Archive for the ‘ Amber Grant Award’ Category

GloveStix is our October Grant Winner

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Last week we announced our October finalists and now we’re excited to finally announce that Krista Woods Founder of GloveStix is our October Qualification Grant winner!

Read on to learn more about GloveStix and how Krista’s company is tackling sports stink.

Krista Woods
Krista Woods
GloveStix CEO & Director of Stink Operations

WN:For those that aren’t familiar with your product can you explain what GloveStix are and how they work?
KW: Glovestix work to get the odor and moisture out of athletic gear. That horrendous odor you smell, that you didn’t ever think your cute kids (or yourself) could produce is actually odor causing bacteria. So all those chemical sprays and detergents that you have bought and sprayed until you can’t spray anymore don’t get the job done because they are not controlling bacteria growth, they are simply masking the smell. Glovestix will eliminate odor 3 ways, first, the antimicrobial plastic used in the Glovestix contains Silver Ions. In the presence of moisture silver ions are released from the plastic to extinguish the cell walls of the bacteria and inhibit 99.9% of odor causing bacteria growth in 24 hours, for a 10 year period. In addition, in the perforated tubes each Glovestix set has replaceable insert bags that will absorb moisture and deodorize to prevent future bacteria growth and help the gear smell better while drying it faster. There is no other product on the market like Glovestix. Glovestix are all natural and non-toxic allowing you to keep your nose happy, safely. They are easy to use and no work required, just put the stix in… and get the stink out!

WN:How quickly do GloveStix remove the stink? And how long do they last?
KW: The Glovestix will inhibit 99.9% of odor causing bacteria, on the product surface, in 24 hours for a 10 year period. No need to get new stix, use the same set for 10 years. The insert bags on the inside are the only things that need to be replaced and we recommend approximately every 3-4 months depending on how often the gear is used and how much moisture is present each time.

WN:Can you use GloveStix with any sports gear that stinks?
KW: YES!!Oh, there is so much stink! I had no idea how huge my market was until I started this when I suddenly became the recipient of everybody’s “stink story” 🙂 So although I originally invented them for athletic gloves like in lacrosse, hockey, boxing, football and soccer, they have quickly found there way into the hands of many other stinky athletes. They work in cleats, shoes, skates, dance shoes, elbow pads, knee pads, helmets, ugg boots, slippers, gear bags and more!

WN:What’s the next step for GloveStix?
KW: Growth, I’m focusing on moving units and increasing awareness of the product and I am currently working on getting into some major retailers. We are also designing our second product to really maximize all the intended uses. Since I’ve started this last year my focus has always been people…not product. By that I mean I had so much to learn about entrepreneurship since I had never done anything like this before and it was a huge gamble for me and my family. Glovestix is completely self-funded, we started with my oldest son’s college fund and we have since moved onto a 2nd home mortgage. So many people helped me get to where I am today, for that I am forever grateful, and I will continue to help others as I move forward. I have already stared a Young Entrepreneur program where I am working with selected teens and teaching them the ins and outs of small business. I will continue to speak and volunteer at many business and entrepreneurship classes as well as participate in the DECA programs at local High schools. My positive impact will be to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and push themselves to the next level. As I grow, so will my connections and outreach.

WN:What piece of advice would you give other female entrepreneurs who are just starting out?
KW: My advice to other females is to be proud of yourself, no matter where you are in your life, your career, your motherhood, whatever it may be…be proud. Starting is hard, starting is scary, and the thought of failing is even worse but be proud that you want to try. You will experience tremendous highs and lows throughout the process and many times you may even want to throw in the towel. DONT. Keep going, keep moving forward, and just take the next step. That’s what it’s all about, taking one step forward, and one day at a time!! I am not going to tell you being an Entrepreneur is easy. Whether you are female or male, it’s a challenge. Ask questions, as many and as often as possible but trust yourself to make the ultimate decision that is best for you. Be ok with making a mistake because you will, if your doing it right. Move past it quickly and keep going forward because it’s not the idea, there are lots of those; it’s the willingness to jump in and do the work. Some days you will have to dig deep, much deeper then ever before to keep pushing yourself but I can promise you this, it’s worth it! I may be 43 but there is no greater feeling then when you achieve that first victory and you can scream and yell… “HEY MOM AND DAD… LOOK AT ME GO!!!!!” 🙂

Learn more about Krista in her video here:


And if you’d like to vote for Krista to win the $1,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.

