Kickstarter: A reminder that we are all connected


It's Friday morning and I've been up for several hours pushing the Kickstarter towards the finish line. I had always wanted to raise $50K but a lot of people told me it couldn't be done, that I should set my goal lower so I wouldn't be disappointed. Some people advised just to try for $30K. I compromised and set our goal for $40K. We reached that goal with a week to spare. At 8:59 AM, a minute before the campaign ended we reached $50K. And it's because of all of you.

Running a Kickstarter campaign is hard work. I knew it would take a chunk of my time but I really had no idea that it would suck up the majority of my time. From making the video to creating the rewards. Posting updates. Sharing the campaign on ALL the social media platforms. Taking photos and deciding which ones to share. Emailing friends and family. Sending out newsletters. Tweeting and retweeting. Responding to comments. Thanking folks in person and online whenever I could. Asking backers to share their stories. Blogging. Creating web content. Changing web content. Making sure the Kickstarter was as important to the community as it was to us.

 <PREVIEWEND>

One of the most powerful moments of my Kickstarter journey was the day a group of Tufts University alums backed our campaign. I think it's easy to forget that we touch lives every single day. And that my time at Tufts was important. Not just for me but for the students I had the privilege of teaching. In 24 hours we received notifications that my former students were Kickstarting gather here's move to Inman. They shouted out their support. And told us how proud they were of us. Many of them will never make it to gather here. They are busy actually saving lives (Go Dr. Bauml!). And changing them (So proud of you, Grace!). And creating art (You are crushing it, Jess!). Telling stories (I believe in you, Molly!). Doing great work all over this world (You keep workin' it, Peju!). 


Chris Gibson:

Just got my email on the successful funding of the project! Couldn't be happier for what you've created (and a little sad that I don't live in Boston any more).

Taylor Shann:

I'm still thankful you let me redo that assignment after my presentation was essentially, 'I worked hard on this and it sucks and I hate it.'

Jess Fisch and Paul Tobin:

We were lucky to have you as a professor! Now we just need some work in Boston so we can see the finished store!

Josh Bauml:

Drama 19 is I believe the one and only time I took a art class that didn't involve me singing/acting - hard to forget. Looks like you guys have really built something cool. Next time I'm in Boston I will try to stop by.

Gabi Jirasek:

Support good people doing good things.


The internet is such a powerful tool. It allowed me to connect with dozens of my former students and advisees. Thank you from the bottom of my heart: Serena, Kevin, Joanna, Abby, Caitlin (both of you!), Dana, Kelsey, Megan, Amanda, Allison, Jennifer, Kenzie, and so many more. 


 


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Molly Akin


Above: Molly's daughter, Freya, in her latest Geranium Dress.

A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign  made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you.

Today we'd like to introduce you to Molly Akin. Molly is the Director of Marketing & PR for the Cambridge Arts Council. We've loved having Molly in class and learning about Cambridge's public art collection, Open Studios, and upcoming exhibits. In the three hours of cutting and sewing in a workshop, there's time to learn about one another and our contribution to the community.

When did you discover gather here?

I came to gather here within a few months of your opening in 2010 and fell in love. The space was lovely, the fabrics wonderful and the people super welcoming.

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I learned how to sew, knit and embroider from my grandma when I was small, but never progressed beyond a beginner skill level. I started sewing in earnest when I was pregnant with my daughter. Creating beautiful things for her to wear was one of my favorite "nesting" activities. After Freya arrived, gather here became a treasured place to enjoy time to myself and develop my crafty skills.<PREVIEWEND> In fact, one of the first times I spent significant time away from her was at my first skirt class with Virginia! I took the first session of Maritza's Baby Bunting quilt class on January 3rd and I'm excited to add quilting to my sewing repertoire.

Above: Freya in the first Geranium Dress Molly made. Held by Molly's grandmother.

Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

I supported Multicultural Art Center's Mid-Week Shuffle program on Kickstarter this past fall.

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

Because I love gather here! I am glad to help gather here expand and remain a treasured part of Cambridge.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

I was super psyched to snag one of the pattern-drafting lessons, but all the rewards sounded pretty great.

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

Go for it!

Above: Molly's Belcarra blouse and Freya's Geranium Dress. Two of her favorite makes.

The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.

