7 months feels like a year; THINGS I learned from Japan Crowdfunding

Hi all!

It's Maya again from DO-business and BE-event team.


From my previous blogs, I often shared about collaborators and su-re.co's products. This time, I want to share with you about our Japan crowdfunding preparation we just managed to achieve. Thanks to all donors and your support.


Here I shared with you the preparation of Japan Crowdfunding ^^


Starting from March 2020, the government restricted offline activities and enacted a semi-lockdown. While suppressing the COVID-19, we also still want to try and create an online project.

In 2018, we succeeded in our first crowdfunding in Japan through the Indigogo platform and installed several biogases for farmers in Bajawa, Flores, and Petang, Bali, Indonesia. From there, we wanted to donate and install more biogas to farmers. We initiated our second Crowdfunding in Japan to expand our cause.




-THE STORY STARTED HERE-


Our CEO is a member of Living in Peace, Japan.

What is Living in Peace?




It's an NPO (a non-profit organization) that aims to reduce poverty through equal opportunity. They have so many projects while not having full-time staff and all their primary business. The most interesting from this NPO, they are active on weekday nights and weekends. This is why we have a weekly meeting every Sunday afternoon ^^ I will explain later about the meeting in the next paragraph. :p


And in March 2019, we started to contact Living in Peace Japan to help with our second crowdfunding.


Since the first time, I learned a lot from this crowdfunding preparation. I learned from Radhya and Mayun about the crowdfunding process in 2018. I also learned what and how to discuss with Japanese partners for crowdfunding.


We started the meetings and discussions with Living in Peace on March 30, 2020. We use Slack, the messaging app, for group chat, a new platform for me. I was happy at that time because I could explore how to use Slack. Since then, we have weekly meetings every Sunday at 11 AM Bali Time, using Skype. I was also happy because I had the opportunity to join the discussions and the preparation, with Japanese professionals and activists. I was so pleased because I am the only Indonesian at the meeting. So, I got the chance to learn about Japanese communication culture and their work systems.


In our second crowdfunding, I got a task to prepare su-re. co's products from Indonesia to be sent to Japan as samples and gifts to donors.


We also have special products for our second crowdfunding which are su-re.co Climate-smart Candle and su-re.co Natural Bar (soap).


I can say this is the most challenging part of crowdfunding preparation. Why?


At that time, we wanted both products to use essential oils from our coffee and chocolate as the fragrance. It took two months to find the essential oil producer producing oil from our coffee and chocolate on a small scale. In Bali, only a few can custom and produce essential oils on a small scale, as most of them are in Java. For coffee and chocolate, essential oils tend to use chemical mixtures (unnatural) to make the fragrance stronger. Meanwhile, we wanted our products to be natural and fragrance-free.


One day, my co-worker, Radhya, found Menyan Project. The Menyan Project's Founder, Mimi, had tried several times to produce essential oils using our coffee and chocolate. The coffee and chocolate go through extraction processes before being turned into candles and soap. Here is where our problem arises. First, turning essential oil into candles and soap takes two weeks, which is time-consuming. Second, the fragrance is not strong enough when turned into the final products.





Finally, Mimi recommended us to meet John, Republic of Soap's founder. At that time, we also had a business consultant intern, Tassa. She also helped me to meet and discuss the essential oils with John at the Republic of Soap.


After consulting with several experts and as John's recommendation, we decided to use natural essential oils in typical Indonesian fragrances such as Cinnamon, Ginger, Mandarin, Lavender, Sandalwood, and mix su-re.coffee ground and beans into our candles and natural bars.


Why did we use natural essentials oil with Indonesian fragrance and not use our coffee and chocolate?


Based on our consultation with the experts, coffee and chocolate cannot produce a fragrant scent. So, it needs other chemicals to make the smell of coffee and chocolate stronger.

If you want to read more about the natural bar and the fascinating stories behind it, AND ALSO our collaboration with the Republic of Soap, you can read my blog via this link: https://www.su-re.co/post/gifts-in-a-gift


Not only that!!


Sending samples and products to Japan was another challenge, as it's my first experience sending products overseas. The process was quite time-consuming because I had to compare logistics and service prices.


I almost forgot!


In September 2020, we also launched our new packaging and stickers. I was not good at designing, so the su-re.co team (gift makers) helped me to prepare sticker packaging in Japanese and also the design. It took us two weeks to finish it through input/feedback to get our current sticker design and packaging. Thank you Netri, Fabian, Okta, Masaki, Reina, and Akane for adjusting the design and translation!






After all the samples, products, and shipping issues, we faced another drama :(((. At that time, we had scheduled to do crowdfunding in early October, but we had to postpone it for a few days because there were some issues with the platform we were using.

The Living in Peace team and our Japan interns tried to contact the platform, and we finally managed to start crowdfunding.


During Crowdfunding preparation in Japan, Living in Peace and Japan interns contacted several partners to support this event, from students, business people, coffee shops, institutions, communities, etc.


The su-re.co team in Indonesia also helped spread the crowdfunding posters and information to Indonesian communities in Japan and Japanese communities in Indonesia.

Not only that, our Japan team launched su-re.co japan Instagram (you can access this link: https://www.instagram.com/su_re.co_japan/ ) and held several online events to promote crowdfunding.





Finally, we can achieve the target! Thanks to all of you who have supported our crowdfunding in Japan.





We are currently preparing gifts for donors, an online Climate Field School, and a biogas digester for farmers. Hopefully, the donations can be distributed soon to the farmers! ^^


I am thrilled to learn a lot in this crowdfunding preparation until now. Thank you for the infinite support from you for our farmers.


Hopefully, we can do better in the future, install more biogas, and provide education through climate field schools to more farmers.


See you on my next blog!

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