Happy Cyber Monday! As you do your online shopping today, we're here to help with a bunch of tips, guides, fun features and more to get your holiday season started off right.
With all the craziness of Black Friday behind us -- and Cyber Monday upon us -- you may be looking for some unique gifts that are outside of your traditional realm, big box stores or online retailers.
I am, too -- and Kickstarter is one that I recently started considering for my holiday shopping list. The idea of funding someone's dream and future -- all while having it be a thoughtful holiday gift -- is very appealing to me.
But, there is a risk. Kickstarter isn't a store -- it is just a cash-flow facilitator between you and the creator. So, if a project doesn't come to fruition or is delayed, Kickstarter isn't going to refund your hard-earned money. You work directly with the creators themselves.
I like to think the best in people -- and hopefully the creators are good people just trying to bring this project to market and have had a hiccup along the way. It happens. They want to make sure you get your side of this deal, too. Hopefully.
So, what is your best bet for a holiday gift on Kickstarter? A fully funded project that is in or near production and taking orders.
Here are six projects you could back this holiday season:
For the beer lover: uKeg
Milwaukee has had a recent plethora of growler suppliers, from bars to liquor stores. This project will allow your beer guzzlin' loved one to get their beer home fresh and keep it that way! The uKeg is pressurized to keep the perfect carbonation from first pour to the last, plus it keeps that beer cold! You win on this deal, too -- I'm sure this guzzler will make its way to your next party or tailgate. Score!
For the foodie: Aluminum rolling pin
The rolling pin has evolved. Upgrade your loved one's kitchen with this coming-to-market aluminum rolling pin that stays incredibly chilled -- plus it doesn't hold nasty bacteria like wood ones do. Every kitchen needs a rolling pin -- why not have it be this elegant and functional one?
For the pet lover: Petbot
We all have that friend that you are always begging them to "just stay one more" or "one more hour" ... Or maybe they always feel guilty for being gone? I get it. Well, this is the gift for them -- and their pup. Petbot is a treat dispenser controlled by an app that allows you to remotely monitor the immediate area of the unit and treat that pup whether you are there or not.
For the man in your life: Steampunk cufflinks
If you have a man in your life that enjoys wearing something that will be a conversation starter -- then these cufflinks are for you. The links are made from real vintage Russian watch movements and are custom made. Give that man a statement piece to wear.
Go big: Vanish Spa
Get all the elements of that relaxing hot tub without all the hassle. This baby fits in your trunk for portability, sets up easily with no tools and is ready within 10 minutes. I bet that 104-degree water will feel amazing this winter -- as will the 88 jets.
For the jeans lover: Qcut
The quest for the perfectly fitting jeans continues around the world for women -- but this Kickstarter is here to help. Custom jeans are not cheap, but these made-for-you jeans come in at under $200. No need to fret on this purchase -- there is full 30-day window for you (or giftee) to try them out. Even wash them! If you are concerned about having all the measurements needed, don't be, they can be given a gift certificate and in January they will get an email asking for their measurements.
Carolynn Buser is one of Milwaukee's loudest and most adamant cheerleaders (don't dare try to disagree). She's the primary voice behind much of OnMilwaukee's social media and content direction, and apologizes in advance if she can be too sarcastic at times.
What else? She's a wine lover, closet trashy novel reader, beauty supplies addict and devourer of cheese (shocker for a Wisconsin born and bred girl, right?). She's also a bit of a foodie, which is a word most of you hate, we know. She works as hard as she plays - and that includes in the gym! So, you've probably seen her at one of the area's newest restaurant openings (and yes, she will share her opinions good or bad) or enjoying a cold one at a local pub.
All in all, Carolynn's a believer in positive thinking and will do her best to smack down your negative ones while writing about her city, her loves, quests and more.