Your contributions have helped to feed people. Your contribution helped mothers make cookies for their children who were recently diagnosed with celiac and feel like life would be okay again. Your contribution helped make Thanksgiving pies and Fourth of July cakes and birthday treats and the food of beautiful ordinary days. Your contribution helped give ease and comfort to thousands of people’s lives, people who have bought this flour and felt like life could be good again, even without gluten.
But there was a dark side. Yesly and Band-aid Fingers struggled to understand the Post Office and suffered the heartache of “turning away from writing and cooking to focus full-time on a business we barely understood”.
The flour business paid off all the people who had helped us with the Kickstarter. The business paid for the boxes to be printed. The flour to be blended. The 10,000 boxes of flour to be shipped to us. The storage fees. The lawyers’ fees for trademark and other work. The insurance on the flour. The postage fees to send out boxes of flour to nearly 1000 people. The money and time and postage for other rewards, including groceries for dinners and lunches. Payroll for ourselves. We were almost done with the Kickstarter money as the flour arrived. We had to learn shipping software and struggle with the post office…
Shauna then reminds us – as she does every time she sits down at her keyboard – that she won a James Beard award, before announcing that she and her husband “didn’t have a steady job between us” and “didn’t know much about business”. And that after accepting a crapload of money to create and distribute a product and limping along for two years in this state, they decided they “didn’t want to do what we realized this path would require: give up our creative passions to make this work”.
Shauna goes on to dismiss your complaints about your Kickstarter contribution rewards by saying
I’d remind myself — and I would like to remind you — that this wasn’t a business transaction. You contributed to help us make this flour, not merely for a box or two of flour. Some of you have been angry, writing to me saying, “Where is my grain-free flour?” I understand. But again, this wasn’t money paid for flour, as people who buy the flour through our website expect. It was a pledge to help a cause with a promised reward as a thank you.
So, too bad, suckas. They “have done our best” and Shauna doesn’t crave any additional success beyond…I dunno, living in a dirty kitchen and working in a grocery store?
I thought about how the life I do have is enough. And wishing for more, for an empire, for money and security and a bigger house? It’s a ruse. It’s a lie. It’s what The Great Gatsby was all about.
I feel like she did not read The Great Gatsby.
Anyway, she winds down with her entry into the Pulitzer Obvious Statement category, saying “we’re not even that good at this”. Then she dramatically collapses onto her chaise, waving her handkerchief Wallace Stevens style, “Adieu, Adieu, Adieu”.
I’m looking forward to the day that a mention of the Kickstarter doesn’t pinch my heart with guilt and regret, the day I can focus only on your generosity and kindness.
Because Shauna just wants to get back to focusing on how Shauna feels and feeds. But thanks for the money!