Archive for the ‘ Amber Grant Winner’ 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.

SUPLOGIX is our May Qualification Grant Recipient

Friday, June 10th, 2016

After revealing our May Qualification Grant Finalists last week, we’re excited to announce our qualification grant winner. Congrats Shannon MacDowell, co-founder of SUPLOGIX

Read on to learn all about Shannon and her business.

SUPLOGIX Team Sewing
Shannon MacDowell

WN: For those that don’t know SUPLOGIX, tell us a little about your business.

SM: Carey Bond and I created SUPLOGIX in 2012 fueled by our passion for stand up paddle boarding and our desire to make the sport as accessible as possible for participants of all abilities. As instructors and guides on the dynamic waters of the Hudson River and New York Harbor we saw the powerful impact of getting people out on the water. We started the company to respond to the need for scientific information on the biomechanics of SUP as the sport was becoming more popular. Working with BTS Bioengineering we pioneered the use of wireless electromyography to study what muscles are engaged when paddling.

Then we participated in the SEAPaddle NYC 2013, a grueling 25 mile race around Manhattan Island. This was a pivotal moment. The event demands significant hydration and wearing a USCG approved life jacket. No product existed that combined these two functions. So we decided to create one. More than 2 years later we are preparing to get our design Coast Guard, approved and offer our solution to the problem of hydration and flotation for paddlers worldwide.

WN: What made you decide to move to Manhattan from Alaska?

SM: Originally I came to New York City to pursue a dance career. After graduating from Rutgers with a BFA it was a natural transition for me to move to NYC. I danced professionally for modern companies and choreographers. Although I came for dance, once I discovered how amazing the waters are around New York City, I felt reconnected to my Alaskan paddling roots so I stayed!

WN: How did you and your partner decide to join forces and create SUPLOGIX?

SM: Carey and I both come from diverse backgrounds that encompass fitness, outdoors pursuits, design and sewing. We met through paddling and realized we had a lot in common and shared similar professional goals. Our combined experience has enabled us to work creatively and efficiently. With our design, cut­-and­-sew studio, we do all prototype development and then take them straight out onto the river for testing.

WN: Do you know when your Hydration Flotation life jacket will available for sale?

SM: Pending US Coast Guard Approval we’re aiming to be on the market by 1st quarter of 2017.

WN: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

SM: My advice would be if you feel strongly that you have something to contribute through a product or service, then take the plunge, be a humble student of the process and embrace the journey. So much of business is also about building meaningful relationships and honoring these.

I really try to make the best use of the resources that are available including incredible opportunities from companies such as WomensNet, I have learned so much from the knowledge and experience of others during this process.

Learn More about Shannon in here video here:


And if you’d like to vote for Shannon 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.

Angle Oar Wins February Amber Grant

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Congratulations to our latest Amber Grant Winner, Meg McCall.

Meg is the Founder of Angle Oar. Together with her father, she aims to bring the joy of kayaking to thousands of new enthusiasts, and get those who thought they had to give it up due to injury, ability or age, a chance to get back out there. Continue reading to learn about what makes the Angle Oar unique. And be sure to check out the Angle Oar demo.

WN: Congratulations on winning the February Amber Grant!

MM: Thank you so much for this grant. It is tremendously helpful!!

WN: How did your dad decide to become a kayaker in his 80s? There must be a story behind it!

MM: Our family, and my Dad in particular, have always loved the outdoors. My sister older sister, Amy, had bought a kayak, and when my Dad saw it, he decided to give it a try, also. He’d always loved to boat and fish, and so at 75 he started fishing from his new kayak.

Unfortunately, my Dad has several serious medical conditions including congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma and poor circulation, just to name a few. So when he would go out using a traditional straight paddle, it wore him out very easily. That’s when he decided there must be a more energy-efficient way to paddle. He subsequently created the Angle Oar.

WN: How long did it take for the design phase of the product?

MM: He crafted his first prototype several years ago, but it wasn’t until I took a keen interest in it around November of 2012 that we began fine-tuning the design in earnest. We made a variety of improvements and tested several prototypes before applying for a patent in March of 2013. After that phase, I had to have the electronic drawings created and new prototypes manufactured based on our latest specs. We’re just now at a point where we’re doing our first large-scale run of paddles. So in total, it took about a year and a half from idea to manufacture.

There have been many bumps along the way, but I always keep in mind the words I received in an unsolicited testimonial from a young woman who has a health condition that affects her shoulders and overall strength. She said, “I’ve been all over the Internet for months looking for a product like this. Please, keep developing your product no matter the trials you may come across. It will impact so many people.” That keeps me going!

