Internet crowdfunding gives Saskatoon store second chance

Megan Paul says she's still in business thanks to internet crowdfunding.

Supporters donated thousands of dollars to Modern Dame Boutique

Store owner Megan Paul said Thursday she's still in business thanks to internet crowdfunding.

Earlier this year, Paul's dress store, Modern Dame Boutique, ran into financial difficulty.

Slow winter sales for the past two years meant Paul was having trouble keeping her shelves stocked with merchandise.

But now, thanks to a successful crowdfunding drive, the store has managed to raise more than $3,000. That's enough to keep the store going until business picks up this spring.

Paul said she's now cautiously optimistic about the store's future and grateful for the support.

"You get to see all that support you get from the community, and if I had just given up, I wouldn't have seen that," she said.

While donors receive a small gift certificate, it's obvious people are making a donation.

So, why give money to a private business?

"There's just such a shortage of really, really cool local businesses," said donor Tricia McAuley. "As soon as I saw they were struggling, I thought I really wanted to step in and do something about it."

Monica Kreuger helped Paul launch her crowdfunding site. CEO of the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship, Kreuger said Thursday crowdfunding is becoming a powerful tool for small companies that want to launch projects.

"Particularly in Saskatchewan, I find, people really want to support new start-ups and new ideas," she said.