Meet Lilian Raven

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http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-lilian-raven-lilian-raven-clothing-south-los-angeles/

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lilian Raven.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Lilian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have always had a love for fabric and clothing and I first started out by selling custom, one of a kind garments, out of the trunk of my car. Being surrounded by fabric, colors and trims and being able to create something that was never there before, is an interesting, beautiful and peaceful concept.

At 4 years old, I was tragically burned in a fire, instead of dying in that fire, I was given the gift of life. It’s a blessing, to be alive and thrive. Sewing, designing and creating became my comfort and joy, which is why I love teaching kids and adults the dying art of sewing. I can see the importance of teaching something positive and useful that is, a lifelong skill. Believing in God, miracles and having a productive hobby is what saved me from turning against myself. It has been a catalyst, for self-improvement, and enabled me to bloom into who I am today.

Being an entrepreneur is important to me, because it is all about your independence. I have never wanted to be in a position where I’m at somebody else’s mercy, someone gets to decide your fate, destiny and income, just wasn’t a cool option for me.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
LOL of course there are challenges, to have a concept in your head and make it come to life is a challenge in itself. To stay true to your vision and not compromise along the way for an easy ride is a challenge. Everyday I’m hustling, the grind never stops when you’re the boss, no days off. Unless you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you have to literally, be a magician because in the beginning you might just have to do every job yourself and cover every area yourself, but when you look back and see how far you’ve come and who you’ve helped along the way that is amazing.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Lilian Raven Clothing – what should we know?
Lilian Raven Clothing has 3 components: We teach people how to sew. In groups or private one on one classes. We specialize in customized clothing which is basically an idea in someone’s mind, brought to life, for a special event, on stage or wherever it’s needed, which encompasses a whole lot of other skills, like graphics, printing, designing, and sewing of course. The third component is as a company and as a person I like to motivate people. I am a motivational speaker. I’ve successfully learnt to navigate life’s highs and woes, especially dealing with fire, in my case, generally everybody is going through something. At Lilian Raven Clothing. We sew, design, teach, motivate, and live.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Yes. Tenacity, never giving up, problem solving, being able to reinvent the wheel. Being able to energize yourself. You have to be skillful using every skill you ever had, and then some.

Pricing:

Group class special 2 hour sewing class $24
Private classes start at $60
Motivational Speaker rates upon request
Contact Info:

Website: http://www.lilianravenclothing.com
Phone: 323 294 1414
Email: gladgirl2001@yahoo.com
Instagram: Lilian Raven
Facebook: Lilian Raven Clothing
Twitter: Lilian Raven
Yelp: Lilian Raven Clothing

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Crowdfunding Tips – by SALVADOR BRIGGMAN

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In the process of CCO (Crowdfunding Campaign Optimization), you might have come across the term “gogofactor” in the Indiegogo help center or on the Indiegogo blog. If you haven’t, “gogofactor” refers to the algorithm that Indiegogo uses to determine“Search rankings, placement on the site, featured spots in our newsletter or blog, and inclusion in our press outreach.”Source.

The algorithm is merit-based, meaning that you, as a creator, have the ability to control whether or not you optimize your crowdfunding campaign and improve its pagerank on the website. Before I get into how to optimize for this algorithm, I’ve further expanded on what “gogofactor” is below. Feel free to skip the section if you think you have a good grasp of how Indiegogo defines the algorithm.

What is Indiegogo’s GoGoFactor?

indiegogo popular now

“Your GoGoFactor is automatically measured by the number of times you share your campaign, update your contributors, update your campaign, or refer people using your custom URL. It also measures the overall level of contributor activity, including funding, comments, and pageviews. Campaigns with a high GoGoFactor are featured on our home page, in our social media outreach, and at conferences or in the press.” –WatchThisIsArt Blog Quoting Indiegogo. This team raised over $6k on Indiegogo.