Thanks for reading! Remember that we award a grant every month – if interested, please apply today.

Stretch Recipes Wins The First Qualification Grant!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

We’re excited to announce we have our first Qualification Grant Winner! Congratulations Lauren Foster, CEO of Stretch Recipes.

Last week we introduced Stretch Recipes to you along with November’s four other qualification finalists.

Since then we interviewed Lauren to learn a little more about herself, her chef, and the Stretch app…

Lauren Foster
Stretch Recipes

WN: Do you or your brother use the Stretch app to help save on money?

LF: There’s a huge hope that we both will. I know that I will! I can’t wait to go grocery shopping with it for the first time.   We are building it so that it empowers users that are already stretched for time and money to make delicious and nutritious menu plans for their families.   We’re still signing people up to test. It’d be great to have more sign-ups on our website so we can make it the best grocery tool on the market.

(Here’s the link to test the Stretch Recipes App!)

WN: I saw that the app sends coupons too. Are those tailored to your specific shopping list?

LF: The App’s coupons will match the items on the shopping list. Therefore, if you’re making beef lasagna for dinner, we will match them to available coupon/offers.

WN: When filling out the form to test the app I noticed we had to tell you what foods we dislike. Will the app incorporate that into our specific shopping lists?

LF: Yes, you will be able to eliminate food dislikes or can’t haves. So if you’re allergic to chickpeas, recipes that are chickpea based won’t factor. If you don’t like mushrooms, as long as it’s not a key ingredient, when you select the recipe, it won’t show up on your shopping list.

WN: Could this application work for college students?

LF: Absolutely! We’re working on adding more non-stove recipes that students can easily create in their dorms without having to fall back to only ramen.

WN: How did you meet Jonathan Freeman, your Stretch Chef?

LF: A friend of mine, Aimee was a Manager at the Daily Grill in Austin. Before she moved, she told me she had someone for me to meet. She introduced me to Jonathon. This was before I ever knew I would be starting this mission. So about 8 months or so later, I was just starting the company and validating the idea. I also got the opportunity to do a cooking class for 20 people who worked daily with my initial target market. The night before the event, the Chef flaked on me. I called Aimee because I she knew plenty of people in Food & Beverage. She said, “Why don’t you call Jonathon?” She gave me his number. I told him about starting my mission and he immediately said, “Yes! I’d love to teach people and test out recipes.” He came and the class went perfectly! He’s had my back ever since.

WN: Is there a set date for the app to release? And what devices will it be available on?

LF: It’ll be on all devices with web access. We’re going to start with the web until we get everything tested and down to a science. Then, we’ll go native on Android and iOS.   We haven’t set a date yet, but we’re ambitious and targeting Spring 2015 for a limited group in Austin to have access to the web app.


As always, thank you for reading! Remember we award a grant every month – if interested, here’s the link to apply!

If you’d like to vote for Lauren to win the $2,000 Amber Grant you can vote for her here.

BraveHoods is Our May Amber Grant Winner!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Last week we announced the May Amber Grant finalists and today we’re elated to announce our winner.

Big congratulations going out to BraveHoods LLC.

Please take a moment to check out our interview with our winner below.

Allison Yacht

Brave Hoods

BraveHoods, LLC is a one-for-one company. They make hoodie t-shirts with empowering and positive messages. For each BraveHood that is sold they donate one to a brave kid who is battling cancer.


