Sunshine on A Cloudy Day~ Celebrate The Rain with Jessica Swift!

by Jessika Hepburn, Editor

jessica swift, kickstarter project, rainboots with soul

Some things are so stupendously awesome they make you jump up and do a little happy dance, anything by artist Jessica Swift has that effect on me. So when I saw that she was trying to make rain boots (!!!!) printed with her colorful illustrations and her message of celebrating life, I had to push aside my design crush nervousness to ask if I could interview her about them and her Kickstarter project. I really wanted to share the story with you all for our party theme since celebrating yourself is a big part of this month for me. She said yes and I was all giddy!

Since I sent the interview questions Jessica’s Kickstarter project has been fully funded-making this also a story of the power of our community and our ability to make dreams come true when we rally together, now THAT is something to celebrate!

jessica swift, kickstarter project, rainboots with soul

Hi Jessica! I am dancing-in-my-seat-excited to be interviewing you. I definitely have a design crush on all your work and use of color and have wanted to connect with you for a while. When I saw your Kickstarter project I knew I had to share it this month for our party theme, thank you for visiting us! I love the idea of celebrating yourself with things that make you happy & you can’t help but smile at your fabulous rain boots (or gum boots as we call them here). Can you tell us about your project & what inspired you to create these soleful boots?

Oh my gosh, gum boots! I love that. I’ve never heard that before!I’d been wanting to start manufacturing my own products for a while, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to start with. I had so many ideas! But for some reason rain boots popped into my head one day, and everything clicked. They felt like the exact, perfect product for my patterns– they’re notoriously bright, colorful, and fun, just like my designs! I was hooked on the idea from the start. I started thinking about what i could do that would set my boots apart from other rain boots (since there are already patterned rain boots out there in the market), and that’s when the inspirational inner message idea came about. Much of my artwork already has an empowering/positive message to it, and I’ve been trying for a while to marry that message with my bright, colorful patterns, and the rain boot idea presented itself as the perfect vehicle to mix those two parts of my work. I felt like I’d been waiting for the idea for a long time, and it when it finally arrived in my brain, I couldn’t let it go! It was meant to be and felt just right. 🙂

These are not your average rain boots, they have a whole lot of heart and encourage us to celebrate ourselves (as does much of your work) I would love to know more about the secret messages and the idea behind them.

Most of the messages in my artwork are actually messages to myself as I create the work– they’re messages that I need to hear or need to remember in that moment; they’re little bits of magic that I use to infuse my day with a bit of happiness or confidence. I truly believe that each of us deserves to be happy just because we are alive, and that’s an important message that I want to put into the world. We each have the seed of absolute success in us, and all we have to do is trust and believe it. I want people to feel good and to celebrate how unique and special they are when they see my work– the messages inside the boots are a way to let people do that every day, and to carry that message around with them as they move through their days. Every time you put on the boots, you’ll get a little reminder of how amazing and powerful you are, just because you’re YOU! Plus, secret messages are just FUN, so it’s a fun way to tie the playfulness and the soul of my work together.

jessica swift prints{above: set of inspirational screen prints by Jessica Swift}

I’ve been watching the excitement around your Kickstarter project with amazement-you have a truly supportive community! How do you feel about the reaction to the project and your Kickstarter experience?

I am ASTOUNDED!! I can’t believe that I’m nearly 100% of the way there after just 2 weeks. I was so nervous before I put the project out there– I had so many anxieties around it. “What if no one thinks it’s a good idea?” “What if people think the boots are ugly?” “What if I hardly make any money and I’m totally embarrassed?” “What if they think my video is stupid?” And on and on. But the key here is that I plunged into it anyway– one of my very favorite phrases is “feel the fear and do it anyway”, and that’s exactly what I did! And my experience so far has been 1000% positive. I’m so grateful to everyone who’s pledged to the project and who’ve helped me spread the word so far! This community never ceases to amaze me, and this has taken my amazement to a whole new level. I’m SO EXCITED that people are so excited about the boots!!
there-is-more-than-enough, jessica swift{There is more then enough for us all-one of my favorite illustrations by Jessica Swift}

With Kickstarter you only get the money if you reach your goal-do you think you are going to make it? If you don’t are you going to go forward anyway? There is obviously interest there!
Yes, I’m definitely going to make it! I’m very confident that I’m going to reach my goal, and hopefully exceed it! If for some reason I don’t make it, though, I’ll absolutely go forward with it anyway. There is always a way to make a dream happen if you’re persistent and passionate! It might just take a bit longer. Or maybe not! you never know. 🙂

But I have no doubt you’ll be fully funded & then some-so what next? When do you hope to start spreading the rain boot love? (Let’s all give a WOOT!!! here since as of today Jessica’s project has passed the $18,000 goal by almost $2,000 with 11 days still to go!)

I hope to have the boots out by Christmas! I would love to get some orders from stores and have those out for Spring 2012. That’s my plan as of now. I need to finalize the patterns I’ll be starting with, submit the final specs to the factory, submit the initial order, get some samples, and then wait patiently for them to be produced. And then the fun will really begin! i hope to have the boots delivered to all the folks who’ve pledged at that level to the project by Christmas. (Don’t hold me to that, because I’m not exactly sure of the timeline yet, but that’s my hope and my goal!)

When all is said and done where will we be able to get our hands (or feet, rather) on these beauties?

On my website will be the best and most reliable place to begin with. But I’m going to be diligently contacting buyers and shops over the next few months who might like to carry the boots! I’m not quite at that point yet. If you know anyone who might be interested, please send them my way! Or if you have shop recommendations where you’d like to be able to buy them and think they’d be a good fit, please let me know that, too. I’ll take all the help I can get!

jessica swift rain boots

I hope my readers are as covetous as I am and can’t wait to rush off and support your project by donating-what can we do to help?

There are a few ways you can help:

1. Support the project!! That’s the most important way you can help. The more money I can raise, the more I can begin with! The amount that I’m trying to raise on Kickstarter will cover the costs to begin with 2 designs, but I’d love to be able to start with more if possible. If I exceed the amount I’m trying to raise, I may be able to start with a bigger line!

2. I also need all the help I can in spreading the word. Twitter! Facebook! Write about it on your blog! Tell your friends! Tell your dentist! I have some sample tweets that you can use on the project page, or you can, of course, write your own. The more people I have helping me get the word out into the world the better!

3. Send the project to people you know who have stores or are buyers for stores! Know someone who might be able to help me get them out into the world? Please send them my way! I will be forever grateful!

Thank you all so much, and I hope you love the boots!! I can’t wait to see them on people’s feet in the rain!

Congrats to you, Jessika, on the success of your blog, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of the celebration!

Editor: Hooray for creating a more beautiful world and finding ways to celebrate even when it is grey and gloomy! It was pouring today in Halifax and nothing would have been more cheerful then tromping about in these boots. Wouldn’t seeing a pair of these flashing by in the rain make your heart smile? Let’s all support Jessica in whatever way we can and make a more joyful world-one set of feet at a time! (psst…kids sizes please?!)

5 comments

  1. emma says:

    i live on a farm. i wear rainboots every day. well around here we call them mud boots, since that’s what we’re in most of the time. I have some with liberty print patter from target! love them. wear them everyday! I would LOVE to own a pair or 5 of Jessica’s boots! they are absolutely adorable! the ones on the left of the last picture are my favorite! thanks so much for sharing this!

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