Blinging Success for Mhairi
Contemporary Scottish jewellery designer Mhairi Mackenzie will continue to manufacture in Scotland, after she successfully crowdfunded £7.5k to buy a special laser cutting machine.
Demand for her unique Bonnie Bling jewellery, featuring Scots slang words, grew rapidly after been seen on celebrities such as XFactor's Amelia Lily, MTV's Laura Whitmore and singer Lana Del Rey, and Mhairi needed the equipment to enable her to meet the demand and expand the business.
But access to finance was tough for the entrepreneur, who also runs a separate web design business.
“There certainly aren't as many funding opportunities around at the moment as there were when I started my first business eight years ago,” said Mhairi. “I guess part of that is being over 25 and part being due to the economic climate.
“I decided to use crowdfunding as I felt that it was right for Bonnie Bling. We've always had a close relationship with our customers and this seemed a personal way for them to become part of our business story. “
So Mhairi chose to launch her crowdfunding bid on Bloom. She offered pieces of jewellery, T-shirts, and discount opportunities as rewards for backers, and even offered to make a custom set of jewellery for the backers with the deepest pockets.
“It was so exciting watching us get near to, and then hit, the target. All of our supporters were tweeting, texting and Facebooking all at once, cheering us on and spreading the word,” said Mhairi.
“I’m blown away by the high level of support we've found, everyone has been amazingly generous and I can’t wait to throw us all a party to celebrate.”
Mhairi’s successful project is the ninth for Bloom – including two projects that have reached target but have yet to reach their closing date.
CEO Amanda Boyle said: “At last crowdfunding is coming of age in Scotland. In America crowdfunding is widely accepted, but the UK was slower to catch on.
“Now we are providing an acceptable, alternative source of finance to startups, businesses, students, charities, communities and social enterprises.”