Startup success


Photo courtesy Daniel Cronin

Self-taught product designer Shannon Guirl loved the sleek lines and sexy curves of mid-century modern lamps so much that she decided to try making her own. And so, Caravan-Pacific was born. However, now isn’t exactly an easy time to start a design company from scratch, so Guirl had to seek out alternate sources to fund her fledgling startup. She ended up turning to Kickstarter, an online funding platform for creative projects that allows backers to support everything from independent films and long-term photo projects to video games and lamp designs. Project creators have a month to reach their funding goal, which Guirl set at $8,000. Just two days later, Caravan-Pacific met that goal. By the end of the funding period, it had reached $50,649. All this before the company officially launched. “We gained enough momentum to basically strap a rocket launcher to our business,” Guirl says. A feature on the popular blog Design*Sponge and a behind-the-scenes video on Kickstarter’s own blog didn’t hurt the campaign. Backers who pledged at least $275 were rewarded with their own lamp of the company’s first design, the Alberta Table Lamp, which is handmade in Portland by Guirl and her team of artisans out of high-grade wood and beautifully glazed stoneware. With such promising feedback from customers globally on Caravan-Pacific’s very first product design, we can’t wait to see what Guirl and the rest of the team have in store for the future.

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Shannon Guirl, founder of Caravan-Pacific, creates the ceramic stoneware bases for her first lamp design with help from Mudshark Studios in Portland.

Photos courtesy Shannon Guirl