Our Most Exciting Month Ever: VegFest & Kickstarter
As we began the year and started researching relevant festivals, events, markets, etc - we came across the Vegan Food and Drink Festival which was just a few weeks before the Veg Food Fest. The former boasted of at least 7,500 people while the latter 35,000+. I figured we could throw all caution to the wind, put all of our cards on the table, use every metaphor I know to have a presence at the Vegan Fest. Nothing's impossible right? (although that's exactly what I thought at the time)
As I mentioned in the last post, a lot can happen and a lot can change. Since signing up for it back in April, we got our act together and learned how to prep 1,000+ portions for a single day. And we crushed it! (even though attendance was closer to 11,000). So now we're in the cross hairs of preparing for the Veg Fest this Friday. At first, I was scared $hitle$$, but I realized, we can do this. We know what we're doing now. Our thousands of satisfied cookie monsters have given us momentum and more importantly, confidence.
So when a close friend recently asked me, "what do I need to pull this off?" I answered (without thinking), "more capital." He was asking me about this upcoming weekend, but I was obviously referring to what I needed to grow the business. The thing is, I want to scale the business and scale it quickly. I really enjoy working the farmers' markets and the festivals; meeting the people, perfecting the pitch and getting feedback (good and bad). However, the capitalist in me says that the real money is in volume; wholesaling to retailers. (Ew... Did I just write that?) It's true though. More importantly, I do actually think that delicious sugar conscious desserts are the future of the industry. Just yesterday, I saw not one, but two commercials in the same intermission for no sugar added products. The collective conscience is moving towards the reduction or even elimination of sugar from our diets. I do truly believe, deep down, that our products are fantastic and they should be widely available for everyone to enjoy.
With that in mind, I'm doing something that for me, is outrageous. In retrospect, it's the scariest thing I've done to date for this company, or for any other that I've been involved with. I'm raising capital via a Kickstarter Campaign. Kickstarter has been responsible for the launch of countless really cool inventions and innovations. It's an online platform where entrepreneurs can "do the thing you need to do for the world." It's not for venture capitalists or wealthy private equity investors (namely because no equity is transferred). It's for the world at large to fuel, to kickstart, the companies that will leave a last impression on it. It's the best way for Bald Baker to scale the company. With the funds raised, we can purchase a professional grade flow wrapping machine, we can invest in retail boxes, ingredients for a large scale production run, funds for promotions and capital to continue improving our core products and creating new ones. It lets me respond to all of the retail opportunities with a product that will blow them away.
The wisest person I've ever come across once said to me, "if you don't ask, you don't get." Kickstarter's facade is all about asking for money in exchange for something of equal or greater value. Roll back the facade, and it's actually about people wanting to be involved in something that's big and getting bigger. Being a part of something. For an entrepreneur, it's hard to ask for help (that applies exponentially to me) but that's really the key - you have to know when to ask for help and when to take it vs. just shooting from the hip. By writing this blog post, I'm not asking you to donate (although obviously, I would be grateful), I'm asking you to be a part of something big by sharing this post on facebook, or linkedin or wherever your social presence is best expressed. Just for even getting this far into the post, I'm very appreciative. Thank you for being a part of this company's story... we're only on page three though and it's a long thriller!