On halfway-through-Kickstarter-feels, Maker Faire, and gratitude

We are now halfway through our Kickstarter campaign, with 14 days to go!

(This project update is going up on my personal blog, because let’s face it – this project means so much to Alex and I, there’s no way in hell things don’t get kinda personal and vulnerable and scary and delicate.)

At this halfway point, we’re at a little over 1/3 of our funding goal. If you do the math, this means that it’s not impossible, but that it’s definitely going to take a strong push for us to reach our funding goal. But I’m confident we will get there, we’re pushing so hard for it. And yes, hard work isn’t always rewarded, but surely it counts for something. And oh god, I want it so bad.

Over the past weekend, team sketchmi went to Maker Faire Bay Area! We were super lucky that the Stanford Design Program got a booth at Maker Faire and opened it up to student teams.

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sketchmi at Maker Faire!

With multiple teams under the same tentage, it wasn’t always easy to attract the crowd over. We were there all 3 days of Maker Faire pitching sketchmi to anyone and everyone who came by our booth, which as you can imagine (and might have heard) was incredibly tiring, socially draining, and mentally exhausting. (San Mateo was also unexpectedly super duper windy and cold) There might have been 1 or 2 of those nasty troll fellas. Alex and I lost our voices, and definitely had to spend Monday morning recovering. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to see most of the Faire since we were manning our booth most of the time.

But! We got to talk to lots of people and see kids (adults too!) use our product to create really awesome things! Also, it’s always been one of my dreams to present a product at Maker Faire, and I’m really happy to be able to cross that off the bucket list :] All in all, I’m glad we did it.

This post comes late at night and after yet another round of emails to blogs and networks, so do forgive some of the sentimentality, but –

This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve done in my short life. Amidst the long, sleepless nights and against the enormity of the task at hard, it’s easy to feel discouraged at times. And so, some things to remind myself:

  • I am not my product design; my self-esteem and personal happiness shouldn’t depend on that status bar that tells me how many % we’re funded
  • The generosity of my networks does not in any way speak to the strength of these relationships
  • Support and help comes in many different forms / guises

And most importantly, we have come so far. I’m not saying that this is a good stopping point, that’s not what I mean at all. I’m saying that where we are right now with funding is nothing to sneeze at, and that has been largely due to the generosity of friends and family.

To all of you, thank you so very much. Throughout this entire journey, I have been overwhelmed again and again by the generosity of friends and family, filled to the brim with gratitude towards the people who have supported us. It is such an incredibly humbling feeling.

For backing us on Kickstarter, for spreading the word to your personal networks, for the Facebook Likes and Twitter Faves/RTs, for listening to me talk about sketchmi (yet again? ok), for encouraging me when I’m feeling down, for offering constructive & genuine feedback, for offering to grab late-night boba, for dragging me out of my cave to unwind (or joining me in my Kickstarter cave), for your care and concern… Thank you! All of you! You know who you are. This entire experience has certainly taught me the meaning of gratitude.

What’s more, I get to go through this crazy awesome journey with Alex, who is such an amazing and talented designer / design-thinking-across-cultures-facilitator / human being! Thank you so much for keeping me grounded, for the hthts, for awesome pep talks, for random humor… Ahhh. I couldn’t think of anyone better with whom to go through this journey with.

Yeah so, the next two weeks are going to be real rough, not much sleep will be had, but we’ll get through this. More importantly, we will get there.

Cheer us on – I won’t hold it against you if you decide to pun on my last name. Go sketchmi!

On halfway-through-Kickstarter-feels, Maker Faire, and gratitude

possibilities

Books Actually (one of my favorite local Singaporean bookstores) just sent an email to share a wonderful poem by Wislawa Szymborska. Here it is:

Possibilities

I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

possibilities

Images + Text | #8 walking away

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It’s been one heck of a week coming back to school and starting my very last quarter here at Stanford. For one, I’ve had to get used to a normal sleeping schedule, and to waking up early for class. I’ve turned in my program sheet, and don’t foresee anything in the way of me graduating, and so that’s one more step to me being out the door and leaving Stanford.

Something that’s been great to add to the schedule this quarter has been social dance. I will, I think, commit to West Coast Swing lessons, both beginner’s and intermediate. The beginner’s class is good in catching up with actual technique, and the intermediate is so much of a challenge I nearly wanted to quit, but have decided to go ahead with it. Learning West Coast Swing has felt like a door I didn’t even know was closed has opened, like there are so many possibilities that I can’t even begin to understand the edge of it. As has been leading in Social Dance II. I’ve been learning to follow social dance for a while, but I’ve only started learning how to lead this year, and it’s been a great experience too. The first time I managed to lead a pivot with a follow, I was ecstatic. (Similarly for chained pivot-rollaways, just magnified many many times) Listening to music, I find myself noticing patterns in the music, trying to think what would be a great variation to lead. Which might be why I’m up late tonight, listening to music, reading sappy fic, and thinking. Of the possibilities, of what can be.

Images + Text | #8 walking away

Images + Text | #7 a reminder

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Taken in New Orleans, near Frenchmen Street. Tomorrow is the first day of the last quarter of my undergraduate education, and while I’m excited for what’s to come, fair warning – this blog might become less active, updates might start to slow. However, this project has been incredibly fun, with the unforeseen side-effects of helping me relive my travels and other experiences. All in all, I’ll try my best!

Images + Text | #7 a reminder