CLAYTON, Mo. (KSDK) - Have you ever thought of yourself as a backer of small business? Think you have to be a big shot with quite a bank account to take that title? Well, a local restaurant owner is giving us all a taste of what it's like to own a slice of her business.
"Katie's Pizza opened five years ago. We're the first artisan pizzeria in St. Louis," said the creator, chef and owner, Katie Lee. "It's been a really cool experience."
But the 30-year-old has been burning to break out, buy a new shop in Rock Hill, build a bigger kitchen and bring more to the menu. She'd call it: Katie's Pizza and Pasta.
"Just with the economy, it's really hard right now," she explained. "I have a lot of friends with perfect credit and they weren't able to get loans either, so we thought let's so this in a different way."
So, she turned to kickstarter.com to give fans, customers and complete strangers the chance to toss the dough in her direction.
Through the website, Katie promotes her business plan and asks people to pledge money to fund part of her new restaurant. She has a total of 45 days to get to her goal of $40,000, and if not, no credit card will be swiped.
But $400 of the taking so far came from Jonathan Fisher, a scrap metal broker by day and a pizza lover by night.
"I'd heard of kickstarter before because my wife had already invested in two different other people's projects," he explained.
And he knows it's not a donation. It's more like a deal. His investment helps Katie, and in exchange he gets dinner for two once a month for a year.
"I look at it as a type of involvement where everyone feels like they are part of the project in helping somebody achieve their goal or dream," Fisher went on to say.
From $1 to $10,000, it's your call, and the rewards vary.
With 25% already racked up, Katie just can't believe it.
"It gives me a lot of encouragement to really live up to the expectations that they've shown that they believe I have," she added
Katie's isn't the only St. Louis business on kickstarter. There have been 382 projects since it launched in 2009.
To help, go to Katie's Pizza Kickstarter