Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dreamhaven Update #15

In the news this week we've got a little peek from Coupe Architecture. These bubble-diagrams on the left are initial sketches of the park layout, as per our last meeting. A charette is a collaboration where design solutions are brainstormed and then proposed for a project. \

It is quite a bit different from our original concept map (which was to be expected), and reflects the overall concept a bit better in regards to the "Fantasy Village" layout. We should be seeing some more formal drawings as time goes on, as well as an updated color map.

We'll be using these sketches to create a large-scale modular map of the park as we move into the phase of collecting relevant business data in order to do our financial analysis.
The coupon-booklet continues to be both a growing success and endeavor. We've already got some excellent names signed up for the next edition like Jasmine Beckett-Griffith!

Our Pinterest Board for the booklet is also another new addition to this version of the book. It conveniently shows which businesses are offering what sort of discounts. It is our hope to develop a phone app for the next incarnation (fingers crossed). 

In other news - this week's giveaway comes to us from Herb Leonhard Art! 10 Pairs of Tickets to MythicWorlds in February! Get your entries in and enjoy. :) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fairyblossom Update

In Fairyblossom Festival news this week, I am most pleased to share a few highlights.  We've included the festival in the Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015.  What this means is that with the purchase of the booklet, you get 1 Free Pass to the festival AND coupons and savings at over 100 vendors, events, indy-authors, musicians and more!

If you purchase before February 6, you ALSO will get a FREE PASS to Riona's Cave of Treasures coming up in Portland, OR.  RCoT is an artisan craft faire located at the Doubletree Hotel Lloyd Center in the wonderful and weird City of Roses.  If you're local, we definitely hope to see you there!

On the DIY adventurous side of things, Ion the Leprechaun and I got industrious over the weekend!  We had collected some free pallets with the intention of deconstructing them as pallets, and reconstructing them as stages for the Festival.

This is my YouTube short documenting our experiment.  It turn out SUPER great so...this weekend we'll be making more!  The part that just pleases me all to pie is that A) pallets are free, so we are saving BIG bucks to build our stages and B) the leftover pallet frames that we tear planks off of are still in working order so they get to now become our walling and backdrops.

I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dreamhaven Update #14: 2015 Coupon-Booklet is Live!

The big news in Dreamhaven this week is that the Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015 is live and ready for purchase! 

In Q4 2014, we had almost 50 participating vendors/events in the booklet and it was our goal to at least double that for 2015.  It's great to say that we have roughly 120 participating businesses now.  This incarnation of the booklet includes stores from overseas in the UK and France, the addition of musicians, authors, new events and hundreds of dollars in savings.

If you're not familiar with what how it works, it's like this: the coupon booklet is packed full of coupons from small businesses and events.  You buy the booklet and then get to redeem the coupons inside for savings at the participating stores/places.  Most of our vendors are online sellers so you can shop from anywhere for the interwebs cover the world!

The awesome part about the booklet is that it not only supports the vendors and small-business community, a portion of the proceeds get donated to Dreamhaven Park as well as the Black Knight Society (historical re-enactment & education non-profit).  Last year, this stream of our fundraising efforts brought in ~$250 - not bad for a first time effort that only had a couple months to get out there. :)

Righto, my wingéd friends -  until next time!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dreamhaven Update #13 Year-in-Review

Happy New Year to one and all!  I hope everyone was safe and enjoyed the holiday season. :)  Before I jump into my 2015 year of posts, I wanted to take a moment to review some of the 2014 milestones for Dreamhaven Park.

I have committed to making a very sincere effort toward community involvement and transparency with Dreamhaven Park and its development.  Over the course of 2014 I diligently logged our progress, successes and general advancement in a timeline of ongoing work (which you can see below).

This year we're really hitting the ground running.  One of our major fundraising efforts, the Coupon-Fairy Booklet 2015, has over 100 vendors, events, storefronts, musicians and artists internationally!  This is very exciting as the purchase of these booklets not only contributes to Dreamhaven, but brings the buyer savings AND supports small business.  It is the first of its kind!

To add to this, Dreamhaven Park has officially partnered with the Black Knight Society non-profit.  A portion of our booklet proceeds will go to support their educational re-enactment organization.  This is exciting news as it couples well with the part of the Dreamhaven vision to demonstrate modern education on old-world practices and eco-friendly living through the lens of fantasy, history and gaming.

Our other big highlights were:
  • Raising enough money to secure our architectural agency (COUPE)
  • Becoming a certified member of the Office of Minority & Women's Business Enterprises
  • Securing a site for the Fairyblossom Festival (from which funds will be donated to Dreamhaven Park).

