When Olivia Royale and Heidi Brown, founders of a local sustainable clothing business called The Art and Found, learned they'd won Downtown Ithaca's Race for the Space, and would be one of two businesses who'd be given a year's free rent downtown, the hard part was just beginning.
"We need to raise at least $10,000 in order to purchase inventory and store fixtures," to be able to open the store in August as planned, says Royale. "All the mannequins, racks, and shelving needed to properly display a new store. We also need to start ordering the inventory." The pair decided to try "crowdfunding," collecting donations to raise money, usually in exchange for various levels of "perks."
Available perks at the Art and Found Indiegogo page include an online shout-out or a handmade thank-you card for donations as small as $5, a 10%-off coupon to be used in the store or online, an organic cotton crocheted water-bottle bag, and hand-painted earrings. There are perks at various levels, including the still-accessible $10-50 range, all the way up to $500 and $1,000. The page will remain open through Tuesday, July 17th.
The Art and Found storefront is slated to open next month in a previously unoccupied space on the Ithaca Commons. The other winner, Trumansburg's Life's So Sweet Chocolates, will open a store in September around the corner on Green Street.