After launching a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017 for her party supplies business, Craft My Occasion mompreneur Lynnette Abbott said it is time for her to deliver on sales to prove that her products are not only a necessity but that it is also financially viable.
“I’m at a point now where I need to get more sales and to show that there is a need for the designs,” Abbott said. “I know I did do that with the Kickstarter campaign but investors don’t consider that real sales. I want to have a global impact but I have to show that my numbers back it up.”
Abbott said she started Craft My Occasion in 2013 to create party supplies for children of color, which helps them to develop a positive and loving self-image. At the time, she was simultaneously planning parties for children of color, and working as an office administrator at the U.S. Customs and Border Control office in Florida—a position she held for over a decade.
As she planned parties for mostly kids of color, she said she noticed that most of the characters on party supplies resembled her five-year-old daughter.
“As I was doing parties for other moms, who are parents of color, we talked about the unavailability of diverse characters in the party supplies I was using,” the 38-year-old said. “I know it is important to have diverse representation because that makes kids feel like they belong. If they feel out of place, they will find something crazy to do that will make them feel like they belong.”
While making sales will legitimize Abbott’s business, her goals are much bigger.
“My daughter is very young and she’s already aware of her skin color,” Abbott said. “I constantly tell her that her skin is beautiful and that her hair is normal. So instead of complaining about it, I just created something that I know would be beneficial to my own kids too.”
Abbott set out to raise $20,000 online but she exceeded her goal by raising $21,667 from 648 backers and has shipped out over 200 orders.
“That’s when I realized there was a need for this. For the business to be as big and successful as I wanted, I had to resign from her job,” Abbott said.
The 38-year-old left her federal government job in September to focus on the business full time. Her first design was a mermaid of color with full lips, brown eyes and curly, kinky hair. She said she wanted to ensure that the characters had brown eyes, the proper skin texture, and hair.
She had her ideas illustrated by Ana Rako, who she said she met on Facebook. She created cups, plates, balloons, and backdrops.
Abbott however, isn’t stopping there.
“A lot of people are asking for designs for boys,” Abbott said. “I have designs coming out next month. There is a superhero scheduled for spring. I’m also working on apparel and t-shirts,” she said.
Abbott said she is also working on holiday designs for children of color that includes room decor, lamps, and everything that goes in kid’s rooms. She is also planning on launching a Shopify page in March that will hopefully increase her online sales.