“For those who had the faith in me to fulfill a special dream.”
Back in June, 2016, I had a dream of seeing the main character of my fantasy series come to life in the form of a plushie. After extensive research, I found the ideal toy company, and spent the next three months collaborating with them to create the perfect prototype.
And so was born the very first Laeka’Draeon plushie!
With the prototype in hand, I set about creating a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise funds for the production run of x500 plushies. I launched the campaign in November, but sadly, I didn’t get enough initial interested for the project to succeed within the allotted time limit.
Undeterred, I tried again. This time with GoFundMe, which did not have any specified time limit. My efforts to promote the project walked along that fine line between ‘invisible efforts’ and ‘harassment’, and pledges did come through, but they were few and far between.
Months rolled by; I had many other projects to work on, and I lapsed more than once in my promotion of the plushies. But I kept trying, determined to see it through; determined to fulfill my promise to those who had faithfully placed a pre-order for a plushie.
Every convention I went to, the Laeka’Draeon prototype was a hit. I had promotional cards for people to take. I let those who showed interest know they could pre-order their very own dragon plush. I even had a competition, in which the recipient would get a free plush! A lot of people said they would love to have the plushie.
And yet, over on the GoFundMe page … crickets.
Things progressed at a crawl.
Perhaps 2% of those who said they were interested, actually put through a pre-order. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong (other than not having enough money for a decent marketing budget). I had an amazing product. I knew lots of people were interested. I tried to share news of the GoFundMe page to all my circles (without overstepping into the Harrassment-zone). I had plenty of other people jump on board and help share the page around their networks, too.
2017 came and went. Still not funded. Not even half-way. 2018 came a-bounding, full of new projects and busy times, and … perhaps the promise of the plushie project becoming a success. The months raced by. The year tipped over half-way and charged ever-on. And still not even half-way funded.
I came to one conclusion. People were interested in the plushie … but they were not interested in the ‘idea’ of the plushie. The GoFundMe page was still an ‘idea’, a ‘dream’, that had no physical reward they could grab hold of immediately.
And I understood such hesitation. There’s always a risk involved when you pledge funds toward something that is still in promise-mode, and has no claim to actual success. But there were so many times I wished people could see the heart I had for the project; my sincerity, and integrity to hold to my promise to see it through to completion.
Well, some people did see, and did hold such faith in me. Those who pledged on the GoFundMe page, as well as those who supported from elsewhere. And, especially, to the two amazing people who heard my heart’s cry, saw my struggling dream, believed in it’s great potential, and decided to invest in the full plushie production run (all within the span of a month, right here, at the end of 2018).
This page is dedicated to you GoFundMe Champions, and to my amazing Investors.
Your belief in me has given this project life, at last!
AND, as well as this dedication page, all plushie pre-orders will receive an exclusive certificate of authenticity and appreciation!
Laeka’Draeon Plushie Champions (those who supported above and beyond):
Laeka’Draeon Plushie Heroes (those who pre-ordered a dragon plushie):
Laeka’Draeon Plushie Supporters (those who supported the GoFundMe page):