 

 


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Clinton O'Dell


Clinton painting the walls of 370 Broadway.

 A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign  made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you.

Today we'd like to introduce you to Clinton O'Dell . Clinton is a costume designer for the stage and is an Associate Professor of Theatrical Design at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. Clinton volunteered so many hours to help us launch gather here back in January of 2011. And he's the reason Noah and Virginia met in the first place.

When did you discover gather here?

I discovered Gather Here almost as soon as it was conceived. I've known Virginia and Noah for several hundred years (ok, I've known Virginia for about 19 years, and Noah for about 15...) so I got to watch while they dreamed and schemed and worked like mad to bring the store into reality. Virginia has always been the smartest, most creative person I know but this little plot she and Noah hatched about creating a community of makers might be their most brilliant work ever. So far ;)

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?
I am a costume designer. As any costume designer knows, finding really beautiful, interesting fabrics is not easy outside of major urban areas, and GH has the most unique collection of textiles and fibers available in the Boston area. Plus, GH supports a ton of local artists and craftspeople who are all filled with talent and expertise and have unbelievably beautiful gifts to offer. I even got to have Lizzy House, whom I found through GH, do a workshop with my own students on pattern creation.<PREVIEWEND>

Curtains made from Birch organic cotton for Clinton and his partner Mike's home.

Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?
There is an independent singer and songwriter named Levi Kreis, and I've been a backer for a couple of his albums. Check him out, if you don't know who he is. He is a truly gifted musician and performer, and his voice is spectacular. It will make you melt.

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?
I believe in the same things that Gather Here believes in. I teach at a small liberal arts college. Which basically means that I spend a lot of time being a "jack of many trades," and I try really hard to master a few. I design things, I make things. I teach other people about designing and making things. When I am teaching a student about bridging the gap between the "dream" and the reality, I often see how mystified the student is at the onset, and it sometimes takes a big leap of faith to keep going. So many students feel like they should throw in the towel because they think, "This is too hard," or "I don't know what I'm doing." Some might say that my whole career revolves around helping folks respond to that little itty bitty imaginary voice saying "Make this thing!" and then helping them figure it out and cheering them on while they do.

Gather Here offers the very same kinds of lessons and inspiration and cheerleading that I try to provide my students. I think making things is the very best way of discovering who you are, what makes you tick, and what you're made of. There is nothing better than finishing a project and realizing that YOU made something, where once there was nothing.
Gather Here offers people a place to discover those things about themselves, alongside other people making the same discoveries. And the one of the best parts about Gather Here is that it offers that chance for kids, with things like Fashion Camp. That's an amazing opportunity and I wish more kids were able to discover themselves that way.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?
I think the best part of GH and it's rewards is that the store (and this campaign) offer experience and knowledge in addition to fabulous products. Lots of campaigns offer various rewards for support, but when you can learn something, and then use that knowledge to MAKE something, that reward lasts a lot longer than any of the "things" you might get for supporting a campaign.

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?
DO IT! If you find something that you really believe in, if your heart tells you that a project is interesting and deserving of support, then you should do it. There's no risk; if the project is funded, your donation goes in. If not, you keep your money. As long as you believe that project is creative and thoughtful and might enrich a place or industry or even one person, then all your dollars, however few or many they may be, will be put to good use.

 

Knit bunny by Clinton's partner, Mike. Created in a gather here class while Clinton stitched the curtains.

 

The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.

 


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Amy of Knit Collage


 

above: Amy's amazing photo shoot of her Snow Bunny cabled hat and Marled Cocoon Scarf.

A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign  made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you.

Today we would like to introduce you to Amy Small of Knit Collage Yarns . When Virginia began dreaming up gather here she created a list of "must have" brands for their initial opening. And "future" brands if their first six months were successful. Knit Collage was on the "must have" list because it was so unique and at the time, only available online. Amy's business helps improve the lives of others  and she is an inspirational business owner. 

When did you discover gather here?

 I first discovered gather here right when Virginia and Noah were opening the shop. The timing was perfect because I was just about to move to Boston. I was so excited (and desperate!) to find crafty people in the area that loved yarn and crafting as much as me.

 

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I design and own the small yarn company Knit Collage. Gather Here has been a stockist of our yarns as long as they have had their doors open!<PREVIEWEND>

above: Tuck in sweater Amy knit from Madeline Tosh yarn she picked up at gather here.

Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

Yes! The last one I backed was a new idea for a knitting magazine.

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

I honestly didn't even have to watch the video (although I did!) because you had me at kickstarter. Virginia and Noah have done such an amazing job of creating a gorgeous shop where each product is carefully hand chosen and brought in, supporting local makers and small business wherever they can. On top of that, they've created a wonderful, supportive and inspiring community of makers. As a small business owner, it is such an inspiration to see how well they somehow juggle it all and somehow make it look easy and fun! A bigger, better store means more room for fantastic handmade products, crafting supplies and even more awesome classes. I can't wait!

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

I didn't need any reward to get me excited!

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

That it is a great way to support small businesses you love.

above: Amy wearing her Champion Ribbon made with Lizzy House.

The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Esmé and April



A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. Today we'd like to introduce you to Esmé who is nine. And actually doesn't remember living in Cambridge without gather here which was maybe the thing that warmed all of our collective hearts (imagine a world where there was always a stitch lounge down the road from you that you spent your childhood making things at!). We've all had the pleasure of teaching and helping Esmé and it's like she's always been a part of our lives, too. Some additional thoughts by Esmé's parent, April.

When did you discover Gather Here?

I don't know.... it was so long ago I can't even remember! I guess Gather Here was always just there. It's always been a place to meet new friends and see old friends, and make amazing things, stitch by stitch.

April: I could also add that I found you all while you were still setting up, and we pulled over the car to see what all the amazing color was! What joy!

What is your craft and how does Gather Here support it?

I like to sew! I took sewing lessons at Gather Here for a very long time, and I'll probably start taking them again soon. I mostly make dresses, but I also make bags, lots of bags, and I used to make skirts a lot. Once I made shorts. Gather Here helps me sew because it has sewing machines, fabrics, and threads. I like picking out fabrics there.<PREVIEWEND>

April: I've taken E there since she was teeny tiny, to see creative people and to be cheered on in her own creativity by some seriously badass, kind and wonderful people and I will be thankful my whole life long for that support of a young, creative and kind mind. Whatever I can do to help that community thrive and grow, I will.


Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

If I did, I don't remember. I don't think I did. But I'm pretty sure that Mommy and Daddy have.

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

I don't really know about all the Kickstarter campaigns around town. And even if I did, I would choose Gather Here because it is awesome! I love the shop, I love the materials it has to offer, and most of all I love the people there.


Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

Just having the new location! :)

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

It would depend on the campaign. But for the Gather Here campaign, first I would ask if they knew Gather Here, and if they didn't I would take them there and show them some stuff I made. If they did know Gather Here, and were uncertain, I would remind them how awesome Gather Here is, how it is a local place, and how awesome the people are there. I would remind them that it will really mean something to t he people of Gather Here when the new location will open, and how we should help them with that!


The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.

 

 


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Karissa Kloss



A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaignmade that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received today to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. Today we'd like to introduce you to Karissa Kloss. Karissa works at Roost Books, formerly a Boston-based publisher that recently relocated to Denver, Colorado. It was with a heavy heart that we said good-bye to Karissa and her employer.

When did you discover gather here?

 I first walked into gather here on its first birthday party. I'd heard about it, but hadn't had a chance to stop in before then. I was so overwhelmed by that first visit--I don't think I even bought anything! It was like stepping into a place of dreams. All of the fabrics I'd seen and loved online were there in person. Everyone was smiling and nice. It was the first time I've ever entered a room and knew I was with "my people."

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I am primarily a clothing sewist, but also quilt, make bags, and embroider. I think gather here supports ALL crafts by being a place full of encouragement and inspiration. For me specifically, Virginia helped me grow as a sewist in so many ways, mostly through her expert teaching in some of the many classes I took there. gather here also allowed me to meet and take classes from some of my idols, like Sonya Philip and Mimi Kirchner.<PREVIEWEND>


Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

Yep--quite a few! I backed Green Bee Patterns and Sara Lawson (Sew Sweetness) with their pattern lines, By Hand magazine, plus CinemaSalem and most recently helped launch Queen Magazine (which is all about drag queens and is AMAZING).

