Robbinsdale couple turns to Kickstarter to launch business

As the old saying goes, "one man's trash is another man's treasure." Yet for Bill Kurth of Robbinsdale, that phrase isn't just a tired old clich√©.

"It was almost like a means of survival," he said.

For 10 years, Bill and his wife, Kara, have collected furniture from the 50s and 60s.

"It was stuff that we could find, that we could afford in thrift stores," Bill said.

The couple has built a business refurbishing furniture, first selling it out of their garage, then buying space and gutting a building in downtown Robbinsdale.

"Then we got to the point where we got to the electrical and the mechanical and realized that everything needed to be redone, and that essentially it wasn't even safe, the things that had been done prior to our occupancy in the building," Bill said.

So to achieve their goal, Bill and Kara launched a Kickstarter campaign, which gives them 30 days to raise $17,000. The money will help them complete the necessary work on the building's interior.

"This is definitely a necessity for Kickstarter to work because without it we'd probably be a year out," Kara said.

Experts say the idea of asking the public to fund such a project has become increasingly common as bank loans have become more difficult to receive.

"Kickstarter has definitely filled the gap of a certain need for financing out there," said Alec Johnson, a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas.

Johnson successfully funded his own Kickstarter project last year.

"Kickstarter isn't a magic pill," Johnson said. "It takes work. It takes planning. It takes effort, and it takes network."

Bill and Kara hope they have what it takes to make their campaign successful. They have until March 28 to reach their goal.

"This only works if we can get our community to stand with us and do this with us," Kara said.

If Bill and Kara don't reach their $17,000 goal, they don't receive any of the money pledged to them. For more information on how to donate and what benefits donors receive, click here.

Delane Cleveland

March 3, 2014


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