Last year, BackerKit launched our first-ever Pintopia, a cooperative crowdfunding event for enamel pin designs. Our goal was to celebrate and facilitate communication and collaboration between creators while allowing backers to discover new creators. During 2023’s event, 20 projects from a diverse group of creators all launched on BackerKit at the same time — and all 20 were successfully funded.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Our first Pintopia cohort consisted of creators with different levels of experience in crowdfunding and enamel pin design. The BackerKit team worked with participants, teaching them how to set themselves up for success and providing them with a space on our Discord server where they could learn from each other and share advice.

One amazing aspect of crowdfunding is how knowledge and best practices are exchanged from creator to creator. So it was important for us to develop an ecosystem where participants could go from DIY (do-it-yourself) creators to DIT (do-it-together) creators, amplifying their impact and artistry through collaboration.

When creators team up, the success of one project has a ripple effect that allows everyone to benefit. We saw this idea play out in so many exciting ways during Pintopia. First, the creators became a community, supporting each other at every stage of the event.

Katie Bacigalupi, creator of History of Floral Fads, says, “It felt like a team effort. We all rooted for one another and wanted to see each other succeed.” Launching a project on your own takes a lot of hard work, but when you have another creator there in your corner, someone you can bounce ideas off of or ask for guidance, it makes it easier to overcome challenges and ultimately succeed. Asherbee, creator of Gourmet Ghoulfriends, says, “Sometimes, being solo is just really difficult, but it was nice to see us all work out issues together.”


We also saw the ripple effects of this collaboration in the way that backers interacted with Pintopia projects. When everyone launches at the same time, it’s kind of like a buffet for backers, and they have a chance to discover creators they may not have otherwise been exposed to. They can get their glow-in-the-dark cat pins, their movie moth pins, their skateboarding breakfast food pins, and so much more! In the end, 80% of each creator’s pledges came from the communities of other creators.


Finally, launching as a cohort created fun opportunities for participants to work on designs together. During Pintopia, anyone who backed three or more projects received an exclusive collab pin. To develop these designs, three different creator pairs teamed up and melded their individual styles together.

“It was a delight working with Carrie of Aspenhearted to create our Jupiter Purring design for Pintopia,” says Carly K, creator of Cosmic Balance. “It was a ton of fun to see what they did with my simple planet design. Plus, it was just really cool to work with a fellow creator on something like a pin. That was a new experience for me.”


This was a chance for these six pin designers to stretch their creative boundaries and experiment. And in doing so, they were able to offer something special to backers who supported their work.

By the time Pintopia had ended, not only had all 20 creators’ projects funded, but there were also nearly 1,200 unique backers. Half of those backers pledged to more than one creator, and 27 passionate pin fans backed all 20.

The BackerKit team had a great time helping creators connect with each other and is thrilled that backers were able to score some fantastic pins. One of the things we’re most proud of was that Pintopia brought new creators to crowdfunding and helped give them the confidence, tools, and resources to continue launching projects. Carly K says, “Pintopia was my first successful venture into the crowdfunding world. It finally got me where I knew I could be, and really put me in a position where I could actively learn and grow.”

Get ready for the next Pintopia

We had such a blast during the first Pintopia that there was no question — we had to do it again. This year, 125+ creators will be participating. That means more designs for you! Each creator will launch a solo pin collection and team up with another Pintopia participant to design two unique collaborative pins. Pintopia launches on Thursday, March 28th at 10 AM PT and ends on Thursday, April 18th at 1 PM PT. We look forward to seeing you there!

Check out this year’s participating creators today!