WN: What made you decide to take on the idea of a one-for-one company as opposed to a charity?

AY: We have struggled with the best way to set this up since we started. We decided to go one-for-one for three main reasons.  First, we thought that one-for-one would give our customers a more direct link to our mission and allow people to be more involved.  Sometimes, when I give to a non-profit, I don’t feel like I am making much of a difference.  With one-for-one, our supporters know exactly how they are helping.   Second, we know how popular hoodies have become, so what better way to get our word out than to be featured on clothing they would otherwise wear.  And third, starting a non-profit is difficult and expensive.   We would rather use these resources to help kids.  Additionally, while some of my experience lies in the non-profit world, most of it comes from working with businesses, including the database consulting firm I founded and operated for over ten years.


WN: Do you have to be a caregiver or a hospital to register a sick child for a free BraveHoods Hoodie?

AY: No, definitely not.  We get requests from many people that have relationships with kids including aunts, neighbors and friends.  One of our goals is to give people a tangible way to make a difference to kids needing it.  When you know of a child with cancer, you just want to be able to do something to help.  Working with BraveHoods provides a simple way to help, but makes a big impact on the children receiving them.


WN: How many children have you been able to give a BraveHood to?

AY: So far, we have donated almost 400 BraveHoods.  They have been delivered to the following hospitals: The Children’s Hospital Colorado, The Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation (for kids at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Jimmy Fund (for the kids at the Dana Farber Cancer Center), Wisconsin Children’s Hospital, Vermont Children’s Hospital and to many kids who have contacted us.  Our next donations will go to the Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


WN: How is Meredith doing today? Does she help you out from time-to-time?

AY: We just celebrated 2 years cancer free and she is doing great.  She finished first grade and has an exciting summer planned with her brother.  We are so very grateful.  Both kids help in so many ways including putting stickers on envelopes, packing up shirts for donation and helping at our booth at events.  My son, Zach, comes up with the best marketing ideas.   I love their enthusiasm and support.


WN: What are your plans for the future?

AY: We have two big goals for the future.  First, we want to donate 1300 BraveHoods.  This number represents just 10% of the kids that are diagnosed each year in the US.  Second, we are getting ready to manufacture our own hoodies.  They will be made in the USA and we will be able to design them just the way we want them.  The Amber Grant will go toward our manufacturing efforts.

I also want to mention that our customers do not have to buy a hoodie.  We have something called “No shirt for you, but we will give away two”.  This is a great option if you don’t need a hoodie.

Thank you so much for this opportunity.  Because we are a one-for-one, I truly feel like this is a team effort and I am humbled by our customers willingness to help.  And I am blown away by the kids that we get to reach.  I wish there was no more cancer, but until that is a reality, I want to make as many kids as comfortable as possible.

Thank you again.

Thank you for reading! Remember we award an Amber Grant every month – if interested here’s the link to apply! We hope you all have a wonderful day!


May Amber Grant Finalists

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

I hope everyone has had an exciting and productive month! This month the WomensNet Facebook page reached an exciting milestone of 500 likes- thanks to all of you!

We’ve been very busy reading all of your great applications and we’ve enjoyed every one of them-which makes it difficult to choose our winner(s)! For now, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five finalists!

Be sure to congratulate them and stay tuned – we’ll announce the May winner within the next few days!

May Amber Grant Finalists — May 2014


Allison Yacht
BraveHoods is a one-for-one hoodie company. They sell super comfy hoodie t-shirts with powerful and inspiring messages. For each one they sell, they give one away to a kid fighting cancer.

Allison started BraveHoods in response to her daughters cancer diagnosis. While her daughter, Merry was going through chemo and radiation, she was bald. Because of this she was never completely comfortable exposing her scalp in public until Allison found her a hoodie t-shirt. It worked perfectly. The girl finally felt like she fit in and was comfortable enough to go out and about. Allison then thought about the other cancer families dealing with the same issues and once Merry was feeling better, they started to think about how they could give back to their community.


