The sweeping trend of crowdfunding is a truly beautiful, sometimes tasty, and always rewarding thing. It allows thousands of random, potentially good ideas to receive a rare chance at life, whether it’s as a new board game, an independent music album, a scientific invention, or the cutest baking sprinkles EVER.
Enter Tara Theoharis, otherwise known as “The Geeky Hostess,” a fun-loving blogger and geek culture’s own Martha Stewart, taking over the internet with her cupcake recipes and party planning advice. She’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce three types of geek-themed sprinkles for your next baking binge: Doctor Who-inspired police box sprinkles, steampunk-inspired nut and cog sprinkles, and lightning bolt sprinkles as a nod to the Boy Who Lived.
We had a chance to catch up with the hostess herself about her campaign, which has already achieved 69% of its $33,500 goal with almost 900 backers and less than two weeks to go. And if the adorable pledge video isn’t enough to get your attention (spoiler: it should be), check out what Tara had to say about her preparation for the big launch.
Kicktraq: Where did the idea for Geeky Sprinkles originate?
Tara Theoharis: I love sprinkles, and always pick up bottles of fun new ones as I come across them. (I have about as many sprinkle types as I have spices in my spice cabinet!) I realized that there weren’t many “geeky” shapes, and some basic shapes that should exist (like lightning bolts) don’t. I decided to do something about it and make my own!
Kicktraq: How did you first get into baking? Tell us a little more about your passion for creating sweet treats.
Theoharis: I run a blog called “The Geeky Hostess” where I create parties and recipes based on various geeky things. It originally started as an excuse to teach myself more about cooking, baking, and entertaining, and has taken off over the years. I’ve ended up creating a LOT of cupcakes on the site. (I blame my sweet tooth and love for buttercream frosting!) A cupcake is like a blank canvas; I can turn most flavors, characters, and concepts into a cupcake recipe. I love the challenge as much as I love sampling the finished product.
Kicktraq: Why did you decide to use crowdfunding for this project?
Theoharis: I knew I loved the idea of “geeky sprinkles” but wanted to make sure other people did as well. Crowdfunding provides me with the opportunity to test the idea before putting the money into the project. It’s also a great alternative for individuals like myself starting a new business: I create a fan base before the product is completed, and by essentially pre-selling my product to fund my starting capital, I am avoiding high-percentage loans from banks and other traditional sources.
Kicktraq: Do you think you would have been able to pull off this project without the help of Kickstarter?
Theoharis: Not in the same way. Without Kickstarter, I would have had to start much smaller and I suspect the funding process would have taken much longer.
Kicktraq: Please share with us a little bit of the process you encountered building up to publishing the project. Was it stressful? How did you approach constructing your campaign?
Theoharis: My background is in marketing, so I approached it the same as any launch. I compiled press lists, found people to assist in the promotion of the project, and compiled a team of amazing filmmakers, graphic designers, and managers/marketers. There were stressful moments leading up to publishing with making sure I had all of the materials I needed and that I was fully prepared, but once I hit the button, I was ready.
Kicktraq: What was the most important aspect of preparation for launch?
Theoharis: Just one, huh? I would have to say the most important aspect is to have a press list ready to go. As soon as my Kickstarter launched, I emailed everyone to let them know. That press push at the beginning (and subsequent smaller pushes each day since) brought a large amount of my backers to the campaign.
Kicktraq: What was/is the most challenge aspect of running a Kickstarter campaign?
Theoharis: Maintaining that fine line of reminding your friends, family, and followers about the Kickstarter campaign without turning anyone off. I’m still learning where that line is, and I’m pretty sure I don’t send out updates and reminders as often as I should. I have a feeling that may change once the last week of my campaign hits!
Kicktraq: What tools and resources are you using to manage your Kickstarter campaign?
Theoharis: Kicktraq! (I swear I wasn’t paid to say that!) I have my Kickstarter dashboard and Kicktraq tabs open at all times, and refresh them at the same time. I’m a bit of a data junkie, and it’s extremely helpful to compare the stats to my actions. For instance, days where I’ve sent out updates have seen more backers and higher donations than days without.
Kicktraq: So far, what has been the best benefit to running a Kickstarter campaign?
Theoharis: Kickstarter has become a household name, and many people go to the site just to browse and look at new projects. Over 30% of my funding has come from people browsing Kickstarter and clicking through.
Kicktraq: And finally, do you have any other advice for young aspiring foodies and bakers before embarking on a crowdfunding campaign?
Theoharis: Make sure you know all of the details of the manufacturing, processing, and packaging before you begin. Also, have a list of ingredients ready! People are going to want to know if it’s vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, or kosher.
Geeky Sprinkles: Fun Sprinkle Shapes for Geeky Baking is currently trending toward an almost $37,000, 109%-funded campaign finish. If you’re interested in supporting the campaign, reward tiers start at the $3 “Sprinkle Karma” level, which grants you a visit from the Sprinkle Godmother while you sleep. It’ll cost you $12 to claim sprinkles for your own – your choice of one bottle with free shipping in either the Police Box, Lightning Bolt or Steampunk style. And don’t worry, because if you want to secure your place on Santa’s Nice List next year despite drinking milk from the carton and eating the last of the Girl Scout cookies (you know who you are), there’s even a reward level for that.
So whether you’re a baker, a nerd, or just enjoy eating things, check out these geeky sprinkles and look forward to consuming delicious mini Police boxes atop your baked goods. It’s OK; you can pretend David Tennant is on that cupcake, too. We won’t tell.
Disclosure: Geeky Sprinkles was a participant in the Kicktraq advertising pilot at the time of this publication. For information on our Disclosure Policy, click here.