I’m a mother. I have three wonderful “kiddults” at home right now, although the oldest is perched on the edge of the nest. Based on 23 years’ worth of parenting experience, I think one of the hardest lessons to teach is the concept of delayed gratification.
And I empathize with the difficulty of learning it. Because while others see me as a 40-something, sensible, professional woman, I know that at times my inner child is screaming “I want it NOW!” so hard my face is purple.
Behind the scenes of a Kickstarter shoe campaign
I’ve recently been reminded of the exquisite pain AND pleasure of delayed gratification. Last March, I supported gender-neutral footwear designer NiK Kacy’s Kickstarter shoe campaign. The reward for my pledge was a pair of desert boots from Nik’s Fortune collection. They were supposed to come in October, which felt like a long time to wait to begin with, and then they didn’t actually arrive until January.
The delays were due to a variety of reasons. Developing the lasts (the rigid forms on which shoes are made) took longer than expected. The supplier of the outsoles (bottom of the shoe) continually over-promised and under-delivered. Other component suppliers stalled as well. It’s unfair, but when you have a small production order, your run sometimes gets pushed to the back of the line. Repeatedly. And, in the middle of all this madness, NiK’s father passed away.
NiK persevered. With loyal supporters who stuck with him, and a mother who helped him even though she was in mourning, he got it done.
“I’m very blessed that all of my clients and backers were extremely patient and supportive. I was brought to tears by many of their words of encouragement and I truly couldn’t have made it this far without them,” says NiK. “I have the best Kickstarter backers and clients any business has ever had.”
Persistence pays off
I can honestly say – as someone who was eagerly, impatiently, sometime petulantly awaiting her shoes: It was WORTH THE WAIT.
My NiK Kacy desert boots look magnificent and feel amazing. I scrutinize shoes in a way that few people do. And as you can see from the photos, NiK’s commitment to fit, quality, and beauty are evident in every detail.
The shoes were handmade in Portugal. The uppers are the softest calf leather, and they’re lined in leather as well. Breathable leather insoles offer full arch support.
Now that he’s successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign, NiK says that right now he’s concentrating on increasing awareness of his brand and upping those production numbers. He plans to launch another Kickstarter shoe campaign for a feminine-of-center collection sometime in 2016. His main challenge is finding a factory who is willing to work with small production numbers while maintaining high standards of quality.
“If I don’t sell more shoes and go into production again, I’ll unfortunately be another queer business who attempted to make a statement and represent an underrepresented community but failed,” he says. “To succeed, I’ll need the help of everyone who believes in what I’m doing.”
I think it’s fitting that from successful campaign to delivery of product took about nine months. Like birth, producing (and waiting for!) these shoes was a long, strenuous but ultimately joyous process.
And when NiK Kacy launches his next Kickstarter shoe project, I’ll be along for that ride, too, no matter how long it takes.
Special thanks to Jamie Goodwin for shooting and editing the unboxing video.