WN: What was your previous experience in marketing?

MM: The first 14 years of my career were spent working for a United Way in Madison, Wi. I started out in the program evaluation and funding side of the organization, but for the last six years was the Director of Marketing. After that, I spent five years as a Marketing Manager in the IT division of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. It was there that I gained a deeper understanding of software and technology. This experience laid the groundwork for my last position as Director of Marketing for MINDBODY, which is based in San Luis Obispo, CA. The company provides business management software to health and wellness studios across the world. It was a very exciting and dynamic place to work, and my efforts helped the organization grow 70% for three consecutive years. The company is about to go public in another year or so.

With respect to Angle Oar, my marketing experience has definitely been an asset. It’s been the manufacturing side of the business that has been the real learning curve. I continue to learn more about things like aluminum extrusion, plastic injection moldings and machine tooling each day!

WN: Are your plans to sell it exclusively online to start?

MM: Yes, right now we sell primarily online through our website and Amazon, however we have just begun reaching out to distributors and retailers, so the Angle Oar should be available in various retail spots by the end of the year. We also have another online distributor confirmed, Access to Recreation, that provides equipment and devices to people with disabilities, though the company is transitioning to a new website so our product is not up quite yet.

On a related note, we give away a free paddle on our Facebook page at every major milestone. Everyone who Likes us is eligible to win.

*Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day. Remember that we’ll award another Amber Grant in March!

January 2013 Amber Grant Award Winner

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

A huge shout-out to Hannah Rivard of Stacy, Minnesota – and founder of Cambria Equine – for being chosen as the January Amber Grant winner! Hanna has leveraged her passion and love of horses into a unique business model. Below is an interview with our latest winner. We hope you’ll be inspired. Also a quick reminder that we’re now taking Amber Grant applications for February’s grant, and would love to hear your story!

WNN: Please tell our readers a little bit about Cambria Equine.

HR: I began developing it in 2010, when I was a freshman in college, focusing my entire college education around preparing for it. It officially launches this month, and the business has three main parts:

1. I developed a completely unique, unheard-of method of horse training that I teach through in-person services (ex., lessons, clinics, seminars) as well as online coaching. : ( This training is focused on empowering people to train horses intuitively, through beauty and joy, which is a far cry from most instructors, who give only techniques and never empower their students to truly follow their dreams.

2. As an actress and model, I market this method uniquely through photoshoots, films, and theatrical shows. Horses in film—from Shadowfax in “Lord of the Rings” to the Black Stallion to Seabiscuit—awaken people’s longing for a deeper horse-human connection, and such stories can inspire people on a different level than pure instruction can. Focusing on art and beauty make Cambria Equine stand out markedly from every other horse business on the market today.

3. Finally, through extensive college research as well as my own dreams and vision, I realized there is an opportunity in the equestrian world for marketing artistic, beautiful horse products, from fashionable clothing to embroidered saddle pads to home décor. While many small businesses do sell those products, they are scattered across the internet and world, with no central hub for people to purchase them. I have developed, what I call Shop Cambria, which is an “ for the artistic equestrian.” There, third-party vendors can upload their products to my site and sell them while I make a commission. In this way, I can support their businesses and dreams while also expanding my own.

WNN: What was your inspiration to become a woman entrepreneur?

My entire life has been a preparation for my life in Cambria Equine. When I was two, my favorite color was brown—because obviously, all horses were brown. When I was a teenager, I was already internationally recognized for my horsemanship and was developing my own unheard-of horsemanship style. When I became an adult, I was told by professionals that few could make a living with horses—but that I could. When I entered college, I won a $25,000 horse-in-an-essay contest which launched me again to international recognition. While in college, I designed my own major of Entrepreneurial Business so as to be best prepared for life as an entrepreneur and became the first person in my college to graduate with that degree. After graduating, I received even more entrepreneurial experience by writing and publishing a book on college scholarships (after maintaining a 4.00 GPA and funding my $100,000 education entirely through scholarships) and teaching at schools and colleges across the state on that subject.

Up at 6a.m., to bed at midnight, I live and breathe horses Cambria Equine, because nothing is more energizing to me than combining all my passions of art, beauty, acting, dance, spirituality, horses, teaching, and entrepreneurial spirit into one all-consuming passion. Cambria Equine isn’t just a hobby or a business—it is my heart.

WNN: What will you do with the Amber Grant money?

