“I knew we had to have a custom deck of playing cards for our brand. In my head I saw court cards with original Texas-themed icons and stately Texas references. The challenge was, how? Playing cards are complex; you’re commissioning multiple pieces of artwork in order to get a truly original product, and that’s expensive. In addition, printing them means a large commitment in terms of minimum quantities—also expensive.
The problem was solved when I learned about Jackson Robinson. He’s one of the top playing card designers in the world, and as it turned out, he’s a native Texan. He’s also one of the top-grossing Kickstarter entrepreneurs anywhere. He’s perfected a novel business model of launching and selling out of a product before he’s even finished designing it.
He was living in Tennessee at the time, and from his portfolio it didn’t appear he’d ever done a Texas-themed deck. I wasn’t sure if he’d even return my phone call, but as it turned out, we talked for a long while on the phone, and Jackson was excited to get closer to Texas through this project.
In fact, he was excited about getting closer to Texas altogether. He and his family moved from Tennessee back to Texas, and we gave him a desk in our office and he started designing our Texas Edition Luxury Playing Cards, together with some of our other original graphics.
Consistent with all of Jackson’s products, we launched our cards on Kickstarter. It felt a little odd, introducing a product somewhere other than on our own website. But it turned out to be as smart as it was fun. This was Jackson’s sweet spot: conceptualizing a design, offering limited edition variants, and selling out before he’s even finished designing. And that’s what happened: the day we launched, we sold $22,000 in cards within an hour or so. After 30 days, we’d sold around $70k worth of playing cards that didn’t even exist." - vf