Hi everyone! Thanks for finding my fundraising page.
I'm Victoria, sole proprietor of Kent Coast Ghosts! I started making ghosts during the lockdown in 2020, and have been an artist for most of my life, (I'm 39 now!). In June 2022 the business won a prestigious place in Theo Paphitis' #SBS (Small Business Sunday) Business Network, and I don't think I've sat down since!
The ghosts are entirely made by hand from air dry clay, using traditional tools. They are then individually sanded and hand-painted before being sent off to their new ghost hosts. Each ghost is totally unique and has a story to tell about my home county of Kent, and I love every single one of them! I also ensure I always use environmentally friendly AND vegan friendly materials whenever possible, which includes planting trees with Ecologi to offset my carbon emmissions. I make a rule not to use greenwashing techniques and am open and transparent about ALL of my materials (you can find information on my website !).
There are now collectors of Kent Coast Ghosts all over the world, and I'm so proud of what I've achieved despite many obstacles along the way.
I give away many ghosts in our annual "ghost drops" for lucky people to find, as well as creating ghosts that raise money for charity - like our Pride ghosts this year. If I could give ghosts away for free all the time I absolutely would! Seeing how happy they make other people is the best feeling in the world!
But I'd love your help if you can give it!
I do absolutely everything for Kent Coast Ghosts, from designing the website, admin and social media, to making and packing the ghosts ready to go to new haunts. Due to this, I'm finding that some of my processes need to be streamlined in order to take my little business to the next level. Let me be clear; Kent Coast Ghosts will ALWAYS be produced in small-batches in order to keep their unique qualities! BUT there are other things I'd love to do but have been unable due to the lack of business funding. I've applied for many grants and funds, but have so far been unsuccessful.
I've reached a point where I'm not ready to take on a large business loan, but small things are preventing me from being able to grow and flourish - and preventing me from spreading as much joy and happiness as I'd like!
So where will the money go?
Straight off the bat, £100 of the total amount will go to my local chosen LGBTQ+ charity, along with the proceeds from my Pride ghosts
That leaves £1900 - what will it be used for?
- A Cricut Maker 3 (or something similar!) This will make creating my spirit boards and personalising commissions so much easier, but will also give things a more professional look, as well as allowing me to continue creating my own advertising materials to keep the ghosties affordable for all
- Cricut Accessories - this includes cutting blades, heat-press vinyl and balsa wood for dioramas and "ghost props" - again, this would really help to streamline a lot of processes!
- A Printer! Last year I invested in a thermal printer which has been an absolute godsend, however this is the only printer I have! A colour printer will mean I can print my own art prints, as well as doubling up with the Cricut for multiple things, such as advertising (only when colour ink is essential), and ghost props I can make myself rather than using precious delivery resources.
- Proper Packaging! Of course I already have packaging, (including printing my own product labels with a thermal printer to save on ink as it's more environmentally friendly), but I'd love to be able to get some boxes in different sizes for shipping - I initially purchased 1 size box as I thought ghosts would sell one at a time, but I'm often shipping large quantities overseas and being able to bulk buy some appropriately sized boxes would be so helpful!
- New Materials - If I can bulk buy paints, paintbrushes and clay etc., I will be able to keep my costs down, use less frequent shipping, and be able to make enough ghosts so I am able to continue buying in bulk in the future. This, again, will help keep costs affordable for my amazing Ghost Hosts!
- Seasonal Boxes - I know, people are fed up with 'subscription boxes' - THIS IS NOT THAT! I love championing other local small-medium businesses, and I'd like to start creating seasonal boxes featuring a little ghost and a selection of items from other Kent businesses! The ghost and items would all stick to a particular theme each time. I already include a "brew for two" of Pluckley Tea from the Kent Tea and Coffee Company (based in Britain's most haunted village!), in each package at my own cost, but I'd love to expand on this idea and properly showcase what Kent has to offer!
- Research - I put A LOT of time and effort into researching back stories for the ghosts. Having a small amount of funding will enable me to actually visit more of these places (and perhaps leave a ghost or two to be found there!) I don't drive, (environmentally friendly AND making it safer on the roads! )
- Storage - Please help me get more storage! I don't have a lot of room to work in, and I'd like to be able to organise all of my materials in much better fashion! I currently have a small amount of storage in place which is mainly plastic boxes where I have to individually wrap breakable items, but would like to be able to invest in some sort of rack tray system that I can rotate ghosts on, and more space to keep paints/clay and brushes so they can last much longer!
- Paying it Forward! As well as donating £100 to my chosen charity, (I will of course post proof of this!), I would also like to make a personalised ghost for the many people who have helped me over the past few years! It's a small thing, I know, but from assisting with a laptop when mine broke, to being part of an amazing and supportive ghost-making community, I'd love to be able to pay it forward to these incredible people! ❤️
As you can see, all of the items listed involve (sadly!), an injection of money in order to be able to invest in them. However, all of these things will mean that I am able to not only streamline a lot of time-consuming processes, but will also be able to continue keeping my costs down for the forseeable future. This will, in turn, mean I have more time to spend on creating ghosts and other unique pieces, as well as growing my business as it now requires it! I will of course continue to invest my own earnings back into the business as well. Please remember that I run Kent Coast Ghosts because I am SO passionate about what I do - I am not in direct competition with other businesses, and I certainly don't plan on becoming rich and greedy. This is a genuine request for a business boost
Please do check out my website:
and see what myself and the ghosts are all about! If you like what you see, please consider donating to my fundraiser so I am able to grow, and rest assured I'll post updates here, as well as paying it forward as much as I possibly can!
Thank you so much!
- Victoria -