"Drake, we are leaving!" - Dwayne Hicks, Aliens.
Five-and-a-bit days til the end of our fundraising mission, and we're nearly at £6000. Thanks so much for getting us so far! It'd be great if we manage to get to £10k by the end of the week, but fear not Flicksters! If we don't quite make it, we have contingency plans in place which I will outline for you here:
The £10,000 budget included buying a great deal of wood. We are trying to cut this cost dramatically by using pallets. Though this is a time-consuming process (splitting them, sanding them, sawing them) every splinter in our fingers saves us £100s of pounds in plywood we don't have to buy new. It also has huge environmental benefits so we're going with it. Plus, it looks awesome.
It also included a budget for furniture. Thankfully an Easton goddess by the name of Sadie has volunteered her upholstery skills and is doing this work for cost price. As is our welder-artist John Packer who is fabricating the movie safe and provided the woodburner. This woodburner, whilst being the most beautiful thing in the world, should also save us money on heating. So that all helps too.
Also, a tentative shout out to Neil at the Design Forge who has offered to do our genre signage at cost price. So much goodwill and generosity has come from Bristol's vibrant artisan community; it swells the heart and gladdens the spirit. Thank you all.
We have done ALL of the painting ourselves. Special props go to John, Sarah, Laura, Other Dave Taylor, Alice and SJ. They worked for cherry pie and tobacco.
After haranguing the council about the more costly looking repairs to the premises, the scaffolders arrived today and are fixing the blocked drainpipe that has led to all the damp in the shop. To save money on plastering, I have knocked the living s**t out of the affected walls to the point they are now exposed 16th century brick. A look I prefer to plasterboard, so they're staying that way.
Last but not least, there is Joe. Without Joe not only would we have caned our budget quickly, the shelving system for housing our stock would be a miserablist piece of functional dross botched together by me. He has worked for free, pretty much full time, for the past 3 weeks and has pledged to see the project through. In short, he has saved Operation Christmas Steps and given us a chance of success that would not be ours with the budget we expect to be left with. So hats off to Joe. When we open, you'll see what he's done is some of the most exquisite woodwork this side of Chippenham.
So, that's how we're managing to save our money, and that which you've kindly pledged. We would be grateful if you would still be happy for your pledges to go to us, even if we don't quite manage our target. When you come to visit us, you'll see how far that money has gone and the special haven it has created. If you'd rather not due to the all-or-nothing nature of the crowdfunding thing, no hard feelings. You'll still get a warm welcome.