101 For the Money: How Jewelers Capitalize on Kickstarter

Kickstarter.com banks on the group ­(funding) ­mentalityWhen designer Wendy Brandes began making texting-inspired pieces in 2010—things like LOL and OMG ring sets—she knew she was on to a good thing. But like many jewelers, she didn’t have enough cash to make the collection a reality.“I sampled the designs in New York City, but if I produced them here, they were going to be expensive,” says the New York City–based designer. “I wanted to produce them in Asia, but, of course, if you’re getting a lower manufacturing cost there’s going to be a minimum order.”And so Brandes turned to Kickstarter. The 4-year-old website, which describes itself as “a funding platform for creative projects,” gives artists, designers, and visionaries the opportunity to fund their projects through money pledged by friends, family, strangers, and fans.Brandes originally needed $7,000 to he

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