Global Crafting Community Funds Vickie
Howell’s “The Knit Show” – Kickstarter
Campaign in Stretch Goal Phase through April 19
The First Community-Funded & Internationally Accessible Episodic How-To Knitting & Crochet Series Begins Production This Summer
AUSTIN, Texas – The first studio-quality, community-funded and internationally accessible episodic how-to knitting web series, “The Knit Show with Vickie Howell,” has been greenlit by the global crafting community, which fully funded the Kickstarter campaign ahead of schedule, allowing extra days of stretch goals crowdfunding. The campaign ends Wednesday, April 19.
Produced by the award-winning Austin-based production company ProductionFor, “The Knit Show with Vickie Howell” will start as a web-based series combining all the popular segments from Howell’s DIY, HGTV and PBS TV shows: industry experts and superstar guests; knitting & crochet tips and techniques, and modern, totally make-able, high-quality projects in a range of levels sure to satisfy the global craft community. Howell, who brings more than 20 years of broadcasting experience to the table and will also executive produce the project, will be joined by yarn industry leader Karin Strom, who will help develop the show content. Production begins this summer.
THE WHOLE BALL OF YARN
Vickie Howell, well-known host of the wildly popular DIY & HGTV series “Knitty Gritty” and PBS’ “Knitting Daily with Vickie Howell,” is also an internationally recognized podcaster, blogger, magazine columnist and best-selling author for the knitting & crochet community. While TV and cable networks replaced niche, how-to programming with reality shows and scripted series, Howell saw opportunity in new media, building a global online audience by producing thousands of hours of craft-based programming through a variety of social media channels. She was the first personality in the genre to embrace Facebook Live when it was in beta, starting a weekly live stream Ask Me Monday, where views are already up more than 230% for 2017. Over the years, Howell’s audience continued to send her messages daily saying how they missed having a television show that speaks directly to them. Easily accessible craft-based TV shows have all but disappeared, but the web was also evolving and Howell had an idea.
“Thanks to today’s technology, we can literally DIY our own DIY programming on the web and reach a worldwide audience. We want ‘The Knit Show’ to be at the forefront of the next wave of craft programming and we wanted the crafting community to help us do it. When we decided to run a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the show, we knew reaching our goal would be more than challenging. Film & Video is the leading category for unsuccessful campaigns and the overall success rate in any category hovers just under 36%. But then something amazing happened,” Howell says. “We reached $10,000 in the first 24 hours with backers from all over the world pledging support and then Kickstarter made us a ‘Project We Love’ and we were off to the races. I have been floored by the international support from more than 1,000+ backers around the world – United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, India, everywhere. They donated, they spread the word, THEY made this happen.”
In return for backer support, Howell continually offered special incentives, flash rewards, add-on goodies and shareables like QR codes and web badges. Throughout the campaign, she and her producing partner ProductionFor created several social media-friendly video spoofs – yarn-centric takes on Flash Dance, the Netflix phenom Stranger Things and Star Wars (see below) – as well as knitted animation of the show logo and a companion how-we-did-it video.
“Vickie’s connection with the knitting & crochet community runs deep and her various social media channels give her one-on-one direct communication that you just can’t pay for. Along with all the cool rewards for our backers, she was in constant contact providing updates, unveiling new incentives and fun videos to them first and even went on Facebook Live to explain crowdfunding and how it works. Her street teams at craft shows, yarn shops and knitting groups around the world propelled this campaign to success,” said Clint Howell, co-founder ProductionFor. “Reaching our funding goal took a village – a village of backers, family members, teammates and collaborators who rallied around the energy Vickie cast into the project. It was motivating and we all wanted to take the leap of faith with her. Vickie’s followers have waited long enough – ‘The Knit Show’ has been given the greenlight by the community and we won’t let them down.”
THE RIGHT STITCH
“The Knit Show” campaign wants to especially thank …
* Karin Skacel, the only female CEO of a major-player company in the industry, who never fails to support other women-driven projects. In true form, she was the first to support at the highest of business levels.
* Kathy and Steve Elkins, owners of WEBS – Americas Yarn Store and visionaries when it comes to successful models in the knitting and crochet industry, who are amongst the top-tier pledgers.
* Knitter’s Pride/KnitPro, known for its initiative to create sustainable jobs and education for women in India, brought “The Knit Show” campaign goal to 100% with its generous backing and commitment to support the “Vic’s Tips” (a technique and tip-specific segment with most episodes) feature of the series.
“The global knitting and crochet community has put their money where their collective mouth is with the successful finding of ‘The Knit Show’ campaign! Thanks to pledges from individual enthusiasts, the faith in the project from small businesses, and the endorsement by a few major players in the industry, we were able to work together to bring this project to fruition. Aside from the funding, this campaign couldn’t have been successful without the extraordinary resourcefulness and talents of the entire team at ProductionFor, along with the help of the countless supporters who shared ‘The Knit Show’ initiative on social media, included it in their business newsletters and hosted me as a guest on their shows and podcasts. ‘The Knit Show’ is truly a project for the community, by the community and I’m so honored to be a part of it!”
Find out more about Vickie’s campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theknitshow/the-knit-show-with-vickie-howell