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Table of Contents (click on the minute timeline for the specific content):
00:46 - Greetings
01:38 - What's in this episode.
02:27 - Featured guests - introductions.
04:33 - A Happy Life Coffee - how it all started.
08:36 - Acting upon the vision and going on a mission that delivers happiness to the world.
10:15 - How they leveraged the power of coworking communities to achieve results.
12:31 - Tips on how to succeed in a crowdfunding campaign.
16:54 - The Happiness Lab and what's next.
19:35 - Why it is important to power up collaborations to get results.
24:28 - The power of being a role model that gives back.
26:11 - Let's get social!
the conversation: YOUR HOSTS:
VISHAL: A Happy Life began with volunteering in the East African nation of Tanzania. Coffee constitutes Tanzania's largest export, produced almost entirely by small farmers. Families perform a majority of the intensive labor, such as retrieving, planting, and preparing seeds from cherries. These families often work for little-to-no compensation, as surplus steadily diminishes prices in the global coffee market, false purchasers refuse proper, or any, payment, and systematic inequalities disadvantage vulnerable communities. Seeing families toil away without the opportunity to cultivate a sustainable livelihood, I thought to reconcile a trend towards well-sourced coffee and the struggles of Tanzanian coffee farmers.
ZEF: Ony, What is Happy Life Coffee's mission?
ONYEKA: A Happy Life’s mission is to make the world a happier place.
ZEF: Why did you choose to raise funds through crowdfunding on Kickstarter? How successful were you at achieving your campaign goals?
VISHAL: The Happiness Lab at The Grove is rooted in community, we wanted the New Haven community to be apart of the process every step of the way. Kickstarter was the ideal platform to foster community engagement right from the get go. Through the help of our supporters we were able to surpass our goal and raise $16,000 through our Kickstarter.
ZEF: You guys chose Kickstarter as your crowdfunding campaign, and I wonder if you can help the audience and explain about how crowdfunding works. Ony, can you please share what you learned from your Kickstarter campaign experience that can serve as key tips to other people who are interested in a crowdfunding campaign of their own?
ONYEKA: Yes, you have to really put a lot of effort into We set up events to attract attention to our campaign, such as the flag football team on Black Friday. We set up a separate Facebook page for our campaign too. In doing this,there are three main points to remember:
ZEF: Vishal, how about you? Do you have three main tips for those in our audience that may be interested in starting their own Kickstarter campaign?
VISHAL: First and foremost, in any type of campaign or business function, start collecting email addresses as soon as possible. Keep those people who are interacting with you engaged and interested so they will stick with you. So, at every function or group we did, we always had an email signup sheet, and we had over 1500 email addresses when we started our Kickstarter campaign. Forming and cultivating partnerships are essential.
ONYEKA: Yes, my main job was to get the word out there. To let people know who we are and what we are about. Talking to those people who did not know about us and get them interested in our campaign. Finding our what they wanted from us, not only during the campaign, but afterward as well. This is how our "Happiness Lab" came into fruition.
ZEF: Vishal, so how are things going now? What are you doing now?
VISHAL: Well, we just launched about a month ago, and things are going great. I want to recap on what the "Happiness Lab" is. I mean, it's a coffee shop, yes, but it is also a hub for happiness. We host meditation classes, live music, and explore what happiness means to our customers, and how we can create more of it in our community.
ZEF: What comes next? Ony, is there something specific that you are looking to achieve next?
ONYEKA: That's a great question. Yes there is. We are looking for new innovative ideas for our "Happiness Lab." You know, we have yoga, meditation, and groups, but we are always looking for new ideas to bring happiness to our customers and community.
ZEF: So, there are many people looking for ways to bring happiness into their community. Do you have any tips on how to harness the power of a community, Vishal? Ony?
VISHAL: Our ability to do business with just anyone. You really have to keep listening to people's ideas and put them into action if possible. This can really help your business and community.
ONYEKA: Yeah working with the community has been a big help. And as Vishal said, collaboration is number one.
ZEF: Exactly! I agree 100%. There are so many people who fail because they don't have a plan. They get the money for their project and then they are like "Now what? What do we do next?" because they don't have action steps to follow.
Well, thank you both, Onyeka and Vishal, it has been a pleasure to have you on the show. And folks, I will see you next week!