Spare Change

Spare Change Inc.
Andra Tomsa
Spare Change is a nonprofit organization that fundraises exclusively for Food Bank For New York City. The Spare Change NYC APP allows New Yorkers to round-up their dine-out bills to the nearest dollar to help feed the hungry in their own city.

Each donation is always less than $0.99, but the impact is significant. Each $1.00 Spare Change collects is converted into 4 meals through Food Bank For New York CIty.

Users are able to track their philanthropy on their profile page, where they can see how much they have donated, and how many people they have helped feed. Restaurants participate with Spare Change by offering rewards to users who round up frequently each month.

Feel Better Pops

Feel Better Pops
Marisa Teiner

Feel Better Pops, LLC was created because most kids love ice pops and they’re a great treat to turn to, even (or especially) when kids are sick. Whether they’re ceoling down a sore throat or simply rehydrating a feverish little body, they always seem to make little ones feel better.

After realizing this, Marisa began to develop her own all natural ice pops with ingredients that would make her son feel better quicker and prevent others from getting sick. Many prototypes later, the idea of the Feel Better Pop was born.

The first line of pops, called Feel Better Tummy was released in june of 2013, in conjunction with the Rutgers Food Innovation Center. The pre-launch of Feel Better Tummy is scheduled for Fall 2014.

Aesop Technologies

Aesop Technologies
Tinisha Witt

Aesop Technologies specializes in the use of new solar technology and integrates it with our everyday lives,which seem to revolve around mobile phones. Their first product is going to be a solar powered protective case for the top selling mobile devices. This will be vital to those who are constantly looking to charge their phones. (Who isn’t these days?!) Tinisha and her team are providing a convenience by utilizing the sun as an alternative source of power at the flip of a switch on our phone case.

Aesop Technologies is currently in a patent pending status and in phase one prototype. Their intention is to launch a Kickstarter campaign in June of 2014. They are hoping to be in mass production and on the market by the end of this year.


Melted Addiction

Catina Mason

Melted Addiction manufactures all-natural and eco-friendly body products and candles. Catina began this business after many products available on the market only aggravated her sensitive skin. She then decided to teach herself how to make all natural soap and candles.

What first started out as a hobby, slowly turned into a business after demand grew. Her products are now retail ready and she currently offers sales through retail and wholesale accounts.

April Amber Grant Finalists

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

April showers bring… new Amber Grant winners? Works for us!

We had another fantastic month with some truly inspiring applicants. You ladies just keep impressing us – and making it harder and harder to narrow things down.

It wasn’t easy, but we did it. Without further ado, here are April’s five finalists.

Check them out and stay tuned! We’ll announce the winner(s) within the next few days.

Amber Grant Finalists – April 2014

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Whiskey & Whimsy Retreats
Kerrie Blazek

This idea makes us want to jump on a plane and head straight to Louisville. Kerrie Blazek and her team offer women an opportunity to ditch the daily grind for a luxurious, all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind girls getaway…on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

As their website explains, you can “think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience one of America’s most interesting cities, while re-igniting your innate creative fire, indulging in some delicious eats + fine whiskey, as you cozy up to like-minded sisters and hot guest speakers for some reciprocal sharing and learning – all in one gorgeous place.”

How could that not be the best weekend ever? We seriously might need to make a WomensNet trip for the next one.

CuteNCrafty Wedding Socks
Kendra Barnes

When Kendra Barnes got married last April, she made a label for her now husband’s wedding socks that read: “Just to make sure you don’t get Cold Feet, with love, from your bride” and had her Maid of Honor deliver them. It made for a great photo opportunity, put a smile on his face, and most importantly ensured that he didn’t wear a pair of his holey socks to their wedding.

When they received their wedding photos and video, she saw how the “Cold Feet” socks brought a smile to her husband’s face, and thought…”I wonder if other brides would want to buy this”. So, Kendra set up shop on Etsy and within days she was getting sales.

