Wilson’s of Wickford reaches crowdfunding goal, will remain open


NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — With 3 hours and 44 minutes to spare, Wilson’s of Wickford reached its crowdfunding goal and will stay in business.

The store, which owners said would have to close in August if it didn’t raise $148,000 by Monday at 9:55 p.m., reached its goal on the crowdfunding site crowdtilt at about 6:15 p.m.

“Whoo,” breathed James Wilson, one of the owners and a grandson of the man who founded the store 70 years ago.

“This is awesome,” he said just after 6:30. “It’s been a very active and intense past couple of hours.”

As the total grew closer to the goal, he said, he started making calls to people who were standing by in case emergency action was needed, to tell them they could relax.

“It kind of happened while I was making those phone calls,” he said.

Crowdtilt, which collects pledges online until the goal, or “tilt,” is reached, showed that the donor who put the campaign over its goal was Don Tefft.

“That’s my cousin,” Wilson said.

Tefft was the one who had introduced him to the concept of crowdfunding by sending him a link five weeks ago, Wilson said. Wilson researched companies and chose crowdtilt for the store’s campaign. He called his cousin Monday evening to thank him for the suggestion.

“He had almost forgotten he had sent it,” said Wilson, who was eager to get busy restocking the store.

“We really have to attack all facets — marketing, merchandise and accounting,” he said. He’s going to a men’s show Wednesday. “We have items on order for fall; we need to pick and look at some new stuff.”

“I was pretty sure we were going to do it,” he said. “But until you really get there, there’s always that element of doubt. I have a sense of relief.”

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