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[#9] Camila Prada on How to Run a Successful Crafty Kickstarter – The Create & Thrive Podcast

On this week’s Podcast I chatted to Camila Prada – who we have featured on the blog before as one of our Success Stories.  Her ceramic jars and mugs have personalities all of their own and she has made a successful handmade business from her unique designs.

Camila started as an artist and sculptor at Uni but soon turned to design when she moved to the UK to pursue a Masters in Ceramic Design.

After working for a large company, Rosenthal, as a freelance designer, Camila learned a lot about royalties and the business side of her work and after they had a change in the company structure, she decided to go it alone with her own designs and creations.

All her time with a big company has informed her decisions about where to take her creative business and she has always been interested in using a platform like Kickstarter as a way to grow her business.

She has words of wisdom for other Creatives who might want to go down this path:

“People who haven’t done a Kickstarter before might think that it’s about making money and it’s really not. You have to supply something for every single pledge.”

Listen in for all the gems of wisdom from Camila and her experience with running a successful Kickstarter.


Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • Camila’s (now closed) Kickstarter Campaign.
  • “I loved the course and I learned so many things and fell in love with industrial ceramics which is the overlap of industrial design and creative design” {Camila}
  • Making money as a freelancer can be hard since it’s like running your own business and working for someone else at the same time.
  • “The common tension between artists and companies is that they wanted me to present my works in a certain way and they wanted me to make changes that I thought were not the way that I wanted them to be.” {Camila}
  • Kickstarter is all about projects and products and it has a designer undertone.
  • It can help you build an audience (note that they won’t promote your campaign for you) and you have the opportunity to have a big launch using their platforms.
  • It helps to build a connection with your community that you can’t always get in other ways.
  • It can bring in new people.
  • If you don’t know if there will be the interest for your product then Kickstarter can be a great way to test the waters.
  • If it works then you have the money to go ahead; if it doesn’t then you know there wasn’t enough interest and you don’t have to go ahead with it.
  • It’s a way of mitigating risk in your business.
  • To do a campaign you have to get really clear about what your goals are and it’s easy for those things to fall by the wayside when you’re just working on it yourself.
  • There used to be thousands of small potteries where you could have something made. Now mostly large companies and a handful of family run companies. However, it’s hard to get your foot in the door for the following reasons:
  1. They are already at capacity to fit in your designs.
  2. Designers approach them with things which are too weird –“ I wanted to hark back to the 70’s and nobody will do that here as it contaminates your whole production line. Most do white since if they do colours, it can contaminate the other batches of products.” {Camila}
  3. You can’t place a big enough order as it costs a lot of money
  • “I do large ceramics making but having a production line is not fun for so many reasons.” {Camila}
  • This is a commercial product which needs to be made in a commercial manner. It’s not art – it’s a design.
  • “Yours is a really great example of expanding beyond yourself and helping keep other artisans in business. And their livelihoods are dependent on you employing them. By employing local people to help you, you are keeping those skills alive and their small businesses going.” {Jess}
  • People see themselves as an artist but they treat themselves like a designer.
  • “People think that maybe they are ‘selling out’ if they aren’t making things with their own two hands if they are coming from a craft background. I totally don’t believe that. I think it’s kind of like a social conditioning that we go through – especially if we go to art school. Marketing was a dirty word. If you want to be an artist – be an artist. But charge enough! There’s no honour in treating yourself like a slave.” {Camila}
  • “If you’re not forced to recoup the money to pay rent, you don’t get to the point where you see the massive gap – the terrifying gap. The math for the hours that you’re putting in doesn’t match the money that you’re getting out.” Camila
  • “The first year or two of your business will be spent primarily on your business rather than designing and making stuff.” {Jess}
  • When you are launching a Kickstarter campaign, you are much better off (and it’s almost essential) to already have an audience.
  • Website: Pozible
  • “The best campaigns are already sold before they are actually launched.” {Camila}
  • Flint and Tinder:
  • Ukiyo-e Heroes:
  • Find Camila online: Facebook | Twitter


Download/Listen to this Episode

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Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

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