“Your gogofactor is a combination of many factors that measure the overall activity of your campaign along with the completeness of your pitch and media.

Your gogofactor is a rolling average, so it’s important to continually keep your campaign active. Your campaign is ranked relative to all of the other campaigns on the site. By staying active, your gogofactor will continue to go up.

We use gogofactor as our key measure because we find that there is a direct correlation between campaign activity and fundraising success.” – Indiegogo Help Center.

Key Takeaways:

Indiegogo wants you to use their software and tools to keep people coming back to their website, which in turn will help you raise more funds and grow their revenue.

Optimizing Campaign Backend Management

optimizing campaign

1. If you’re going to share the campaign on social media or other means, always use your custom URL. You could store the url and any relevant links in Evernote or Google Docs so that you always have access to the information, even on the go with the accompanying iphone/android apps.

2. Do a campaign update once every 5 days (minimum). Even though this will factor into GoGoFactor, it’s also a good idea to keep your backers informed about your progress and answer any major questions that have come up.

3. Log into your Indiegogo account every day and perform an action. That could be sharing it via the specific social media sharing buttons Indiegogo provides, replying to comments, or doing a photo update.

4. Make sure that you pay attention to the “completeness of your pitch.” This means your campaign should:

– Have compelling reward tiers and more than 2-3. How many perks do other campaigns in your category offer?

– Have a video and images in the campaign text. Make sure your campaign’s pitch word count that is comparable to other campaigns in your category.

5. Update your campaign (not necessarily your contributors directly) with new images, facts, FAQ, etc. at least once a week.

Optimizing Campaign Front End Management

goals

1. Plan to have your social network, friends, and familypledge 20-30% of your fundraising goal within the first week. Although you may not have as large of a social network as other campaigns in your category, gogofactor is a rolling average and your overall score may be better than other recently launched campaigns or campaigns that have stagnated and are no longer merit-worthy of having a high page rank.

2. Plan to drive your own traffic through PR outreach, forums, social media groups, emails, and more. There are two types of traffic: sustainable and temporary.

Temporary traffic might be when someone reads your email or tweet and clicks through to check out the campaign. This source of traffic is not repeatable. You must keep working to keep it flowing. Some types of news articles where you are featured will have a ripple effect and last upwards of a week, but eventually you must re-produce the effect.

The ripple effect might look like: A larger publication features your campaign. Other bloggers interested in that niche re-blog and link to the article with comments. All of those articles are tossed around social media. If there is something especially newsworthy, it may be picked up by another larger publication (ever notice how large publications tend to write about the same things?).

Sustainable traffic can come from blog or website articles that continue to deliver clicks if the article is “sticky” or continues to be relevant. For example, this article I did on Six Figure Crowdfunders continues to deliver my website traffic and likely did throughout the duration of the Oliver’s Kickstarter campaign.

Another article I did on a $12,000 campaign continues to receive comments like “Good work and I think the ripple may be on the christmas list for the family next year :).”

Sustainable traffic can also come from being extremely helpful by publishing your own blog article, providing awesome content on Reddit that continues to be upvoted, or by being helpful on a forum. We’ve recently started doing AMAs on the KickstarterForum(unofficial) and may consider starting them on IndiegogoForum (unofficial) to help drive traffic to campaigns.

Strive to engage in both types (temporary and sustainable) in your campaign outreach to optimize the amount of traffic you are driving to your page. Yes, you should be doing this every day of your campaign.

3. Ask your core team of supporters to clear their browser cache each day and visit your campaign page throughout the day (ideally from a different IP address like a coffee shop). This is sort of a gray-hat cheating technique to boost your page-view factor. I don’t endorse it, but I figured I’d throw it out there.

4. Encourage your initial supporters to leave comments regularly on your campaign. I’ve already talked about the importance of comments, but in short: They will boost your gogofactor, can be used as testimonials, increase the likelihood that strangers will comment, and will keep you in direct touch with your audience. The basis of all small communities initially are the discussion section, whether it’s a blog, forum, or youtube video. You want a small community to form around your campaign.

