2020 Year-End Amber Grant Awarded to Savhera
WomensNet, which is committed to supporting and funding women-owned businesses, is pleased to announce the recipient of its annual $25,000 Amber Grant for Women.
In the words of Vanessa: “Our aim is to provide customers with premium essential oil products that contribute to wellness, justice, and sustainability at home and around the world.”
Despite an extremely challenging year, Vanessa had a busy and productive 2020. Here are the highlights, in her words:
- We received the Amber Grant in March when COVID was just beginning to create global mayhem. Our 9 employees in India were on lockdown for a full three months, but none of them missed a paycheck and we were able to use that time to increase their literacy and math skills through virtual lessons.
- In June, we hired another trafficking survivor to be our lead sales associate at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.
- In April, we hired a Business Development Lead to continue to increase our wholesale partnerships and drive our corporate sales strategy.
- In June, we hired two college interns this summer who contributed to the team for three months, one in marketing and the other in finance.
- In August, we hired two young professional Marketing/PR Fellows.
- In December, we onboarded a trafficking survivor to the Board of Directors.
- And because Savhera’s mission is all about empowering our employees–survivors of sex trafficking–we are proud of the progress they have made this year, including: paying off debt, getting criminal records expunged, moving out the brothels, opening bank accounts, moving into their own apartments, and starting college.
- We got our products on Amazon and have begun to experiment with the sales and advertising strategy on that platform.
- We started selling every weekend at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.
- We increased our wholesale partnerships to 24 different partners.
- We partnered with three different ethical e-commerce websites to retail our products.
Marketing & PR
- We soft-launched an affiliate program in December. In January, we will be launching an affiliate program specific to trafficking survivors in partnership with Elevate Academy.
- We partnered with three subscription boxes, allowing us to get our products in the hands of a combined 100,000 people.
- We appeared in 12 different media outlets, including blogs, podcasts, and print and online newspapers.
- We launched a line of roll-ons for four of our blends.
- We launched a line of natural hand-crafted products (bug spray, hand sanitizer, and bear oil).
- We launched an aromatherapy jewelry line. We are so proud of the team in India who overcame the challenges of COVID to make this happen!
- We launched two new diffusers (an oil burner and a stone diffuser).
- We launched a line of gift sets.
- We donated $1580 worth of products to various non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations during COVID.
- We donated 30% of our sales during one week to an anti-trafficking non-profit.
Vanessa’s plans for the grant funds include: social media and digital advertising, product development, and the hiring of another sex trafficking survivor in the US. “We’re so thankful for your partnership this year and look forward to a continued partnership for years to come as we improve the livelihood of more women globally through dignified and empowering work,” Vanessa said.