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

Other than just loving gather here, Virginia and Noah, and everyone else who works there, I think it's important to support local businesses. Even though I've recently moved to Colorado, I strongly believe in gather here and its mission. The community I've met through visiting the shop and taking classes has resulted in some of my most valued friendships. gather here has given me so much more than I could ever give it; backing this campaign is the least I can do.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

I love that the rewards all come from the maker community gather here supports. I especially love Eling's calligraphy "Makers gonna make" and the screen print Sarah Coyne does with it, so I'm psyched about the project bag rewards option. It's such a wonderful collaboration.

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

There's nothing to be afraid of! Kickstarter makes it easy to support businesses and communities that need it, and you usually get a something back for your generosity.

The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Emily Luong


 


A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received today to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. Today we feature the extremely talented graphic designer, home cook, and stitcher, Emily Luong. Watching Emily's sewing skills reach new heights is something that makes Virginia very proud of gather here. And there have been a number of occasions that we've asked Emily to help us solve our Adobe Illustrator problems.

When did you discover gather here?

I've been in Cambridge for close to 10 years now, and I remember passing the store front on my way home from the library one day while the shop was under construction. I made it a point to come check it out as soon as the doors opened.

 

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I'm a graphic designer by day, but my after hours creative outlet is sewing. If it weren't for Virginia, all of my bodices would still be way too long for my short torso.<PREVIEWEND> The first garment I ever completed was a light blue Hazel dress, made as part of a class at Gather Here back in 2012. Even though my personal style has evolved quite a bit since then, it still hangs in my closet as a reminder of how far I've come! Since then I've taken dozens of classes, mostly so I can meet new sewing friends and pick Virginia's brain about techniques I'm unfamiliar with. I've now made dozens of dresses, sweatshirts, pants, and most recently my very first winter coat. Somehow I've even convinced myself that I have time for knitting, and I'm newly addicted to making hats for friends, so everyone at Gather Here has been fielding all my yarn questions.


Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

I've only ever backed two projects, both were books by my friend Chris Piascik who is a really talented illustrator https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrispiascik/another-1000-days-of-drawing.

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

I think it's important that we keep local small businesses thriving. More space for Gather Here means even more people that will get to spend time crafting and being inspired by so many passionate makers.


Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

Every reward sounded great, but I chose studio time because spending a Saturday using the huge cutting table to prep a bunch of projects is one of my favorite weekend pastimes.

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

I'd say Gather Here is all about bringing people in the community together to make things, and what's better than all of us helping Gather Here move? Plus, you don't even have to pivot a couch up a tiny stairwell.


 

The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.

 

 


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Elsa Garrison



A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our  Kickstarter campaignmade that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received today to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. Today we'd like to introduce you to Elsa Garrison. Elsa is a professional sports photographer for Getty Images. She's a damn fine photographer and truly one of the kindest people we've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

When did you discover gather here?
I first came to Gather Here in March of 2011. My husband and I had moved to Boston a few years back. He had just started doing stand-up comedy and had met some people that way. I was still struggling to find my place in Boston. I thought that if I took a class, put myself out there that maybe I could find some connection to our new hometown. I learned how to crochet and knit when I was in grade school but hadn't really done it since. I searched online for a knitting class and Gather Here popped up. Not only were there knitting and crochet classes but also sewing and embroidery. I thought wow, this place looks great! I need to go check it out. I have been hooked ever since.<PREVIEWEND>

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?
When I first hit Gather Here, I was mostly a knitter and crocheter. After a few classes, I was into everything. These days I am into knit and crochet but only because I travel a lot and yarn projects are easy to take with you on the plane with no hassle. To me what I love most about Gather Here is that whatever crazy thing that I can come up with to try and make, the staff will help me through it. Thanks to Gather Here, I have become a much better knitter and crocheter but also now can add sewing, crewel, cross stitch, embroidery, block printing and screen printing to my list of mad craft skills. There are so many examples of how GH supports my crazy whims and ideas! I decided that I was going to make a traveling art kit for a friend's toddler. Noah and I talked it out and we came up with a plan and the fabric and notions to pull it off. Turned out great. In September, I was working on a gift for a friend that is battling cancer. I had already cross stitched the main part of the piece and decided I wanted to make a decorative pillow. I have never made a pillow cover before. It may seem simple enough, but I didn't want to mess this up. We talked it over, picked out the fabric and fringe for the side. I got some studio time and began to make the pillow. It would not have turned out as well if I had attempted it on my own.



