Hamilton Perkins Collection is an amazing line of bags that is created from 100% recycled bottles and vinyl from repurposed Billboards. The company set out to raise $10k and surpassed that, raising more than $17,000 with 10 days left to go in their campaign! We got the chance to speak with the founder of the company, Hamilton Perkins. Hamilton gives great advice to future crowdfunders and explains to us the process in how they make their bags. Many entrepreneurs see the multi million dollar crowdfunding campaigns in the media and believe that they will be next. The facts are that 60% of successfully funded campaigns raise between $1,000-$20,000. Hamilton Perkins Collection is a great example of a company that hit their crowdfunding campaign out of the park without having the proverbial media driven million dollar campaign.
1) First of all, congratulations on raising more than 70% of your $10,000 goal with 10 days left! How does it feel?
It’s a positive start to the campaign and really good to know that we’re addressing real problems in the world while creating exceptional experiences and product for backers. We’re really excited.
2) What made you turn to crowdfunding to help bring your brand and product to the market?
We knew we wanted to be a direct to consumer brand and the relationship building process of crowd funding was consistent with our vision. We wanted to be social about our mission and journey. Crowd funding allowed us to be effective with our core strengths and helps us serve our customers with the most precision.
3) Hamilton Perkins Collection bags are made from plastic bottles and repurposed billboards, that within itself is very impressive. Can you go into a little more detail about how the manufacturing process works to make this conversion from plastic bottles and billboards to a Hamilton Perkins Collection bag?
The bottles are collected and turned into “flake”. A textile is made out of the waste and ultimately the new material can be made into canvas. We cut and sew this canvas together with billboards to create the Earth bags.
4) What was your decision process in deciding to use Kickstarter over other platforms like Indiegogo?
Kickstarter is a public benefit corporation that helps bring creative projects to life, the company has great core values and culture. As a certified B Corp striving to make a difference, we looked for an opportunity to work with the largest crowd funding platform where we could positively align our goals for the project.
5) A crowdfunding campaign starts weeks and even months before you launch on a platform with all of the preparation that is needed to have a successful campaign. What was your preparation procedure before you launched your campaign and when did you start?
We started offline talking with customers one at a time about the idea. We interviewed friends and family and asked why there couldn’t be socially responsible and unique bags being manufactured directly to customers online?
We made a prototype in response to this and translated our brand principles to the project planning process. We pre-sold the prototypes and proved that there was product market fit.
Shortly after we went back and spoke to everyone in our personal network about the idea and built our email list from there. Then we worked with press to get the word out and try to offer a unique story for their audience. This is a work in process. We did not have a website in the early days so tailoring our offering to the Kickstarter audience has been a wonderful experience so far.
6) What’s the biggest tip you have for future crowdfunding entrepreneurs?
1. Start your process early and be patient.
2. Be proactive and serve your niche better then anyone else can.
3. Always be testing.
7) You’re not just creating a software product where you can build it and ship it virtually. You have to deal with a supply chain, importing,exporting, shipping , taxes and the manufacturing assembly beast. What’s your best advice specifically for entrepreneurs who will be crowdfunding in the fashion and accessory niche?
I have some background in operations and fulfillment. The internet is a great resource for finding help in this area. You can always consider outsourcing it to focus on other aspects of your brand. We look at as important for us because a staple of our brand is about relationship building and transparency. We differentiate by being hands on in these areas.
8) Are there any retail plans in the future roadmap for Hamilton Perkins Collection whether opening your own, getting HPC into a store or are you strictly e-commerce?
We think about the online experience as the best way for us to serve customers at this time. Mobile discovery is still an amazing way to meet our customers natively where they spend their time. Having our own flagship would be a great way to personify the brand offline and continue the experience. We are a lean shop so for now we like the benefits and agility of being an online retailer.
9) What’s been the most challenging part of the crowdfunding process?
The most challenging part of the process was leading up to the launch. You do a lot of work but don’t always see the results. We’re driven by data so its helpful to be live and to see the ball moving forward play by play.
10) When can we expect to see Hamilton Collection bags ship?
We anticipate a December delivery from the project.
Get your Hamilton Perkins Collection bag before the campaign is over. Click HERE!