All that said, here is the review of last year's timeline! :)

2014 Year in Review
Nov 26, 2014: For those of you following the Dreamhaven Project at home, you may recall that two weeks ago we formally secured the architectural firm that will be designing the park.
This is really exciting news and we're looking forward to seeing some initial bubble diagrams and drawings by the end of the year!

In the interest of elaborating on the various module components that we are incorporating, here's a little bit about the banquet hall...

The Great Hall: This element of the park will be attached to the main castle. It's concept is to be a large hall with supporting industrial kitchen and side break-out rooms for small groups. We wish to make as many aspects of our park as multi-functional as possible. Our aim here is to build a space that can be used to host receptions, bazaars, large scale gaming tournaments, workshops, corporate retreats, seminars, banquets and more.

Lastly, we've now added donation portals to several of our facebook pages/supporting businesses to increase the ease of donating as well as visibility.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

November 12:Formally retained Coupe Architecture to begin our project design.  We've focused the scope of the project quite a lot, and narrowed our land-search areas (in order of prevelance) to Snohomish, Lewis and Grant Counties.  These will be contingent (ultimately) on what our market studies bear out.  We've added some detail to our "project plan" outline as well to help streamline the process.  Some of these changes will be evidenced in our "Wish List" here on GoFundMe where we've itemized the various aspects of the park in estimated cost breakdowns for that component.  We'll be looking to start seeing some new concept bubble-maps between now and the end of the year from Coupe.

In other fundraising news, we've grown our Coupon Booklet to approximately 70 vendors and events as the idea gains steam.  We're looking to get that number up to 100 by Jan. 1 2015 and are excited to be including fantasy artist Amy Brown and steampunk band Abney Park amongst our new participants.  Thanks, everyone!

October 6: We are almost to our first $1000. This is exciting because it allows us to get the ball rolling with our architect! We've been selling the coupon booklets and an influx of new vendors for the 2015 book as well. Thanks to two of our booklet contributors: Solvang Faerie Fest and Spokane Renaissance Faire who both had their amazing events this last weekend!

Sep 27: We've applied for a $150,000 grant through the Chase Bank small business program.  Each year, Chase awards 20 winners a $150K grant for their small business.  These funds would be used to: find and purchase land for Dreamhaven.  Additionally, we would win a $2,000 toward marketing research study.  You can read more about the program benefits here.  Winners are notified in January 2015.

Aug 18: I'm really excited to say that three of our other fundraising efforts are well underway now (we are putting multiple streams of revenue generation into the works). The first is the Coupon Fairy Booklet. It's drafting is moving along and we will have the first version of it by this weekend for final reviews! Once live, people will be able to support both the artistic community AND the Castle Project by purchasing an "entertainment-style" coupon book filled with savings from online and brick-and-mortar businesses!

Second is the Fairyblossom Festival! We'll be holding our very first festival on June 20-21, 2015, centrally located in Chehalis, WA - partial proceeds will be donated to this fund for a permanent event venue. Thanks everyone for your continued support - we're doing it!
Third, our efforts to get the OMWBE membership (which will assist with grants and loans) is *almost* complete...bureacracy takes a long time to process!

July 31: In the last month, we've begun a number of efforts, foremost the Coupon-Fairy Fundraiser in conjunction with online sellers.  Its purpose is to help raise the $15,000 needed for the feasibility study.  At this time, we have several stores signed up to participate and are nearing completion of the booklet design (eta first week of August).  We've also drafted (loosely) a visual map of the intended project so that it can be seen.  Our aim is to let the architecht work off this general premise.  There have been very preliminary discussions about expanding our eye toward the Oregon area for property (when the time comes) so we'll be including some land that direction in our econimic-marketing study.  We are almost complete with the review process for the OMWBE to gain membership (and small business assistance for grants and loans).

June 23rd: Beginning RFPs to solicit proposals from additional architectural firms. Drafting up $15,000 mini-fundraiser for interested vendors and etsyians to participate in to help raise funds necessary for to reach our first milestone!

June 20th: First architectural proposal is in and WHEW. Not cheap (by which I mean it costs more than the average vehicle), but not impossible. The next step will be to put together a formal RFP (request for proposal) to submit to some other firms so that I can get some general pricing comparisons. I will have this done by Wednesday.

June 14st: This month's stock option investment has seen ~7.5% return (investment capital).

June 10th: First meeting with prospective architect (Brandon) to discuss feasibility study. The meeting went very well and I can expect to have a proposal, with costs, for the feasibility study within the next week

June 5: Business license renewal is in

May 26: Mailed off OMWBE application to State of Washington; filed credit report dispute to vanquish the one negatively impacting item

May 24: First secured loan was a success. Took out a second secured loan to build credit.

May 21: Initial project discussion with the financial planner (Steve), outline of process and next actionable steps

May 14: Sedro Woolley property visit, first sample grant obtained

Apr 2: TD Ameritrate account established