The class that had the greatest impact on my life was the screen printing class from Sarah Coyne. It was a two day workshop that taught me the proper way to coat and handle screens as well as prepare your artwork. This would all come in very handy a few weeks later. My nephew Austin's cancer reared its ugly head and came back too strong for him to beat it. We knew we only had a few short months with him at best. We decided we were going to make Team Austin shirts to rally behind him and show him we love him. He loved baseball so much and I had a graphic designer friend of mine help me with the logo for them. I prepared the artwork and the screens. I was in the middle of covering NCAA basketball and knew I had to burn this screen on the road. We decided that it would be best to use his Make a Wish wish quickly before things deteriorated for him. He was a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan and decided to use his wish to attend Spring Training in Florida. But we wanted our Team Austin shirts for the trip. So in a Marriott bathroom, I burned the screens for what would become the greatest expression of love for Austin. I printed enough shirts for our trip. Austin kept up with his friends on facebook as he wasn't into Instagram just yet! I would get messages from his friends, my friends, coworker about the shirts. I was printing them in my kitchen and shipping them out. The only thing I asked of anyone that I sent a shirt to was that when they wore it, that they took a picture from wherever they were and posted it so Austin could see it. We had shirts span the globe. It was a nice distraction for him and it let him know we all loved him and were pulling for a miracle. It would not have been possible if it weren't for that class.

Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?
I have backed Kickstarter campaigns before my backing of the Gather Here campaign. In April of 2011, my friend and coworker Chris Hondros was killed while covering events in Libya. Chris' best friend decided to make a documentary about Chris and his impact as one of the preeminent photojournalists of our time. The project is still in the works. I am so glad that via Kickstarter, I was able to make a contribution to this project. It was a way for me to support the memory of my friend.


There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?
I chose to back Gather Here because I love the place. It has had a wonderful impact on my life. I love the classes. There is no other place that can talk me through my projects like Gather here. Sadly now we are no longer in Boston and I am too far away to enjoy all the things GH has to offer that the locals are lucky enough to experience. I am so happy to see GH grow and plant it roots in the Boston/Cambridge community. I can't wait for the new place in Inman Square.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?
The rewards for backing Gather Here are all pretty great - something for everyone! I was bummed the pattern drafting and fitting with Virginia was scooped up so fast! I have learned so much from her and whoever has that reward will be glad they made such a wonderful contribution to Kickstarter.


What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?
Kickstarter is a great way for a project to get off the ground. It gives you the chance to be part of something you believe in and want to see come together.


The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Morgan Nolte


 

Morgan at the Valentine's Day letter event that Marissa Falco had at the shop in 2014. What a lovely red typewriter.

A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our  Kickstarter campaign made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received today to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. Today we'd like to introduce you to Morgan Nolte. Morgan works in Cambridge and has taken a number of classes at gather here. She is also a dancer and I've loved getting to know her (and her sister, Taylor!) over the years.

When did you discover gather here?

I think I started visiting Gather Here about three years ago? I was looking for a kick in the pants to get sewing again, so I signed up for the Charlotte Skirt class. Since then I've taken half a dozen (or more?) classes and shopped for patterns, fabric, and notions for home sewing as well.

 

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I sew! Besides giving me awesome fabric for garment sewing, I like to take classes as often as I can. <PREVIEWEND>I of course love Virginia's help with fitting and new techniques, but I also really like the social aspect. It's more fun to sew with friends! I love it so much, in fact, that I've convinced my sister and several friends to take classes with me. Gather Here has also taught me to knit, but I don't currently have patience for more than a hat or a scarf.

Morgan attends a wedding in her By Hand London Georgia dress.

Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

I contributed to the Lorem Ipsum Bookshop campaign a while back, although sadly the store has since closed. I guess I'm passionate about the neighborhood, and keeping Inman Square full of places I like to be.

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

I think its a bit selfish really- I want Gather Here to be closer to me! I get so much joy from this crafting community.

Work friends in their handcrafted wardrobe. Heather in a shirt dress, Morgan in a shift dress.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

All of the rewards are pretty amazing, and so nicely tailored to the audience. That said, I'm pretty freakin excited to be painted in to a mural :-)

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

Funding a Kickstarter is a way to fill your life with the things you love while positively impacting others. What's the downside?


