Second Kickstarter store opening in Singapore

Innovations from global crowdfunding platform Kickstarter will be on show in a new store in Singapore.

Founded by Korean designer products consortium Soozip and local product designers Kisetsu.co, both Kickstarter success stories, the store opens on March 25. About 2000 sqft (185.8 sqm), the store has a slightly different concept from the first outlet, We The People, launched at Orchard Central seven months ago as Kickstarter’s first on-ground presence in Asia.

As well as having a retail side, the new store will also feature a workshop area, a space for designers and a cafe.

“We’re getting more and more new brands every month and really didn’t want the shop to look cluttered,” We The People co-founder Ryan Sim, who also co-founded Kisetsu, says about the expansion. “A bigger space allows for more breathing room for the products, and it will also mean we can host different activities that we previously couldn’t.”

He says reception to the first store had been better than expected. “We even have a good loyal following that pops by to check on the store weekly just to see if we’ve brought in anything new.

“We’ve had the opportunity to meet and connect with so many types of people, local and foreign.  It’s great how crowdfunding can bring people together like this.”

Sim says the most popular item has been magnetic post-it notes – like regular post-it notes but statically charged so they stick to any surface, as well as being reusable.

He also says a range of coffee products, like the Cafflano Klassic and Cafflano Kompact, are also popular.

Roadshows, markets

To meet expenses, such as the rent in Orchard Central, the store has been running regular roadshows and pop up markets around the island. “This helps a lot of sales and branding, and in turn brings more people back to the store,” says Sim.

The store started off with 15 brands but now has more than 50.

Meanwhile, at the new premises, the workshop and speaker space will host public sharing sessions with guest speakers. They will discuss such topics as Kickstarter itself, product design and growth hacks.
“It’s important to educate so people know how products are conceived – the stories, struggle and passion behind every brand, and how amazing crowdfunding can be. The workshop will serve to motivate and empower individuals to start creating,” Sim says.

When there are no workshops or talks, the space can be used by customers to assemble products bought at the store.

In the designer space, pre-Kickstarter entrepreneurs can market their products. “The idea is to sell and gain insight directly from customers, refine the product and pricing, and launch phase one of a Kickstarter campaign. We’re working with Soozip for this.

“Once they launch their campaign on Kickstarter, they’ll begin phase two, ‘live-funding’ on site. We’re taking crowdfunding to the next level here by combining online and offline. People can touch and feel the products before they choose to back them on Kickstarter.”

Sim says the retail space is for items from successfully funded projects. “This is where we take new brands and products to market.”

He describes the cafe as “the next step up” in retail as customers can try Kickstarter coffee products to brew their coffee or tea. The products are free to use, with customers just buying the beans. The cafe will be run out of a 1950s Citroen ice-cream van.

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