Local Laundry is a Calgarian clothing company that focuses on helping the community through donating 10% of their profits to local charities. Local Laundry’s ATB BoostR campaign focused on their Giving Toque, which for every one bought, one was given to homeless organizations in Canada. During the 2017 holiday season, Local Laundry donated over 550 toques. Since their founding two years ago, Local Laundry has donated $10,000 to local charities. Throughout their ATB BoostR campaign from October 5, 2017 to November 19, 2017, Local Laundry was boosted to $12,351 from their starting goal of $10,000.
We spoke with Connor Curran from Local Laundry to learn more about his experience with ATB Boostr:
What is your number one tip for a business who is hoping to be accepted onto a crowdfunding platform?
Connor Curran (CC): “Really just have your idea really locked down and your plan locked down. ATB is really good and they will tell you if you’re not ready and what you need to do for the next round. One thing I would suggest is don’t use ATB BoostR if you’re just trying to make $10,000, because you need to give to the boosters in the form of rewards. We walked away with around $2,000-3,000 [minus the cost of the] rewards. You have to treat the boosters as pre-customers. If you’re looking to go into ATB BoostR, people aren’t giving you donations – its not free money. We didn’t do it for the money, we did it more for the exposure.”
Did you have any apprehensions about crowdfunding? Why did you choose crowdfunding to fund your business?
CC: “We didn’t choose crowdfunding – we chose ATB BoostR. We never really thought of it as crowdfunding, we thought of it as exposure. Part of the reassurance was definitely having the advisor – the ATB employee, to help walk you through the process. We didn’t have to worry about paying an advisor to help us, the ATB BoostR advisor was always there. There were lots of information sessions and events with ATB even before becoming a campaign. We met all the other campaigns, and we developed our own really strong network of small businesses that we can utilize now. The comradery there was exceptional.”
What was the most important thing your company did throughout the campaign that lead to your ultimate success?
CC: “Definitely the pivotal moment was with a week left. We had great support but then we decided to go big or go home and make a match-up reward to cross the finish line. Having our idea surrounding the Giving Toques was a good thing and a bad thing. Our goal was $10,000, but it was difficult to raise that amount when we were selling $30 toques. With a week left of the campaign we were only half way to our goal, so we talked to our ATB advisor and it was our advisor who said we had to come out with something big – a unique reward. So we came out with a $2000 reward for custom shirts since we had the production team in Toronto. Within a few days, two or three people bought that reward and we reached over $12,000.”
What do you think are the most important things to do during a crowdfunding campaign in order to be successful?
CC: “Research, research, research. Have a well-researched and well-structured plan. Be really deliberate in what the rewards are. Think about what the end goal is – is it money? Is it exposure? Is it to test the market? Have a distinct goal in mind, and once you have that goal, focus everything in the campaign on that goal.”
What lessons did you learn throughout the campaign that are still used today in your business?
CC: “Have a look internally. What assets do you have internally and how can you use those to make your business better? We have a whole production team in Toronto we can use to make whatever we want. Thinking about what value we can add and put out there in the market [from inside our business] that only we can provide.”
Since being boosted, how has your company evolved and grown? Were you able to do exactly what you hoped with the money from ATB?
CC: “Absolutely. Part of the success that ATB gave us was testing out the market – was there a need in the market for Canadian made clothing? We definitely saw that there was the demand, which led to our decision to make all of our production 100% made in Canada.”