The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.

 


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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Jeanette Eberhardy


 


A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received today to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. The wise customer was this woman, Jeanette Eberhardy. When Jeanette is out of town teaching or helping her family, we all miss her. Having her cutting and stitching, getting knitting advice, and problem-solving with her is a highlight of our week. We chose not to edit or reformat Jeanette's answers, the following read like poetry. You can find Jeanette crafting stories for today’s meaningful work at WivInc.com

When did you discover gather here?

When my oldest daughter had her first child, she asked me to find organic fabric.

I searched the internet and found Gather Here was one of the few businesses that sold organic fabrics.

That was four years ago.

When I first walked into Gather Here, I did not imagined that I would rediscover my love for making things with my hands.

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I am a teacher, a writer, and a storyteller.

For my day job, I am a professor of writing at Mass College of Art and Design.

Helping students discover the joy in seeing (or feeling) their authentic voice on the page is demanding (and thrilling) work.

To restore my creative energy, I enjoy gardening, and I like to make things with my hands.

That’s where Gather Here comes in.

At Gather Here, I have experimented with a range of classes: tote bags, quilts, backpacks, bow ties, and now a tunic!

I began with little skill (very little), and in each class, the teachers at Gather Here guided me until I could fly on my own (or almost fly).

For me, these classes provide a certain kind of “rest” from my day work.

Also, I find Gather Here’s studio hours very useful—especially when my family needs help.<PREVIEWEND>

For example, a year ago, my older daughter and her family moved to a new home and they need drapes fast!

The generous folks at Gather Here shared their knowledge, and they helped me figure out the best way to make the drapes.

Another time, when my older daughter landed the job she wanted as director of a montessori school, she planned to launch a new infant program. The Montessorri teachers wanted aprons—soft, friendly, inviting aprons. We researched online the best apron design, and the staff at Gather Here offered their advice for the prototypes.

Here I have developed the confidence to make things with fabrics and yarns and more.

Someday maybe I will find a way to sew words into these creations and weave my two worlds together.

In the meantime,

In the community of other makers at Gather Here, I feel renewed.


Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

I have backed one other kickstarter campaign (last year).

It was for a group that planned to open a print studio (letterpress printing) in Charlestown: Arbalest Press

This group of artists needed help to grow their business for our community.

They wanted to purchase another letterpress machine for classes.

(I took one of their first classes and made cards for the holidays.)

It’s very hard to grow a creative business that allows each of us the opportunity to develop our ideas.

This type of small business is very different from the large enterprises that offer a few finished products that you select from the shelf and pay for.

It takes all of our support to create rich community resources such as Arbalest Press and Gather Here.


There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

The generosity of spirit in all the people involved with Gather Here.

The sharing of knowledge and their exquisite care—for each and every project idea that walks through the door.

This is probably the most important reason why I am backing this campaign:

I think that one of the single most rebellious acts we can perform in our times is to make something.

Since the late 1940s, our culture has focused on consumerism. We buy everything "ready made.”

And, in this sense, we relinquish a certain kind of joy in our lives—to see a wish, maybe a whimsical idea, evolve from the first blush of an idea.

It doesn’t matter whether your final creation matches the vision in your head.

What matters is that you made it—that you rode the wave of ups and downs while you figured out how to create something.

The feeling of agency that comes with making your own things is important for all of us.

It builds confidence in subtle ways that permeates all the corners of our lives.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

The reward is in helping to build a healthy community.

None of us can build a creative community of makers on our own.

We need each other. If I can help in some small way, well that’s fantastic.


What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

This kickstarter campaign is our modern day version of helping our neighbor build their barn.

In the past, when a neighbor lended a helping hand, she didn’t “expect” anything in return.

We build community together. Our small businesses contribute to the quality of our neighborhoods in important ways.

We want to live in vibrant communities where we can grow our ideas and our dreams.

We know how to do this—how to build community and creative ventures together.

Each small act matters. There is great power in this understanding.

 

Many thanks to Jeanette for suggesting we feature some of our backers. The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us . You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.


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gather here's blog chronicling the opening of our stitch lounge, experiments in craftiness, and all things fiber.

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