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Kickstarter Backer Feature: Liz Smith

Above: Maritza Soto and Liz Smith after a quilting workshop.

A very wise customer suggested we share some of the reasons why a variety of the folks that have pledged to back our Kickstarter campaign made that choice. As if it wasn't enough to get all weepy each time someone new makes a contribution, the answers we've received today to our request have been kind and thoughtful just like each of you. Today we are featuring Liz Smith, some of you might know her as Smith Dry Goods. Liz is actually one of the makers that inspired Virginia to "leap". Liz has been blogging about having a handmade business for years.

When did you discover gather here?

Years ago Lisa Dimeo of Red Stagger Wing discovered you guys & arranged to have our Boston area Crafty Biz Meetup in the shop. I think almost every one of our group has since benefitted greatly from the association, some teaching classes there, some vending at various craft shows you've hosted.

What is your craft and how does gather here support it?

I have a handmade business, I'm a professional maker. I am a felter, I knit & crochet a bit, but deep inside I always wanted to sew. I collected fabrics from Gather Here for *years* before I was brave enough to start sewing, and now I quilt! The atmosphere of inclusion at the shop made me feel like I could be a beginner & still be taken seriously & welcomed. I took a great class with Maritza Soto that helped me get my quilting skills to the next level. Invaluable.

Have you backed a Kickstarter campaign before? What was it?

I have backed many campaigns! Mostly small local businesses needing capital to get to a new level (Sweet Lydia's, Pansy Maiden), or wanting funds for a special one-time project (Eyeformation).

There are thousands of Kickstarter campaigns that could use funding, why did you chose this one?

Gather Here put out a call for folks to lend a hand & I love to help! Gather Here has done so much for me over the years, my contribution is but a fraction of the benefit I've gleaned.

Is there a particular reward that you think makes this campaign unique?

I like to pledge at the level where I get something that I use the business for, so I loved the fabric options.

What would you tell someone who isn't sure about funding a Kickstarter Campaign?

You don't have to! But if you like a business, if you want them to keep existing, if you want to be part of the team that makes it happen, then donating can be extremely rewarding. Now that I've donated, every success at Gather Here becomes a little bit of my success too.

The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 15th. If you can and feel so inclined, please take a moment and back us. You contribution supplements the generous funding from the building owner and grants from the City of Cambridge. Don't underestimate the value of sweat equity, either. We've poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this DIY project and we think you'll be able to tell. We can't wait to make 1343 Cambridge Street our home and we hope you'll think of it as your second home, too.


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