Have an Awesome Idea? Go For It! (a kickstarter project with Ana Bernal)

Throughout our lives, we see many mind-bogglingly creative ideas.  The pet rock, slinky, and the spork were ideas that might have seemed crazy at the time of inception, but became wildly successful.  Great companies like Apple and Facebook started as a serendipitous idea.  I believe that there are many great ideas in this world, yet only few actually come into fruition.  That’s because only a handful of people have the courage, persistence, and determination to turn their dreams into reality. 

Ana Bernal of the Tierra Dulce Shop is one of those people.  Her Kickstarter campaign, “MakeYour Own Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Cookies Kit” is an example of one person can be brave enough to take an idea and venture through unchartered entrepreneurial land. 

In order for her to raise the necessary funds for this project, she needs to raise $14,500 in seed money on her Kickstarter website.  Like all ideas, in order to be successful, it needs to have the support of many people.  All the funds need to be earned by March 17th.

Every great accomplishment has a significant amount of risk involved.  There is always the possibility of failure, which is what keeps many people from trying in the first place.  Despite all that, Bernal is going for it.

Here are some insights and words of wisdom that Ana learned from this process.

What gave you the idea to start selling Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Cookies Kits?
 The Sugar Skull Cookie Kit came from an idea that came from brainstorming session with my sister via text message.  I always start this way, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” and you can fill in the blank.  It is the same way we had created the Edible Sugar Skulls for our little online shop. We had been offering those for the last two years and it looks like we need to start making them more official and more market ready.  During the end of the Day of the Dead season last year, we wanted to add something that was totally different and fun to make and get people more involved with Day of the Dead projects. And the Sugar Skull Cookie Kit popped out of the blue. To be quite honest I had no idea how I was going to start. I just started looking for answers and slowly they started coming together and showing me a path to take.   

What inspired you to take the leap and start your Kickstarter campaign?
I took the leap of faith to start a Kickstarter campaign for the Sugar Skull Cookie Kit when I knew this idea would not go away. I thought about it a lot and was searching for a way to make it happen.  By chance I came across a cookie kit at a store and looked at the side panel for the company name and maybe a website. Luckily, they had many options and even offered a private label!  I sent in my information and about a week later I get in contact with Stephanie and she gave me an idea on what it takes to bring a cookie project to life.  I could not believe I had actually found a company willing to work with me and capable of creating exactly what I wanted.  The details and terms were to order 5000 units and the entire project would cost $14,500 approximately.  I was trying to figure out how I can make this project happen – since I’m a substitute teacher I don’t get paid the big bucks.  A friend suggested I check out Kickstarter and suddenly the possibilities started to become clearer.  On New Year’s day, I began putting it together – determined to make it happen, one way or another. Kickstarter is a way to reach a dream and make it into reality.

What advice do you have for people who have an idea for a business or product and want to turn it into something profitable?
My advice is very simple: Just take the first step and go for it.  If you have an idea for a business or a product, ask the questions you need to start making it happen. Believe it or not, Fear is probably one of the biggest problems people have when going into business. I definitely had it, even though I wanted something that would set me free for years, I was too afraid to see the road ahead!  Until one day I was determined to make it happen – so I started with a few things to sell on Etsy and it very slowly started to build up.  So do not give up on your projects, keep persistent – if you love your project, it won’t feel like work at all.  Build confidence and start believing that whatever you are developing will produce the results you want. You can certainly make choices that can change your life. It is not a set formula; you have to find the way. I am very willing to talk to and help out with the resources and any advice I can give.  But most of the time it is not the product or business people want to start – it is the confidence and persistence to see it through to the first milestone. Remember you are the one who can make your creations profitable.

For more information or to help support the “Day of the DeadSugar Skull Cookies Kit” Kickstarter Campaign, click here.

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