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TouchDome Reinvents the Luxury Watch

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

TouchDome has taken a fresh perspective on the luxury designer watch in its latest Kickstarter Project, The Dress Code Watch Collection. With a $32,500 fundraising goal, the project has already received $6,314 in the first three days. This project follows the trend of an increasing demand for bigger and bolder watch styles, particularly in the workplace. 

Usually, we associate luxury watches in a professional setting with men, but Kathleen Wolff, the founder of TouchDome, takes a different approach.

The “Weekender” pastels should have special appeal to women. They’ll be delivered in late July – a cool, mid-summer accessory. And gentlemen – so you know, our watch designer has selected the “Twenty-four | Seven ” with the brown leather strap for his own collection.”

I had the opportunity interview Kathleen about her experience with Kickstarter crowdfunding platform. Check out the results below.

How much time should Kickstarter project owners budget in to account for delays and planning? 

When I began filling out my Kickstarter site I had already created my video and secured the bank account approval through Amazon. At that point, I imagined it would be just a couple of days of tweaking and we would be ready to go.

We applied on January 8, 2013. We had heard Kickstarter approval would take about 5 to 7 days. But Kickstarter came back to us two days later pointing out several ways in which we did not comply with the guidelines.

Our product images were photorealistic (instead of real photos) there was not enough detail in my biography, the manufacturing plan was not fully developed and we were offering multiples of the same product in a single reward tier. We made changes. Then we waited.

On the 14th they told us we still did not comply. We asked for clarification. Then we waited some more. Project creators have to keep in mind that Kickstarter does not work on the weekends. We also had the MLK holiday weekend to take into account.

In the end, they approved us after 15 days. It was a bit anxiety provoking but we used the time to improve our site. We reworked the video, revised our shipping costs, the FAQs, my bio, links we wanted to provide, the delivery date, images of our products and sent the preview link to eight trusted advisers who gave us great suggestions. Each day of changes significantly improved the site.

Knowing what I know now, I’m actually thankful that it happened this way except for one thing: We were timing the launch to coincide with the publication of an article about our Kickstarter project. We missed that deadline and some people looked for us after noticing the article who could not find us. A missed opportunity.

We also said the words “Kickstarter” multiple times in our video. Kickstarter only approves 75% of the projects submitted. If we were not approved, we would have had to revise the video to take out the references to Kickstarter in order to move to another site. Something to keep in mind.

How did you go about researching how to create a campaign? What have you found to be useful resources? 

There is so much on the internet about crowd funding, it is really easy to conduct research. I also read one of the numerous books that are available specific to Kickstarter. But the information is always changing. The “Kickstarter School” and Kickstarter’s own set of guidelines are not only the most obvious sources, they are also the most current. I recommend a careful review of the rules again when you get close to launch, since the guidelines and stats are updated and modified regularly.

How is the process of creating a campaign on Kickstarter different from old-school offline fundraising campaigns? 

I have never raised funds for a for-profit organization, only for a charity,so there’s a huge difference there. If you mean from the standpoint of logistics, I would say that crowd funding platforms facilitate the process greatly by structuring the work. It shapes your message into a digestible form that backers have come to expect and can easily support.

What frustrations have you encountered with Kickstarter and do you have any advice as to what people should know before creating a campaign. 

In retrospect, I don’t really have frustrations with Kickstarter as much as lessons learned. My plan was to apply, then get approved, then refine the site up until our deadline. As it turned out, they are more particular about the guidelines than we thought, and the revisions put us back in the queue. It would have been nice to have more communication with Kickstarter. But again, there were weekends and holidays to consider.

What do you wish you had known before you started a campaign and what have you learned? 

If I were to do it over again, I would plan two weeks to revise my site (btw – this is exactly the amount of time Kickstarter recommends) send it out to the same eight awesome advisers, get the same excellent advice from them, finalize the site and THEN submit to Kickstarter. In sum: Do the tweaking before submission so you can avoid the time consuming back and forth.

And product people: Take careful note of the somewhat befuddling rule regarding single items vs. sets of items. Here was the biggest hangup:

“Creators can only offer one of a single item or one sensible unit of multiple items. For example, if you had a drinking glasses project, you could choose to offer 1 glass per reward tier, or if a set makes more sense, 1 set of 4 for each tier. You could not offer 1 glass in one tier and 4 in another tier.”

In the absence of any further elaboration on the part of our friends at Kickstarter, we carefully reviewed ongoing and recently concluded Kickstarter projects’ reward tiers and and revised our reward tiers accordingly. On January 23rd we were approved.

When you think about it, we applied on the 8th and they did get back to us on the 10th. So who knows? If we had done all our editing and reviews with our advisers for two weeks in advance of our first application, we might have gained approval within two days.

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  • SentinelTravelMugs

    This article does a good job of going over a lot of the road blocks we’ve experience when launching our kickstarter. The clarification of the rule regarding single items vs. sets of items was something we had to figure out for ourselves too. Kickstarter could do a better job of clarifying it to people starting new project. In general I believe that it would be helpful if kickstarter was more specific when asking for corrections. We had to do some corrections before we could launch too and had to ask for better instructions due to the general nature of the initial request from kickstarter.