Since then she has sold over 2500 pairs of socks online and in three stores that carry her product across D.C. and Pennsylvania.

How great is that?

ArtInFact Magazine NYC
ArtInFact Magazine
Semhar Woldeyesus

ArtInFact Magazine is the brainchild of four full-time media professionals, all graduates of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, class of 2011. They’ve come together to create a content platform for entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and independent brands in New York City.

After realizing that mainstream media outlets typically only cover tech-centric ventures, Silicon Valley, or entrepreneurs who’ve received major investment backing, they decided to fill the gap and highlight startups and entrepreneurs that capture the independent spirit of New York City.

In case it’s not totally obvious, we’re big fans of supporting startups and entrepreneurs – so this idea really spoke to us.

Hazel Lane San Francisco Bo
Hazel Lane
Ashley DeKellis

Ashley DeKellis found a way to share her love of discovering amazing products from cities around the world with others – and she gets to do it as a stay at home mom, creating a sense of accomplishment that she, her husband and their son can be proud of.

Hazel Lane is a monthly subscription box service that helps others to explore the world, despite financial barriers and travel restrictions. Every month they send their members a carefully curated box of surprise goodies from a particular city, focusing on items that capture that destination’s spirit and signature flavors.

The boxes include healthy, sustainable and organic products from local business and arrive in 100% recycled packaging. Even better? They’re filing as a B Corp and already give 10% back to local charities in their featured cities.

Tuck Me In Bedding Retainment System
Tuck Me In – Good Night Bedding Securement System
Donna Liimatainen-Peterson

Like many of us, Donna Liimatainen-Peterson is a restless sleeper and a self-proclaimed sheet stealer. Her husband of 23 years would take extra measures to methodically tuck their sheets and blankets into his side of the bed, only to wake completely robbed of all of the bedding.

After spending 21 years as an architect (and even more years as an apologetic wife), she decided to design a solution for her unintentional sheet-stealing problem.

The Tuck Me In Good Night Bedding Retainment System utilizes an innovative lightweight cylindrical rod that easily attaches to the bottom edge of your bedsheets and blankets using coordinating fabric snap clamps, then gets inserted below the bottom edge of the mattress. If a good night sleep, fully covered, isn’t worth the $20 retail price – we’re not sure what is. Donna also sells extra long sheets and blankets to make sure you’ll never be “short sheeted” again.

March Amber Grant Madness! Meet the 10 Finalists

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

March was a landmark month for us here at WomensNet! Not only did we receive a record number of Amber Grant applications, the quality of your business ideas absolutely blew us away.

In fact, we were so impressed we just couldn’t wait until the end of the month to get involved! We awarded a special mid-month grant to Rule of Pie Bakeshop owner Miranda Stapel and also funded the DBA and other various licensing costs for high school junior Sierra Elmore’s graphic design business 13 Elm Streets.

This week our WomensNet Board of Advisors is tasked with selecting the recipient of our $500 March grant.

We’ve narrowed it down to 10 finalists (which was no easy task) and we love all of these entrepreneurial ideas so much, we really wanted to share them.

Meet Our Finalists:

Game Worlds Camp
Alicia Andrew

Our camps are a place for kids ages 10-18 to learn to make their own video games and software in a fun environment. They will learn what goes into a game, how it gets made, and have the opportunity to work on their own game and software. We teach skills including programming, art, design, audio design, and business development.

Students work together in teams to bring their game idea to life. Focused on teamwork, problem solving new situations, and creative thinking, our goal is to introduce the world of software development to kids.

Shelly Bean The Sports Queen
Shelly Boyum Breen

A one of a kind children’s book series about a tough and lovable little girl who loves to play sports.
Shelly Bean the Sports Queen is a product of a new generation where being a “jock” is acceptable for girls as well as encouraged. Follow Shelly Bean and her friends as they play new sports together in each book. Parents can utilize the instructional and safety tips at the back of each book as well.

