She has talent, desire and a dream. Can a pastry chef from Wanamingo make her business plan for Flour Child Creations become a reality? Elizabeth Eliason decided to use online promoter Kickstarter to find out.
If she can raise $1,800 (10 percent of her goal) in one day, the project has an excellent chance of success and Kickstarter will do more online promoting. She has 30 days to raise $18,000, starting this week. A kickoff party held on Monday featured Flour Child Creations' locally produced video, cake samples and Kickstarter information.
If all goes well, Eliason will purchase a small brick building on Main Street in Wanamingo (the old Bulldog's Den) and convert it to a commercial kitchen. Over the winter, her partner Chad Vieths will gut the building, bring it up to code and add a walk-in cooler, bathroom and cake photo area. The kitchen will have stainless steel surfaces and use food-grade preparatory material.
Will she succeed? The beauty of Kickstarter is that the public, and potential customers, will decide.
Kickstarter is an online venue for finding funding support to create a specific project...within a specific window of time.
Kickstarter.com describes the process like this: "Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing."
According to the Kickstarter website, thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. They develop project pages, shoot their videos and think of what rewards to offer backers. When everything is ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.
Some backers are supporting the project of a friend or someone they admire. Some are in it for the rewards offered by the project creator. Businesses and people from all over the world come together in a Kickstarter, and this week, Wanamingo enters the picture.
Eliason's business offers custom, edible creations that are not only fashionable and innovative, but delicious and memorable. Her cakes range from mini sizes to extreme, animated cakes.
With 20 years of experience in the culinary field − including a Baking and Patisserie degree from Le Cordon Bleu and work with Wilton Enterprises − Eliason brings incredible flavor combinations and taste to her precise craftsmanship of cake decorating. She uses mostly local ingredients, from artists to eggs, and each cake is made to order.
But aside from the prerequisite of totally tasty pastry, Eliason and Vieths have a unique idea for delivery and service that will make the business stand out.
The delivery vehicle for Flower Child cakes is a vintage 1958 VW bus; an eye-catching rolling billboard. Restored and soon to bear its logo decals, the bright orange bus itself will not be altered as it is a very rare and valuable Westfalia. Only 1,000 of these retrofitted camping buses were made between 1953 and 1958.
Instead, they will pull a 1949 small camper which will be customized into a refrigerated cake-vending unit, complete with service window and flat screen advertisement TV. Eliason said she envisions taking the mobile unit on the road to fairs and special events.
"Everyone is familiar with the 1960s-70s 'flower power' era, and the decade's laid back, artistic, creative representation. Customers are happy and smiling before they even think about cake," said Eliason.
Eliason donated special cakes for the Kenyon Area Internship cake auction, and she had a special cake sampling at their home following the 4th of July parade in Wanamingo. Most recently she made a bulldog cake for the Billy Vogelgesang benefit.
Vieths' favorite cake is her white cake with lemon curd filling and butter creme frosting. The frosting is an old family recipe from her great great grandmother. Eliason said she loves the Kahlua crunch cake with chocolate and toffee chunks. Another popular combination has raspberry curd filling in a smooth white cake. The potential combinations are many and she bakes all the favorites, including red velvet, marble and cookies and cream.
Find out how you can be part of this Kickstarter and qualify for prizes at different donation levels by going to www.kickstarter.com
and entering the name Flour Child Creations into a search.
Reach Publisher and Editor Terri Lenz at 333-3148, or follow her on Twitter.com @KenyonLeader.