A Grayson County business recently raised over $19,000 from a Kickstarter campaign to finance its new product.
A native of Bowling Green, Jim Winn founded Kentucky Home Brands, a small e-commerce business specializing in home and garden products, as a side project about four years ago when he and his wife, Carla, a Leitchfield native, were living in Brazil.
Jim Winn and his wife were given the opportunity to return to the United States last year and now reside in Leitchfield, and he has since grown Kentucky Home Brands enough to have made it his full-time job at the beginning of 2017.
“We use a lot of data from Amazon, blogs, and Facebook to identify products that we think would have high demand from customers on Amazon, and then we work to design those products with a small team of ours scattered across China, Seattle and Bowling Green,” said Jim Winn in an e-mail.
Kentucky Home Brands started the Kickstarter campaign with two goals: first, to determine whether its new product, Mason to Go double-sided jar lids, which allow buyers to connect two mason jars together for environmentally friendly meal transport and storage, would have a market; and, second, to finance the production of the lids.
Any doubts were assuaged when, Jim Winn said, he started the Kickstarter campaign at 4:00 a.m., and, within 30 seconds, the project received its first backer (someone who donates to financially support a Kickstarter campaign).
By the conclusion of the four-week campaign, approximately 914 backers had pledged a total of $19,234 to help bring the Mason to Go project to life.
The Mason to Go jar lids are expected to be placed online for sale in the near future.
While Kentucky Home Brands is more geared toward outdoor decorative items, such as its wine bottle tiki torch kit, the business has branched off into two more brands, Essential Living and Precision Instruments, both of which create products more geared toward indoor use.
For example, between the two brands, they have designed a set of high-end kitchen knives made from Damascus steel, as well as a pair of “blue light blocking” glasses, which use yellow tinted lenses to filter the “high-noon” spectrum of light projected from devices such as computers and phones, so that the body’s clock stays on schedule even when using devices at night.
As Kentucky Home Brands grows, Jim Winn said he has begun to develop some products closer to home, such as his brand’s waxed food wrap, which is a piece of cotton coated in Beeswax that can be used for wrapping food as an alternative to plastic.
Jim Winn said Kentucky Home Brands hired a local welder to build a machine to produce the waxed food wrap locally, and this product should go live on Amazon within the next four to five weeks.
The goal is for Kentucky Home Brands to grow enough that the business may hire more local employees in 2018.
For more information about Kentucky Home Brands, visit its website, www.kentuckyhomebrands.com, or Facebook page by searching Kentucky Home Brands.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.