24 Hours to Go for Libertad Apparel’s Kickstarter Campaign – 87,000 Dollars Raised so Far

 | Wed 23 Sep 2015 10:48 ICT

The tension in Sangdee Gallery could’ve been cut with a blade on the night of the 25th August as a half dozen expat men with sleek laptops – marketeers, bloggers, online experts of all walks – sat sipping espressos on the long teak table, huddled in whispered conversation, startling the staff with the occasional fist bump and shout. Citylife’s writers happened to have been sitting outside having a chat over some beers that evening, and with every roar we rushed inside to see what was going on.

After years of formulating his ideas, conducting research, planning and preparing, long term Chiang Mai resident Kyle Barraclough was launching his Kickstarter campaign for his new business, Libertad Apparel. The page had been launched at 7pm that evening and the target was to reach 50,000 dollars by the same time on the 24th of September, a big ask for a man who has been out of the business world for the past eleven years.

Another roar at about 9pm had us running inside to see that the ticker had announced that 5,000 dollars had been pledged by backers from all over the world. Kyle, still tense, managed a small smile of relief.

Following an early retirement at the age of 33 after being burnt out by years of high pressure work as a sales executive at Monster Inc., Kyle had decided to leave his home town of Los Angeles to travel the world. In the first year he had been to numerous countries and every single continent. He had also fallen deeply in love with Thailand, where he eventually made his home.

In recent years he transformed himself from “wandering-corporate-refugee-backpacker to globetrotting entrepreneur with a mission”.

Throcfe7fa253e2b794385d37e7008216cc7_originalughout his travels Kyle had noticed that many cultures such as Thai and Burmese, dress well when they travel and he had always wondered why it was that travel clothes had to sacrifice style for comfort. To that end he spent the past two years working with textile experts all over the world to develop merino wool from New Zealand and Australia into a material which is not only all natural, thin and light, but which is wrinkle- and odour-free, perfect for travel. He has worked with a factory in China to develop this wool and even enrolled in a local dress making course to learn tailoring.

In order to fund further development, production as well as to market his products worldwide, Kyle decided to use the popular Kickstarter platform.

“I have created about 50 dress shirt prototypes which I have used in the past year, but in order to develop more styles, expand from men’s shirts to women’s fashion, market Libertad worldwide and continue to develop and improve upon the material, I need funding,” said Kyle whose campaign ends tomorrow.

But on that first night, by 10pm, and with over 10,000 dollars pledged, Kyle had a grin on his face and a beer in his hand. By the time Sangdee Gallery closed its doors for the night he was on 15,075 dollars, far beyond his expectations.

“While it has been exhilarating, I am looking forward to the end of the campaign,” said Kyle. “I have been checking the web site every fifteen minutes for the past month; I get up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and I check it, it’s very addictive.”

With just over 24 hours to go Kyle has raised 87,874 dollars, far beyond his target of 50,000 dollars. He has pledged to have shirts sent to backers by March 2016 and while the campaign may soon be over, much hard work lies ahead.


We will keep you updated on Kyle’s journey over the next few months. Better yet, follow him on Libertad’s Facebook page.