enjoy a gluten-free fiesta every now and then have probably already munched on 5th Sun Specialties’ line of organic, non-GMO tortilla chips and dips. The family-operated business launched their Asheville location in 2012, and success in local, independent food stores soon led to distribution in large grocery chains like Whole Foods and Ingles. 5th Sun aims to raise $60,000 by Sept. 14, to obtain food certifications (gluten-free, non-GMO and organic), establish working capital, build inventory and improve product branding and marketing.


Chelsea Sokolow sees photography as “a way of looking at the universe, of noticing, of paying attention,” and continues to hone her skill in the craft by photo documenting international travels and taking academic courses in photojournalism. Sokolow admits, on her campaign page, that she has “always been a little intimidated to pursue it with greater professional and artistic commitment.” But in early 2014, she decided to shed her inhibitions by committing to a photo exhibit at Early Girl Eatery. Sokolow aims to raise $500 by Aug. 31, to cover the costs of printing and framing photos for her exhibit.

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.

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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