"We crossed vthe finish line," Ferndale entrepreneur Chris Best says at Rust Belt Market's Facebook page, celebrating a $20,000 fundraising campaign at Kickstarter.com that reached its goal fuive days early,
"This is huge for us," he adds. "This is a gateway. This is what was so necessary for our continued growth."
Final pledges late Saturday night let the Ferndale business receive donations from 339 people, minus a 5-percent cut for Kickstarter and a credit card processing fee.
Best opened the weekend mall for artisans and indie retailers two years ago with his wife Tiffany in a former Old Navy store at the high-traffic corner of Woodward and Nine Mile.
"I am fighting the urge to write a lengthy essay on the American dream and how it is still alive despite all the recent bleakness of the past five years," Chris Best tells the market's Facebook fans. "I will spare you the sappy dramatics and just say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We will not disappoint."
Proceeds will be used to upgrade the two-year-old marketplace, now open only on weekends. The key addition, aimed at generating weekday users and boosting weekend attendance, is a performance stage and 4,000-square-foot event space.
Backers include two $1,000 donors and one person giving $2,000.