Spoonflower Small Business Grant

Friends! This news feels SO GOOD to share! Back in August I took a chance on myself and applied for the Fall 2021 Spoonflower Small Business Grant and, *Spoiler Alert* – I won!

I was one of fifteen incredible artists/makers chosen as a recipient of the grant, and after a difficult year, this reward comes with so many wonderful feelings. I am equally thankful for the opportunity and proud of myself for applying. Knowing that a panel of fellow artists evaluated my work and believed in me enough to invest in my future is… well it’s a really incredible and empowering affirmation!

I know I’m not alone in experiencing the screeching halt of momentum that the pandemic has had on small businesses. The Spoonflower Small Business Grant is allowing me to breathe, to grow, to move forward, to rebuild, (to feed my cats that top-shelf Michelin star tuna), and to once again work towards all the business dreams I put on hold during this difficult time. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on for the upcoming season!

On a more personal note, living with a disabling skin disorder is challenging in countless ways, one of which being the out-of-pocket cost of routine treatment and daily care that isn’t covered by insurance. Even with health insurance, I’ve often had to choose between investing in my business or investing in my health. This year was particularly difficult after some mishandled paperwork left me without access to the medications I need for over 5 months. I know I’m not alone in experiencing the frustration of trying to navigate a broken system meant to help people, so let me extend my sincere empathy and solidarity to anyone who knows how this feels. …But I digress! Better days are ahead!

I’m eternally grateful to Spoonflower for awarding me this grant and alleviating some of that burden, therefore empowering me to invest in both my wellness AND my livelihood this season. This is a luxury that any fellow chronically ill/disabled folks can fully understand.

If you’re a small business owner in the sewing industry, most especially if you’re a maker from a marginalized community, I highly recommend taking a chance on yourself and applying for the Spring 2022 round. The grant is for up to $1,000 in Spoonflower credit which goes a long way (40-50 yards of fabric!), especially when you make smaller accessories like I do.

Are you a fellow maker and small business owner? You deserve to grow and thrive and succeed! There’s room for you to make a living on your craft if that’s the path you want to pursue. I’ll be here cheering you on! ♥

-Rochelle

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