Brit "Sprinkle-Covered Yo-Yo" Morin recently received a very generous investment in her spunky camp counselor startup, Brit + Co. The company has never really made any money to speak of, but it's trying, with a series of DIY craft kits. Does this look like a multi-million dollar idea to you?
There's nothing wrong with the idea of the "Brit Kit"—there's just nothing remotely novel about it. People have been selling boxed craft projects for eons, and merely selling them online, even on a subscription basis ($220 for a year!), doesn't make them anything special. And they're not—so Brit is giving them away to create the illusion that anyone would pay money for a "Duct Tape Feather Earrings Kit.
Maybe it's because when you order this:
You get this:
Sweat shop chic! There's not enough confetti in the world to make that not look depressing, or mask the fact that it probably took nothing more than a trip to the dollar store to assemble. So Brit's resorted to some image manipulation—what they call viral marketing in the biz.
A source, who attended what seemed like an impromptu "craft party," tells us that a lot of the DIYing "movement" is a sham: Brit + Co is handing out free kits to lady Tumblrs in exchange for a gratis shoutout (and product feedback). The rules don't sound very conducive to... fun:
I guess wine and cheese [were] encouraged, as are tweeting with her specified hashtags. You also have to take pics of something specific, [say] thanks, but I wasn't quite clear on that part. We did some kind of group photo.
A quick scan through Tumblr reveals similarly canned scenes: white women, some self-described "mom bloggers," sipping white wine and tagging shoddy crafts with #britkit and #britcoop.
But is it working, I wondered with our source—is Brit cooking up a business plan worth all those millions? "None of the 12 girls at the party knew who Brit Morin is."