“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill –
So, it has been a little while since I have written a blog post, but I have an excuse. In fact, I have several. Firstly, I have moved house recently, secondly, my business has been flourishing, for which I am incredibly grateful. At the moment I have more clients that I know what to do with, which makes me very happy. And thirdly, I have launched a crowdfunding campaign page through Indiegogo for a conscious business idea that I have been working on for the last year.
I had the idea to start hand painting designs on to bamboo t-shirts and organic cotton tote bags last November. I started off with some words like ‘hipster’ and ‘fashionista’ which looked good, but when I came back to thinking about them at the beginning of the year they didn’t resonate with me 100% any more.
As most of you will know, I have been on an incredible journey of spiritual awakening this year, and the more conscious I became, the more important it was for me to be putting this new business together in a way that would serve humanity, as equally as it would serve me.
The name that had come to me for the business was Katkin (my Mum’s affectionate term of endearment for me, and also the first three letters of my name). For a while I tustled with this, because I didn’t want the business to be coming from a place of ego. And after a while, I made my peace with the fact that it was just a really great name. And every time I shared it with people, they loved it, so I have embraced it wholeheartedly.
Secondly, I wanted to ensure that the messages that I was putting on the t-shirts and totes were words and phrases that would uplift people, that were positive, and inspiring, messages of peace and love. And messages that reminded us that we are all infinite and connected beings. So I started to create new designs that I was more congruent with.
They were just flowing out of me. At the moment I have hundreds and hundreds of ideas, but I knew, in order to kick things off, I needed to keep everything simple. So I shared a shortlist of 11 designs with friends and family via Facebook and email and invited people to vote for their 4 favourite designs. The top 4 would then make it into the crowdfunding campaign and would feature in the first run of tees and totes that we created.
Here are the top 4 designs that were chosen by my family and friends.
After I was clear on that, Darren and I started to take photos of them (and us in them) and we created a video for the crowdfunding campaign page, so that people could learn what Katkin was all about, and ideally want to buy a tee or tote and contribute to our cause. 🙂
The other thing that was important to me in creating the business idea for Katkin, was that it would be a profit for purpose business. As wonderful as I think charities, foundations, and not-for-profit organisations are, I had picked up a copy of Blake Mycoskie’s book ‘Start Something that Matters‘ while I was in LA this August and I had been inspired by his TOMs One for One approach to business. For every pair of shoes that they sell, they will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. With a profit for purpose business, the more you sell, the more you can contribute to a good cause.
I also became a Lifetime Member of B1G1 (Guy 1 Give 1) earlier this year and I am lucky enough to have their CEO (the wonderful Mr Paul Dunne) as my mentor. I love the fact that their organisation help businesses give to charities all over the world, by sharing a small amount of what they make for every product or service that they sell with their preferred project.
I spent a lot of time researching all of the causes that they support and are associated, until I found The Katja House Foundation in Kathmandu, Nepal. Apart from the fact that there is a synergy with the reference of ‘Kat’ in their name, I also loved the fact that they are a small organisation in Kathmandu currently offering help, support, clothing and shelter to around 50 street children in the city. At the moment there are around 30,000 street children in Nepal and around 500 children are added to the streets of Kathmandu every year. So I thought this would be a great charity to help and support through Katkin.
Therefore, for every t-shirt that we sell, we will clothe an orphan at Katja House and for every tote bag that we sell, we will provide shelter for one orphan for one night.
The other very important part of Katkin to me is the quality and organic nature of the products that we are selling, especially the t-shirts, which are bamboo. I spent a lot of time researching, what fabric we should use for them, and despite the fact that organic cotton is fab, and we are using them for our tote bags, bamboo is definitely the way to go for the t-shirts. And I will be looking to create as much of our clothing as possible from this fabric as the business grows.
In doing the research I learnt a lot of really wonderful things about the benefits of using bamboo. Not only is it great for our skin, because it is antibacterial and allergy reduced for people with sensitive skin, but it is also great for the planet, being one of the most sustainable and environmentally responsible fabrics in the world today.
Our t-shirts are also endorsed by the Fairwear Foundation (FWF), which is pretty much like Fairtrade (for food), but for clothing. The FWF represent Ethical Trade & Justice for Workers. They exist to promote fair labour conditions in the garment industry worldwide.
Our t-shirts are good for you, they’re good for the planet and they’re good for the people who are making them.
So, in short, Darren and I have created a campaign page to raise $10,000 by 19 January 2014, so that we can kick Katkin off at the beginning of the year. And we would LOVE your help.
Here are the ways that you can help us make our dream come true:
- Visit our crowdfunding page and buy a t-shirt or tote, or more if you fall in love with them! Share the link with friends and family on Facebook > http://igg.me/at/katkin
- Share this blog post through your blog, your Facebook or email with people who you think would like to support us and contribute
- Like our Facebook page and invite your friends and family to like it
- Attend our event on Facebook to #helpmakekatkinhappen and invite your friends and family who you think would like to support our campaign
So far, we have raised a wonderful $1,100 and we have 29 days left of our campaign, so a good amount of time to raise the remainder of our target.
We would be very grateful for any help and support that you can give us to help spread the word about our campaign and #helpmakekatkinhappen and prove that anything is possible.
Sending you love, hugs and light and a huge amount of gratitude in advance,
Kat x x x