The Brooklyn Reader
Clara Zawadi Morris

Launched on December 16, 2013, The Brooklyn Reader is an online daily community news site for the fast-growing neighborhoods of Central Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill (soon-to-be launching in East New York, East Flatbush and Prospect Heights). The Brooklyn Reader posts 5-8 stories daily on all topics concerning Central Brooklyn, including crime incidents, fire emergencies, DOT alerts, politics, education, real estate development, new business development, arts and culture, entertainment and more!

Pig of the Month BBQ
Lea Richards

Pig of the Month BBQ sources natural ingredients from sustainable farming, and combines them with the best family BBQ recipes.

With determination to bring exceptionally delicious, high quality, home-cooked food to the entire world, Pig of the Month ships everything from succulent baby back ribs and melt-in-your-mouth smoked turkey to everybody’s favorite: thick-cut bacon.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.59.10 AM
Nager By Nic Hyl

Nager By Nic Hyl creates women’s swimsuits and cover-ups (for now). These swimsuits and cover-ups are unique, feminine, and sophisticated. They allow the woman to feel sexy in her skin without being too overt. Each of the pieces in the collection are lined, supportive, created with thought and made in the USA.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 12.06.41 PM
Leah Marche is a freemium social expression website for the “everyday people” who want to experience not-your-average inspirational messages. It puts a twist on celebrating special occasions, unlike Hallmark or American Greetings, by connecting loved ones through the art of performance poetry.

Animal Candle
Nina Kathleen Farley

Animal Candle aims to offer high-end soy candles with a chic, minimalist theme. Each candle fragrance represents a different at-risk species, and a portion of the profit for every candle sold will go towards wildlife conservation or animal rescue projects/organizations for the animal chosen by the consumer. The inaugural candle is a sea-breeze fragrance representing the endangered Right Whale, and a portion of proceeds will go to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Other Animal Candles include a Koala (eucalyptus peppermint) to fund a GIS-mapping project to protect habitats overlapping private land, and a Pig (fresh grass) to fund care for rescued farm animals at Farm Sanctuary.

Even better, the candle recipe has been perfected using 100% all natural, non-GMO soy wax grown in the USA without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or toxins.

Know My World
Genevieve Murphy

Know My World is a Global Education Resource organization that offers digital cross cultural exchange, collaborative projects, customized curriculum, and an innovative educational philosophy called TRACE Education. Our mission is to offer a multitude of platforms and projects for exchange and growth between various countries and cultures. These projects and exchanges provide shared teaching and learning opportunities between participants. The pivotal focus of Know My World is to promote enriching opportunities within and beyond the standard curriculum to transform the educative experience.

Knee runner injury
Smart Bionics Biosensing Ankle Brace
Emily Seyfort

Designed by undergraduate students for a class project, this wearable strain measuring ankle brace was initially created for athletes (basketball players, soccer players, etc…) so that coaches can monitor the stress levels on the ATFL ligament through a phone app, in order to prevent ankle injuries.

After receiving positive feedback, they now hope to expand the functionality and use this ankle brace for rehabilitation purposes after injuries, in order to test whether a person is fit to start walking without the brace.

Tech urSelf
Belinda Liu

Modern lifestyles risk separating us from the simple practices that have made us happy and healthy since ancient times. Positive practices are losing favor to the distractions of being constantly connected in the digital age.

Tech urSelf helps people see their lives in a new light – transforming everyday struggles into an opportunity for growth. We use technology purposefully to support people to make positive changes and build new life practices in order to cultivate their core values, personal wellness and the well-being of their community.

The first tool we created is urWell, an iPhone app that encourages individuals to stop, notice, and live with greater intention. Our next step is to apply what we have learned from piloting urWell and work with our partners (a team of psychologists, social scientists, and leadership coaches) to create a series of values-based, team building challenges hosted on a centralized web platform aimed at cultivating more compassionate and mission-driven workplaces.