6Qs With Donny from Foodaissance

Brooklyn's culinary scene has diverted the world away from Manhattan, the once-considered mecca of gastronomy, towards a borough known for it's DIY makers, flea markets, artists studios and thriving community of artisan food entrepreneurs. Local photographer, Donny Tsang, wanted to capture the people behind a range of delicious and emerging brands including RobicellisLiddabit Sweets, P&H Soda Co., Anarchy in a Jar, La NewYorkina and Sea Bean Goods.  Donny was seeking the resources to print and showcase his collection of captured images at The James Beard House.

Here we explore more behind the success of a campaign: 


LaNewyorkina Q1. Tell us about your campaign, your inspiration and why it’s important to you. 
My inspirations came from all the great local food people that are working in Brooklyn. If I have to give credit to one person, that will definitely be Liza de Guia and her work on Food Curated. We tend to forget about the people behind the food and it's wonderful to have Liza tell their stories. My goal is similar to Liza's in that I like to focus on the people and actually show/tell how much work it takes to run your own business. People need to understand that it becomes your life and you have to become your own PR person, your own boss and your own accountant. The plate of food in front of you is only a small part of the story and I like to show people the rest of the story.

Q2. What were your ultimate goals with your funding campaign?  
I wanted to cover the cost of getting photos printed and mounted for an exhibit. I really wanted to do a proper job since it's at The James Beard House. I think anyone who supports local foodmakers should care because we are all here to spread the word about eating and buying locally. I'm trying to do my part by documenting them and showing them to a wider audience (or to the many Manhattanites that still refuse to take the train into Brooklyn!).

P&H

Q3. How were you reaching, engaging and involving others?
Social media played a part in reaching a lot of people and it also helped that the artisans, the ones I'm featuring in the show, spread the word to their followers/customers. But a big part of it was emailing every person I know and explaining clearly what I needed the funds for. 

Q4.  What did you find was working in your fundraising? What challenges did you come across?
The fact that I had reached my goal in 2 days meant that it was working really well. 
Q5.  Any surprises or highlights during your campaign that you'd like to share?
The one big surprise, which also brought tears to my eyes, was how much great support I got from friends, family and local food artisans. I had set my goal date for 6 weeks, hoping that I'd have enough time to reach my goal but everyone just came together which helped me reached my goal in 2 days.
Q6.  Any tips / advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs, creators and project leaders like yourself?
Whatever project you're trying to raise funds for should be something you're really passionate about. Don't feel embarrassed about asking for a help, you'll be surprised at how much people are willing to get involved.  
The show is on display now till the end of October at The James Beard House on 167 W. 12th St, between 6 & 7th Ave. The gallery is open to the public during any of their house events and by appointment.