Nipping Kickstarter in the Bud

After some pretty extensive back and forth debates with myself (this is far less crazy than it sounds), I've decided to pull my Kickstarter campaign.

I'm a strong believer in going with your gut – doing things and acting in ways that feel true to yourself and your beliefs. Even before launching the Kickstarter, I'd felt a reoccurring hesitation and lack of authenticity about the campaign. There's an incredible sense of accomplishment from working towards something and seeing your hours, days, weeks, months and eventually years of labor pay off in ways that reward you over and over again and allow you to continue in your growth. And while there would have been an immense number of hours poured into specially curating products for each of the Kickstarter supporters, there was still something that didn't feel quite right about seeing this campaign through.

With crowdfunding growing more and more commonplace, it's developed a stigma of simply asking for money as if the world owes us something, which is why it was incredibly important to me when creating this campaign to offer comparable, generous rewards for each contribution. This way, rather than simply accepting donations, I would be pouring my time and energy into building custom products for each contributor as I do with all of my products. The campaign would simply be offering exclusive products and packages that I don't typically offer on a regular basis to further the incentive. However, even then, something didn't feel right; it didn't feel like a fully genuine move. I felt the need to back myself up constantly by throwing friendly, yet blatant reminders out that there are great rewards, in an effort to say without actually saying, “Hi everyone! It's so important to me that you know I am not simply asking for donations, but am rather putting funds from the sales of these specific products toward one of the biggest tools my business uses!” That need for justification further proved to myself that this wasn't something that I felt right about pursuing further.

This may sound like a detour, but bear with me. Last night before heading to bed, I set my alarm for 5:50AM and left my phone charging in the kitchen so that when the alarm went off, I would be forced to immediately be on my feet. I'm a chronic “snoozer” and will snooze until the snooze button itself is too tired to snooze any longer. So this self-inflicted punishment / motivator has been a long time coming. My first thought when my toes hit the floor were, even in my incoherence, “that campaign has to come down today”. This was the first decision I'd made about the campaign that felt right in every possible way.

In order to take yourself seriously, you can't take yourself too seriously. This sounds ridiculous, but holds so much truth for me. Sometimes it's important to jump into the unknown and try things to see if they're a good fit, because to be honest (and I'm sure I'm not alone in this), I've surprised myself. I'm notoriously impulsive and jump in full force - giving with everything I've got - when I'm passionate about something and can see its potential. This has lead to quickly and completely losing interest, sometimes taking a sharp turn to lead me down an entirely different path, but there are those times when it feels right immediately and sticks for good. I've embraced each of these outcomes with open arms and an unwavering faith that in the end, you'll end up where you're meant to be. For now, I'm meant to be in a van that breaks down around every corner; that's part of the journey that will lead me to where I'm meant to be years from now. And I'm going to soak up every solitary second of that journey – break downs and all.

To everyone who has donated, shared and encouraged me throughout the campaign so far, “thank you” hardly breaks the ice on how much I appreciate your support! “Thank you” continues to hardly break the ice for supporting this decision to go a different (dare I say, better) route.

Thank you endlessly!


Janine – Owner / Woodworker - If You Give a Girl a Saw

The Story Behind the Brand

Janine Stone >> Owner / Woodworker                                                                                          Photo by  Kelsea Holder

Janine Stone >> Owner / Woodworker                                                                                          Photo by Kelsea Holder

It's impossible to predict what the future holds. But in my humble opinion, that's where adventure breeds and life's curve balls are thrown. Because let's be real, planning's for fools.

Allow me to take you back and start from the beginning.

Over the last few years, I'd mastered the unfortunate “skill” of neatly packing away enough treasures in a one bedroom apartment to fill 4 houses. So as you can imagine, nightmare struck when my fellow and I packed up last summer and moved into a studio. A studio with enough windows and sunlight to make your heart explode, a porch, a backyard from the tropics, and only one showstopper: no closet. No problem. I threw a couple armoires on the porch, because honestly, a little fresh air's good for ya when you're in nothing but your skinnies picking out clothes in the morning. And that left me with one last dilemma: weatherproof shoe storage, which happens to be overpriced and seemingly easy to whip up yourself.

That same fella, Mikey, was once coined by the name "Shitty Contraption Guy" for his ability to rig up solutions for contractual problems such as this one. So when I bought mass amounts of 2" x 4"s and plywood from home depot, I went directly to the doorstep of his shop to beg for help. His talent, however, reaches far beyond that of being Shitty Contraption Guy, and enters more into the realm of being a downright metal-fabricating, craft God. When I arrived, seeing him fully engulfed in a project of his own, I asked if he could show me how to make “just one cut” on the saw and assured him, despite my own doubts, I would figure the rest out on my own.

One cut later and I lost all sanity. My mind was racing with concepts, designs and ideas that couldn't be materialized fast enough. How in the name of all that is holy could I close my eyes at night knowing there was a workshop waiting for me the next morning? I was 5 years old again, every morning felt like Christmas and nothing would ever be the same. When I wasn't at my real job, I was cutting everything in sight, in half. Sawdust was everywhere. And the honeymoon phase was in full effect.

After completing the shoe rack, a coffee table, window boxes, a breakfast tray, side table and headboard, my studio was full, my heart was fuller, and beginning a search for a lucrative way to continue building went without question. The answer to my prayers? Etsy.

Etsy, for me, was one of those things you feel like you've been subconsciously waiting for your whole life and then it smacks you in the face, leaving you to wonder how you ever lived without it.

Photo by  Kelsea Holder

Photo by Kelsea Holder

It was raining, my favorite weather, and also an entirely unimportant fact to this story; but it's what made these moments stand out to me. I love cookies. I love cookies more than almost anything, which until this particular moment, had never benefited my life, and had rather only hindered my health. But in this moment, raining, craving cookies, the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" crossed my mind. If you give a girl a saw, your once immaculate shop will become filled to the brink with sawdust, your home will begin to accumulate mass amounts of furniture and those pieces of furniture will cycle out weekly leaving you constantly wondering if you've come home to the right house. If you give a girl a saw, the need to buy clothes will be replaced by the undying urgency to buy every tool, and make-up and nail polish will slowly be replaced by dirt, wood stain, paint and general filth. And just like that, If You Give a Girl a Saw was                                                                                        born.

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I've never been one to stay on the same track for a lengthy period of time. I'm easily excited by new concepts and ideas, and it's never long before the next venture grabs me by the britches and I'm off and running.

This time, however, things feel different. There's a strong sense of permanence. And I dig it every day.

Thanks for the saw, Mikey. I'd be nothing without it.

If You Give a Girl a Blog.

>>> Mikey Gaumann <<<  - Metal Fabricator / Woodworker

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