How Aloha For People Used Storytelling to Get Their Campaign Featured on Kickstarter

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“...Aloha holds within itself all one needs to know to interact rightfully in the natural world.”


– Aloha International

Since 2009 Kickstarter has helped 113,630 projects raise over 2.6 billion dollars. It is one of the world’s most popular crowdfunding platform where regular people, like you and I, can donate money to brands or products they believe in. I often find myself scrolling through Kickstarter in hopes of discovering fresh products before they become a booming success. When perusing their fashion category the other day, I came across a brand that was using the power of storytelling in their designs to raise awareness for children in need.

Founded in Hermosa Beach by Brian Poage and Emily Sansom, Aloha For People tells a story of compassion through the art of Hawaiian shirts made from hand-woven Guatemalan fabric. The brand was founded to provide vibrantly stylish pieces that helps others in need. For every shirt purchased, Aloha For People provides clean water to a child in Guatemala for two years. After discovering the brand and learning of their mission, I had to know more about the business, the clothing and why they decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign.

 

How did you come up with the name Aloha For People?

We really love Hawaiian shirts, and we wanted to start a company that utilized Hawaiian style shirts but stood for much more than flowers and surfing prints. Traditional Hawaiian shirts tell stories and depict images that are significant to the people of Hawaii. We wanted to take that same style and apply it to Guatemala. The term “aloha” also means much more than hello and goodbye.  In traditional Hawaiian culture, it means words like kindness, mercy, and compassion.  We hope our shirts can bring those feelings to people.

Why Hawaiian shirts?

Hawaiian shirts are so full of life and can communicate more to people than standard shirts.  They can be vibrant, fun, and a talking piece.  

 

There are many countries around the world that need access to clean water. Why is Guatemala so close to your heart?

Guatemala is known as the most populous country in Central America and so we knew they had the most people we could help. We were able to find excellent hand-woven fabric in this country along with a fantastic water filter partner in Ecofiltro. This made the decision to help Guatemala very easy for our team.

How do you provide clean water to Guatemalans?

For every shirt sold, we donate money to the social company Ecofiltro. They make water filters that are used in homes and schools that can provide clean, drinkable water. The specific filters we are using are in the schools in Guatemala. We wanted to help the children of the country since they are the future. Every filter costs $35 and provides clean water to 30 children for 2 years.

Why did you decide to launch your own brand?

Emily has been working in the fashion industry for 2 years now and Brian has a background in construction management.  They have always discussed starting a company on their own, but after reading Blake Mycoskie’s book Start Something that Matters, they were truly inspired to make a company that provides a unique and great product, but that also exists to help people.

Starting a business is extremely difficult. Tell me about a particular challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it.

Finding a sewing manufacturer in Los Angeles was one of 

our most difficult tasks. The majority of businesses send their clothing to be made overseas which saves them a lot of money. We knew that we wanted to create jobs in the United States to help our local economy.  However, since we are just starting, we cannot fill large orders. Most of the manufacturers required 1,000 to 10,000 units to do business.  We only wanted to make a couple hundred shirts for our first run. We were finally able to convince a manufacturer to partner with us and make 600 shirts in our first run. We are very excited to produce these shirts with our partner and then to scale in the future.

Why did you decide to launch a kickstarter 

campaign?

We mostly wanted to raise the $25,000 needed to make our first run of shirts. However, we also wanted to spread the word about our cause and promote our brand. Since we are new and unknown, it is difficult for people to buy our clothes. We also wanted to see the reception we would receive from the public. So far, it has been very positive and we are glad we utilized Kickstarter.

 

How will you be using the funds?

All of the funds will be going towards purchasing fabric, which will provide employment for fabric weavers in Guatemala, and towards making the shirts in downtown Los Angeles. We will utilize our profits to provide clean water to children in Guatemala and then make more shirts.

What does your marketing strategy entail behind your Kickstarter campaign?

We are mostly using social media and organic methods of marketing. Our friends and family who believe in the company are sharing our story and then their friends and family are sharing it as well. We have had incredible support from the people closest to us. We talked about buying a billboard in the South Bay of LA, but that proved to be too costly!

How did you get featured on Kickstarter?

We were selected as a “Project We Love” by Kickstarter the first day we launched.  We also were able to raise $5,000 within the first 24 hours of our launch. I think people get excited when a company exists to help people in need, instead of only focusing their efforts on their profit margin. There are so many issues on our planet and people want to feel like they are part of a solution. We are providing people that opportunity to change a child’s life.

What advice do you have for brands that are trying to decide if they need to launch a crowdfunding campaign?

would say that you have nothing to lose by trying a crowdfunding campaign. You need to go into it with realistic goals and have a strong network of people around you that are willing to help if you want to be successful. It is very difficult to get your message, no matter how great or interesting, to reach a lot of people. Stay positive throughout the campaign and diligently promote your company or product.

LOOKCAST is a cloud based web app that enables design brands of every size to create stunning, interactive, experiential digital shopping stories. No photoshop or coding required. Our pricing is specifically catered to independent creatives and we are continuously enhancing our product with tools to help grow brands through digital marketing and next-generation online sales.

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Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
PRODUCT CATALOGUE
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
RETAIL $59.00
Read More >>
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
X
Women's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
Women's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
PRODUCT CATALOGUE
Women's Guatemala Earth Shirt
RETAIL $59.00
Read More >>
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
X
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
PRODUCT CATALOGUE
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
RETAIL $59.00
Read More >>
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
X
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
GET INVOLVED: Help eliminate the water crisis in Guatemala, by donating to Aloha for People's Kickstarter.
X
GET INVOLVED: Help eliminate the water crisis in Guatemala, by donating to Aloha for People's Kickstarter.
X
PRODUCT CATALOGUE
Men's Guatemala Earth Shirt
RETAIL $59.00
Read More >>
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
GET INVOLVED: Help eliminate the water crisis in Guatemala, by donating to Aloha for People's Kickstarter.
Read More >>
X
Women's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
Women's Guatemala Earth Shirt
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
Retail Price $59.00
X
GET INVOLVED: Help eliminate the water crisis in Guatemala, by donating to Aloha for People's Kickstarter.
X
GET INVOLVED: Help eliminate the water crisis in Guatemala, by donating to Aloha for People's Kickstarter.
X
PRODUCT CATALOGUE
Women's Guatemala Earth Shirt
RETAIL $59.00
Read More >>
Every shirt sold provides a child access to clean water for 2 years
We have partnered with the organization Ecofiltro to help people in the country of Guatemala. Ecofiltro makes water filtration systems that are used to provide water to children in schools as well as educate the children and their families on the importance of clean water. Every Aloha for People shirt that is purchased provides a child access to these water filtration systems for 2 years.
GET INVOLVED: Help eliminate the water crisis in Guatemala, by donating to Aloha for People's Kickstarter.
Read More >>