Interview with Kate Shoaf from Fabrily

Fabrily Tee

What is Fabrily?

  • A new crowd funding platform
  • Allows users to create custom apparel to consumers with no upfront costs
  • Funds raised go straight to the campaigner
  • Clients already include Ocean Preservation Society, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls and Bat Conservation Trust
Kate Shoaf Fabrily

Who is Kate Shoaf?

  • Community Marketing Manager and Campaign Team Manager at Fabrily
  • Creates promotional guides, video tutorials and promotes campaigns through social media
  • Leads a team of campaign managers who assist users of the site, among other things

Fabrily team

What can I learn?

  • Alternative ways to fundraise for your appeal
  • The importance of crowd-funding for the future of charities
  • How Fabrily can help benefit your appeal both financially and through visibility

For those who don’t know about Fabrily and how it works, could you introduce your role in the company and what it is your organisation does?

My name is Kate Shoaf and I am the Community Marketing Manager and Campaign Team Manager. It’s my job to help campaigners get the word out about their campaign by creating promotional guides, video tutorials, as well as helping to promote campaigns through Fabrily’s social media accounts. I also lead a team of other campaign managers who personally assist organizations and individuals with the set-up and promotion of their campaigns.

Amy Poehler Smart Girls Summer Camp Fabrily teeFabrily is a new crowd-funding platform and enables anyone to sell custom apparel to raise funds and awareness for a special cause, event, online community, etc. There are no upfront costs for campaigners, Fabrily handles all aspects of order fulfillment, and profits generated from the campaign go straight to the campaigner (or any cause they choose). Our site is available in 5 languages (we will be adding more soon!), we ship to 178 countries and territories around the world, and people can purchase items in 3 different currencies.

We’ve helped a lot of wonderful organizations already like Ocean Preservation Society, MSA Awareness, Bat Conservation Trust, Blackfish Brigade, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, and many more, you can find out more about their success stories here.

What inspired you to start Fabrily?

Fabrily’s founder, Adil Mohammed, was inspired by the growing crowd-funding trend in the USA. He was interested in creating a similar platform within Europe and noticed a lack of available platforms for internationally based organizations and groups. This lead to the founding of Fabrily; our headquarters is in London, UK and our team is made up of individuals from all over the world – from the USA, to Spain, South Africa, Italy, and more!

Having alternative ways of raising funds is very important; times are changing, online activity is growing, and organizations need to find new ways to raise funds

Are there any major successes that you’ve had so far? And what are the advantages of using your service 

Since our founding in September 2013 Fabrily has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. Along the way we’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful organizations, groups and individuals. Perhaps one of our most recent success stories is Bat Conservation Trust who was able to raise over £4000 with just one campaign. Since then BCT has run several successful campaigns and plan to launch many more. We’re currently working with several organizations on campaign set-up so keep an eye on our website and social media accounts for new campaigns!

There are numerous advantages to using Fabrily

  • First and most importantly, there are no costs or risks at all for the campaigner. Items are made-to-order and customers pay for their own orders so campaigners do not have to provide any funds upfront – they receive the profits from their campaign once it ends.
  • Fabrily handles all aspects of order fulfillment for campaigners; this means we handle money collection, order production, order delivery, and provide customer service to everyone who orders from a campaign. The only responsibility a campaigner has is to promote their campaign to their followers and receive the profits.
  • Something Fabrily offers that is not widely available with other platforms is our ability to offer affordable international shipping.
  • We have a new store feature which enables organizations to feature and share multiple campaigns in one URL.

I think crowd-funded apparel is the future of fundraising… it does not take a huge amount of effort from the organization to have a successful campaign

  • Several campaigners have noticed increased social media activity generated from their Fabrily campaign. Customers can also help generate more sales by assisting with promotion through online engagement.
  • Fabrily also has a team of dedicated campaign managers available (like myself) who are available to assist organizations with getting their campaigns set up, providing promotional guides and tips, and assisting campaigners whenever needed
  • Within the Fabrily blog we provide video tutorials, promotional guides, campaign insights and tips as well for all of our campaigners
  • We’re constantly adding new product options as well; our most recent additions include children’s clothing, organic items, and performance tees!

From your experience, what works well for a charity when they’re using Fabrily? Are there any designs or appeals that work better than others?

I always recommend organizations keep their designs on the front of the garments (instead of front + back designs) as this lowers the base cost of the items and gives them a higher profit margin. Also I’ve noticed light coloured designs on dark coloured shirts tend to sell very well, like Bat Conservation Trust’s design for example.  Using social media, email, and newsletters are the most effective ways of promoting campaigns, and it’s also a convenient way to boost social media engagement and activity – especially when organizations get campaign supporters to send in photos of their new items. A lot of people don’t think about post-campaign promotion but it can help create buzz for their fundraising campaign and any new campaigns they plan to launch in the future.

In your opinion, how important are these alternative ways of fundraising?

Having alternative ways of raising funds is very important; times are changing, online activity is growing, and organizations need to find new ways to raise funds and rally support from the public. There are so many worthy causes out there – but it takes funds and an online presence to really get your organization noticed.

Aside from fundraising through the sales of t-shirts, are there any other advantages to selling t-shirts for a cause?

Centre for Great Apes Fabrily teeI think crowd-funded apparel will play a big part in the future of fundraising; there are no costs, everything can be done online, and it does not take a huge amount of effort from the organization to have a successful campaign. It’s a perfect way to raise funds and give something back to their supporters – not to mention customers will help raise awareness for the organization by wearing their campaign items out in public with the organization’s name, website, etc. It is a win-win set up for any organization that wants to raise funds and awareness in a cost-free and risk-free way.

What can we expect from Fabrily in the future? Are there any major plans we should know about?

You can expect to see many more wonderful campaigns coming from Fabrily as well as new products too. Every month our team is growing, we’re adding new technical features to optimize Fabrily.com for both customers and campaigners, and we are so excited to see what the future holds for Fabrily!

A lot of people don’t think about post-campaign promotion but it can help create buzz for their fundraising campaign and any new campaigns they plan to launch in the future

To learn more about Fabrily visit their website, follow them on Twitter, and like their Facebook page.