You did it!

I honestly can't believe I am writing this blog post; I am still in shock this has happened. I have had mental drafts prepared since the launch of our Kickstarter campaign for explaining how we were going to push forward despite having missed our goal. And yet, here I am, two full weeks before our campaign ends and we have not only met our goal but SURPASSED it!

So, first and foremost, thank you. Thank you to everyone who shared a social media post or told a friend about our campaign. Thank you to everyone who donated and to everyone who placed a pre-order. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged us, prayed for us, and supported us. Mom and I are so very grateful.

Of course, we are grateful we get to embark on this journey together. But we are also grateful--and, let's be real, relieved--we will be able to financially support and hire those to whom we had promised jobs. The responsibility of keeping our promises to them weighs heavily on us and thanks to you Hayder, our tailor, has already trained on our new equipment. His start date is October 3. And Atia has already called Mom to let her know the first dozen embroidered labels are finished and ready to be picked up. What may have been a quick donation or one of several daily social media posts for you has in fact played a part in providing for these talented refugees and their families.

You know just how great you all are? You are so great that when we announced we had met our goal we instantly received messages asking us if we would still take contributions! Well, the short answer is: YES! We will keep our Kickstarter campaign open through the end of the month, as planned. Mom and I have chatted several times over the past few days and would like to fill you in on how we will spend any funds procured beyond our initial goal:

1. We have decided to purchase our equipment instead of renting it. This is definitely a leap of faith, but in the longterm we believe it is a financial investment we should make. The equipment we have purchased will enable us to eventually train and/or hire additional artisans as our business grows. Currently, we are going to have to pay for the equipment in monthly installments over the next year. Our hope is that we raise enough via Kickstarter that we will be able to pay for them outright instead.

2. This first collection will officially launch in February 2017. By then, we hope to be able to offer our initial designs in a wider range of fabrics than we initially considered including a couple of special edition linen blends. This seems to make sense to us especially in the case of the pieces that have sold particularly well throughout our campaign--the tank top and the skirt, for example. This variety is not something we thought we would be able to afford but with these additional funds we believe our customers would appreciate having more color and fabric options.

3. Finally, in planning for our second collection, we are exploring having fabrics hand dyed and woven for Threads by Nomad according to our specifications and designs in both Thailand and Togo. Currently, we are exploring the addition of Thai silks and Togolese mud cloth and batik in collaboration with non-profit workers we know in those regions. As we move forward, we will need to begin paying for the design work we are having done.

Anyway, it feels strange asking for more money even as we are delighted to have reached our goal. But if you had planned on contributing to our Kickstarter campaign and had not yet done so, we wanted you to know how your contribution would be spent!

Thank you, again. You did this. You got us here. And we are humbled.

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