Racked interviews Melissa on Selkie and Etsy Fund

Jenna Marotta reached out to me and asked for an interview about Selkie and how it’s doing in Etsy Fund. It was one of the very first campaigns to reach its funding goal, and I praised my loyal, sweet customers entirely for its success.

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Melissa Herold of NightBlooming—which stocks natural hair care products and non-damaging hair accessories from Winona, Minnesota—helmed the first successful Fund on Etsy campaign, raising the $600 she sought in just four days. As of press time, Herold’s campaign more than doubled its goal, at 219% funded. Now they company will be able to purchase a food-grade liquid filling machine that will enable NightBlooming to fill bottles with more efficiency. Like McBride, Herold opened her Etsy shop in 2008.

Although Herold isn’t certain why she was chosen to participate in Fund on Etsy, in last year’s annual seller survey distributed to Etsy storeowners, she indicated that she was keen to learn more about fundraising initiatives, she said.

“My customers are very excited and they’re very engaged,” Herold said. “So I wanted to pick what I felt was an achievable and realistic goal that regardless of any external marketing.”

To receive a place in the pilot program, store owners had to sign a non-disclosure agreement stipulating that they would not publicize Fund on Etsy before its June launch.

“I think I might have worn the letter off my F5 key—I was refreshing the page constantly and it was also really exciting because I was getting emails and handles from friends and family and customers who were also watching the campaign and were super-excited about it,” Herold said. She cites word of mouth and other people’s social media stewardship for quickly reaching her goal—”it really was the customers who were the ones pulling in other people.” In exchange for their donation, NightBlooming customers will receive a bottle of vegan and organic Selkie Herbal Detangler by November, Herold said. “I think it’s a great program,” Herold said but added, “I don’t think it’s for everyone.” She cited active, enthusiastic repeat buyers as the “keystone” of her fundraising, along with the trust she’s built with her customers. “Sometimes crowd funding goes bad and people get their money taken without ever getting anything in return,” she wrote in a follow-up email. “If a seller doesn’t have a long history of positive customer interaction, that can make a potential backer feel less than confident and decide not to participate in an Fund [on Etsy] campaign.”


Thank you!

None of this would be possible without you, my cherished customers. Your faith in me to see this through made Selkie not only possible, but a resounding success!

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