11 Crowdfunding Projects We’re Loving Right Now
Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other awesome crowdfunding sites are full of amazing ideas, but the cool thing about the 11 we highlight here is that almost all of them make life just a little bit easier. From a digital kitchen gadget that helps you cook nutritious meals to a USB port with unlimited hubs, these inventions really are genius. But because not everything has to have a life-changing purpose, we’re also highlighting a couple that just make life happier, like a cool toy that inspires confidence and a hand-embroidered sweatshirt you can design yourself. Check them all out below and get ready to be wowed.
1. Customizable Clothing: Across the pond is a kickass crowdfunding site called Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, which is where we discovered this designer who makes customizable embroidered sweatshirts, tees and totes. There are 15 colors to choose from, plus collections of animals, patterns, adorable objects or text. With the money raised, the designer is hoping to print lookbooks and get her website up and running. Rock on, independent designers! (Photo via @hellojonesie)
2. Step to Perfect Posture: If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of your day slouching over your desk at work, eyes glued to the computer. The BetterBack is a little pack you strap around your middle section and knees. Wearing it just 15 minutes a day strengthens your core and encourages better posture. Plus it comes in a cute little travel bag so you can take it to and from work with ease.
3. Scratch-Off World Map: Using that Facebook map to brag about all the places you’ve traveled is so passé. We’re loving the idea behind Scratchy Map, which is basically a map you can scratch off the places you’ve been, bringing out bright colors underneath. It makes awesome decor, regardless of how many (or few) places you’ve actually visited.
4. A Toy That Encourage Creativity: Not only is this toy adorable, but it also inspires confidence and creativity in kids. It comes in a cute little kit, and kids can put together the animal using the pom pom for either its furry body or a great mane. It’s totally grooming kids to be amazing DIYers when they grow up.
5. Your Digital Sous Chef: This little tech tool is the Siri of the kitchen. It tells you all sorts of cool facts about the meal you’re making based on the ingredients you’re working with. It can give a rundown of the nutritional value, give you tips on spices or other little extras that will make your meal even more delish, and it can even tell you what you can make with the ingredients you already have in your fridge. The future is now, people.
6. A Toy You Can Feel Good About: While walking around your kid’s favorite toy store, it can be disheartening to realize that the most popular toys aren’t very environmentally friendly. Enter the Tobo Truck. This eco-friendly toy is made from liquid wood and no plastic whatsoever. What’s really cool is that the tracks are the perfect size to go with toys your son or daughter already loves playing with, like Thomas and all his other train friends. Major bonus: It can connect to LEGOs too!
7. Next Level Printer: Is anyone else still amazed by 3D printers? This one, called the Stepcraft, not only prints things in 3D, it can print them out of almost any material, such as wood, aluminum or even brass. Some people have used it to design and print wooden toy train tracks. Others have used it to carve sculptures or engrave signs. It’s seriously a DIYer’s dream tool.
8. Robot Bodyguard: This little panda may look like a toy, but it’s secretly a security device. Sneaky, right? iCaptura is a camera and motion detector which will alert you via phone if something is not right (i.e., stranger in the house, a fire, flood or something else catastrophic). It also has a traditional alarm so you can wake up and get out of the house ASAP if you need to. Burglars be warned — panda is watching.
9. Beer Pong Cup Washer: Beer pong is often the life of the party, but there’s no denying it’s a dirty game. Like, literally. The Clean Cup helps by cleaning the ball when you drop it in there by using blasts of air and water to get rid of all that gross hair and dirt. Now you really have no excuse not to drink.
10. Virtual Reality Goggles: There’s been talk about virtual reality games for decades, but the Impression Pi looks like one of the most promising ventures so far. It has 3D gesture control, position tracking and can connect to your phone. It also has a camera and video camera so you can capture and share your experiences with your friends.
11. Unlimited USB Ports: If your computer is a tool you depend on for work, you know how annoying it can be when you can’t connect all your devices at the same time. The struggle is real. InfiniteUSB solves that whole problem by supplying endless ports — they just plug right into each other. Plus the cords are super cute and colorful. We’re a sucker for all things smart and stylish.
Which idea blows you away? Tell us in the comments.
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.