5. Ask your core group of supporters to use the social media sharing widgets on your campaign page. I would always default to using the sharing tools that Indiegogo provides, as these are the metrics they can easily track and therefore will be more likely to include them in the gogofactor algorithm.

Does this really work?

Again, your gogofactor score is a rolling average and is compared against other campaigns in your section. Depending on the frequency and quality of campaigns Indiegogo is receiving, you may rank higher or lower at different types of the year, despite taking the same actions.

However, it definitely does work and keeping the pointers above in mind will improve your results. For example, Brett Scott who ran the The London School of Financial Activism Indiegogo campaign, shares in a blog post that “An important element was getting those contacts to share the campaign on social media so that strangers could see it…I managed to get a fair amount of gogofactor, reaching the front page of their London section and their Education section, and I also managed to get on their weekly roundup blog.”

Bringing Sewing Back into Schools and Communities, Help and Support this Campaign

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Bringing Sewing Back into Schools and Communities

  • Made In USA manufacturing faces a major stumbling block.

    Many of the people who used to make America’s factories and workshops hum retired and their knowledge is lost stateside, manufacturing leaders say.

    Los Angeles designer Lillian Raven hopes to do her part to bring manufacturing and the art of sewing back. She made a curriculum for youth that teaches sewing and fashion design. Raven recently started a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo for her venture,” I Am therefore I Sew.” Funds will help purchase sewing machines for her classes, cutting tables and other materials for the venture. Visit Raven’s indiegogo campaign page here.

    A class from I Am Therefore I Sew. Courtesy Lillian Raven.

    A class from I Am Therefore I Sew. Courtesy Lillian Raven.

    Lillian Raven: Bring Back Sewing!

I am Therefore I Sew – Kickstarter

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I am Therefore I Sew – Kickstarter.So it is my dream to reunite sewing classes and children by bringing it back into the school system.  When I was growing up sewing was taught in school as part of the curriculum. When I was growing up sewing, was done in the home by parents or grandparents. As a child I would look over my mothers shoulder, transfixed as she would create, fresh off the press clothing, that was original, fresh, fly and sometimes downright embarrassing, lol as this was her choice, but my point was that I got to see garment construction first hand, and that piqued my interest. At school I was able to further that interest.  I want to preserve the dying art of sewing and teach it to children. Why should I care. The reason is sewing saved me from a self destructive life. (Pause) I cry as I write. Teardrops bounce off my keypad. (Pause).  Because as children there are not many things that we have control of in our lives. Circumstances that we face as kids can be so overwhelming emotionally and physically wounding, recovery can be hard and can go undetected, only to resurface later on in life. As a child I was a burns survivor at 4 years old, I witnessed a brutal marriage and a violent divorce. Many home moves later. My soul was hurt, my self esteem was damaged, but creating something out of nothing, constructing, ordering, commanding a mere piece of fabric, into being what I wanted it to be. Made me the author and the finisher. It empowered me. It helped me take my mind off my problems and gave me a creative outlet. There are children out there that too can be saved from self destruction. I am doing my part to give back into the lives of others and to use my talents to empower our youth. Do what you can. The minimum pledge is $1. That’s all. S1 You can donate yours at  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2021205489/i-am-therefore-i-sew

