Amber Grant Application Critique: Earth Soul Alchemy LLC
July 29th 2020
Heather Powers’ and Sadie Galvin’s Amber Grant application for Earth Soul Alchemy, their natural healing venture, had a lot of good information, but was lacking some specifics that the WomensNet committee could have benefited from seeing.
To help Heather and Sadie further refine their application and marketing message, the WomensNet advisory board went back through the grant information to try and show them the strengths and weaknesses of the information they provided. Our goal is to help them become a serious contender for this and other grant programs.
Here is the application:
Earth Soul Alchemy LLC
Tell us about your business or business idea:
My motivation for my business Earth Soul Alchemy LLC began with a dream to facilitate healing and offer spiritual counseling for people who deal with chronic pain. It was also to give people another avenue to help them live and deal with their pain that was natural and without addictive pharmaceuticals.
My husband has neuropathy and lives in chronic pain. He continues to work full time at a local factory. I wanted to help him with his pain, so I started working with essential oils and creating blends to help with his pain management.
After researching alternative healing methods, I attained my Reiki Mastership. This further enhanced my connection to my intuitive healing abilities. These talents helped me to create the perfect oil blends for the client’s situation. It also gave me the ability to see what someone needs to reach their own soul alchemy.
I started to offer metaphysical and spiritual products in addition to the healing services I provided and found this alchemy works quite well.
Once I started that journey, I met an amazing group of people who connected me with my business partner, Sadie. She is the alchemist behind our natural bath and body care line. She is also a massage therapist and currently in the process of earning her herbalist degree. Our partnership has allowed me time to focus on the service-oriented part of our business.
Our goals for the future:
♣ Obtain a brick and mortar location where we can offer various spiritual services.
♣ Broaden our product line to include hard to find items such as rare books, specialty herbs, statuary and other items.
♣ Offer monthly classes on various metaphysical and spiritual topics
♣ Spiritual Counseling and Mentorship
♣ Be a safe space for those in the local spiritual community to network and connect with other like-minded individuals.
Our motto is “Where Spirit Meets Alchemy.”
We believe that one’s soul helps facilitate the connection between body, mind, and spirit. This connection ultimately leads to Soul Alchemy. It also creates an atmosphere that will allow a grounding connection to the Earth.
One of our strengths is our ability to connect to people on a soul level and help bridge the gap between spirit and body.
We are blessed with an empathic ability to see what areas in the body and spirit need work and what areas need be utilized to help facilitate their healing journey.
We are fortunate to have an intuitive sense of purpose and passion to help build this business from the ground up.
One of our weaknesses is not having a brick or mortar to help combine our services and products to give the help we feel is needed in our community.
Another weakness is networking and getting our name out there. We are working on broadening our service area and points of contact right now. Also, gaining financial resources to attain more schooling and certification in the fields we want to pursue.
Tell us what you would do with the money if awarded a grant…
We would love to receive this grant so we can continue to provide the resources needed for those who want and need to attain transformation of their body, mind, and soul.
We would use the money from the grant to help with certifications, inventory, and networking/marketing. Any excess monies would be used towards attaining our goal of a brick and mortar.
Heather and Sadie started off strong by explaining what triggered the business idea – that Heather’s husband has neuropathy, which was likely a primary driver for early pain reduction efforts.
The fact that the two women are business partners with complementary skills is also a big plus. Knowing that the company is not solely dependent on one individual’s expertise and efforts significantly increases the company’s odds of long-term success, which makes it a more desirable grant recipient; organizations want to give money to businesses that are clearly capable of applying them to generate more growth.
The company’s plan to expand to sell a wider variety of tangible products and offer classes is also a good idea and a sign that they’re thinking more broadly about how to grow.
Opportunities for improvement
While there is a lot of good and useful information presented here, there is also a lot of extraneous details that don’t really contribute to explaining the business opportunity. Questions such as, who is your target market, what is their primary reason for buying from you, who is your competition, and what kind of growth have you see thus far, really should be answered here. Are sales growing month-over-month or year-over-year? Some financial details would help.
Much of the focus of the application is on the business owners and what they want to do and could be capable of, rather than what the market has indicated it needs. Flipping the perspective to talk about what clients have said they want could be a better way of proving there is a need for these products and services.
It sounds like attracting a solid clientele is one of their goals, but there is no specific marketing plan for doing this. Breaking down how the grant money could be invested in marketing activities could be helpful. For example, to advertise, set up a blog, partner with healthcare practices, pursue local publicity, or other promotional activities. More specifics are needed.
The business’ main focus right now seems to be on identifying a brick and mortar location in which to operate. However, depending on the cost, it might make more sense to hold classes in various (free) places around the community, or to set up pop-up retail locations close to customers, versus being locked into one building.
The owners clearly have the expertise to run a natural healing business. They are committed and passionate about it, which is great. Grant committees love to see that. However, they also want to see that there is a clear plan for growing the business based on established demand. That’s where we would suggest Heather and her business partner Sadie focus first.