I am Therefore I Sew – Kickstarter

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I am therefore I sew kickstarterSo it is my dream to reunite sewing classes and children by bringing it back into the school system.  When I was growing up sewing was taught in school as part of the curriculum. When I was growing up sewing, was done in the home by parents or grandparents. As a child I would look over my mothers shoulder, transfixed as she would create, fresh off the press clothing, that was original, fresh, fly and sometimes downright embarrassing, lol as this was her choice, but my point was that I got to see garment construction first hand, and that piqued my interest. At school I was able to further that interest.  I want to preserve the dying art of sewing and teach it to children. Why should I care. The reason is sewing saved me from a self destructive life. (Pause) I cry as I write. Teardrops bounce off my keypad. (Pause).  Because as children there are not many things that we have control of in our lives. Circumstances that we face as kids can be so overwhelming emotionally and physically wounding, recovery can be hard and can go undetected, only to resurface later on in life. As a child I was a burns survivor at 4 years old, I witnessed a brutal marriage and a violent divorce. Many home moves later. My soul was hurt, my self esteem was damaged, but creating something out of nothing, constructing, ordering, commanding a mere piece of fabric, into being what I wanted it to be. Made me the author and the finisher. It empowered me. It helped me take my mind off my problems and gave me a creative outlet. There are children out there that too can be saved from self destruction. I am doing my part to give back into the lives of others and to use my talents to empower our youth. Do what you can. The minimum pledge is $1. That’s all. S1 You can donate yours at  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2021205489/i-am-therefore-i-sew

What’s Wrong with Wonderful

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What’s Wrong with Wonderful

So I saw this pic on facebook of cosmetic surgery gone wrong, but in actuality I do not really blame the cosmetic surgeon. Sadly I place that at the door of the lady who ultimately doesn’t believe that originally she was fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalms 139:14 says I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. As a child I was involved in an accident that caused me to have a lot of plastic surgery, I do remember it very well, because it was extremely painful but necessary surgery. I thank God that I am still alive. There was always another surgeon who said they could improve on what the last surgeon did. But at some point I had to draw a line through it and accept that, endless surgeries were not the answer. I had to love me on the inside first to be able love the me on the outside. This world is driven by images, images of perfection that don’t exist. Even the people being photographed know they don’t look that great all the time and without assistance, great or small. Million dollar business are flourishing because of human insecurities. I am not saying there is anything wrong with a little enhancement, but dear Lord when you can’t recognize yourself, because of everything you have done to you, then you’ve taken it too far, and now it just becomes abuse of self. This is self mutilation. What’s so wrong with what we were blessed with. What’s wrong with wonderful

Happy Father’s Day

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ImageSo I had been having a really wonderful productive day. I did a motivational speech to a group of Ex- offenders who were becoming Emerging Leaders. I received some exciting and heart warming feedback.  After I got home and relaxed I started to wash some clothes. Whilst loading up the washing machine with my son’s clothing I found this stuffed in the pocket. It was Father’s day certificate he was making in church, that he never did complete. When I read the certificate I saw why it was not completed and this made me sad. It almost permeated the great and wonderful day I was having.

He could answer stuff about his Dad’s age, occupation and favorite food (I believe he guessed on the food, because fried chicken is not the answer), but he couldn’t answer the personal time consuming stuff that Dad’s do with their sons, because he has not spent any quality time with his father in recent years. He couldn’t answer, what his favorite thing to do with his Dad was, or what his Dad is really good at, or how his Dad makes him laugh, or what makes him happy when he and his Dad are together. This is not a platform that I am using to bash his father or any of the other absent by choice parents. I’m just saying this hit me deeply. I will be talking with my son on how he feels about all of this.

On fathers day we still celebrated the day. We went to see 22 Jump Street and we laughed our heads off. It was a real good movie. As a lone parent I can only do my utmost best for my child, and while a lot of the times it is real hard, it is so worthwhile, so rewarding, to know that against all the odds, my child knows that he is loved and appreciated.

I commend to the highest any parent out there that is single handedly raising a child or children. I want to tell you how special you are. I want to tell you that what you are doing is important and responsible. I will hold you in my prayers and hope that you are justly rewarded and appreciated for your efforts. May God richly bless and continue to bless you, your children, your job, your family, your home and place a hedge of protection around you. To anyone connected with the lone parent (the village) I will pray for you also. Today I choose to focus on the things my son does have, and that’s me, and not the things he doesn’t have. He is a really happy blessed child