HR: I have already launched the website, purchased compatible hosting, WordPress templates, and plugins, and am saving thousands of dollars by designing the Cambria Equine website myself. However, while through research, evaluation, and sales/coupons, I have minimized startup costs, there are still three large costs left associated with launching Cambria Equine – one of which is shopping cart software. While there are a few less expensive shopping cart softwares available, none compare to the functionality and ease of use of CS-Cart. Therefore, the $500 Amber Grant will be used to pay for half the cost of the CS-Cart software so that I can be better equipped to provide for the consumer shopping needs of my clients as well as give my vendors an elegant, straightforward place to sell their products and support their own small business.

WNN: We’ll be keeping on eye on you and your business venture, Hannah. We wish you well!

HR: Thanks so much for this much-needed grant. It’s great how you’re helping women entrepreneurs!

May 2012 Amber Grant Awarded to

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the Amber Grant winner for the month of May. Paula Heron is the head of a non-profit, Tri4Freedom, Inc. Below is a short interview with Paula. We hope you’re as inspired by her story as we were. And as a quick reminder, yes, we are now taking applications for the June Amber Grant. It only takes a few minutes to share your story with our judges.

WNN: Can you tell WNN readers about your business?

PH: Tri 4 Freedom is about using the sport of triathlon to do three main things: create awareness about human trafficking, promote fair trade in sport, and help support people who are survivors of human trafficking. Tri 4 Freedom has only been going for 6 months. In this time we have hosted an indoor triathlon which raised funds for trafficking survivors in Kentucky. We also set up at fair trade events and running/triathlon events and sell T-shirts made by survivors in India. In a few days, I – along with 4 other athletes — will endure a 27 hour triathlon to represent the 27 million people enslaved worldwide. The finish of this triathlon will coincide with a fair trade festival where vendors and organizations will showcase their efforts in combating human trafficking.

WNN: And what is your business model in terms of funding this effort?

PH: My goal with Tri 4 Freedom is to eventually develop a line of fair trade triathlon apparel that will not only help empower survivors or women in impoverished communities but will reinforce the importance of the principles of fair trade and make people aware of the growing rate of human trafficking.

WNN: Would it be fair to say that you want to use your entrepreneurial skills to support a cause as opposed to simply making money for yourself?

PH: Yes, most definitely. Tri 4 Freedom is a social enterprise that exists for the sole purpose of improving people’s lives. People who, because of their circumstances are vulnerable to being exploited, or have been freed from a trafficking situation and are trying to re-build their lives. I have endless energy and passion for this cause and my new entrepreneurial role is one I take very seriously.

WNN: The judges were moved by your idea of a cause-related apparel line. Can you tell us why/how you were drawn to the cause of human trafficking – and how it melded with triathletes?

PH: My awareness of human trafficking came from a movie. But I didn’t know just how prevalent human trafficking was all over the world, including the United States. The form of human trafficking that plagues my mind, in particular, is sex trafficking of women and children. The trickery involved in luring women into this trade and the subsequent brutality I find deeply disturbing and horrifying. I think of my own journey moving away from my home country of South Africa to pursue my dream career, and that victims of human trafficking are just like us – yet vulnerable because all they want is a better life for themselves and their families. Targeting triathletes in my passion for fighting human trafficking was a natural fit for me because of my involvement in the sport and the uniqueness of what I am trying to accomplish. The causes that do have a presence in the triathlon arena are mostly health-related, rather than human rights. Triathlon is a growing sport and I think is an effective platform to not only raise awareness about human trafficking but I believe to potentially be a powerful driving force in promoting social and environmental sustainability.

WNN: Tell us a bit about the notion of “fair trade in sports.”

PH: The availability and consumer awareness of fair trade items is increasing. The most common of which include goods such as coffee, chocolate, clothing, jewelry and crafts. While some fair trade sports apparel does exist, it is very limited and does not include triathlon apparel. I applaud the move toward the use of more Eco-friendly fabrics in performance apparel but to date I am unaware of any fair trade certified triathlon-specific apparel. Fair trade in sports goes beyond apparel and includes examples such as having fair trade coffee served at races, using fair trade chocolate in sports nutrition products and using ethically made sports products in general. With regards to human trafficking, sports items made by trafficking survivors in particular would help empower them to re-build their lives and raise awareness about the travesty of this issue. Racing events are already shifting toward going “green” signifying environmentally friendly – the same should be true for ensuring people friendly. Triathletes, and sports men and women in general, have the power to drive social change just by challenging and altering the status quo.

WNN: What are your plans for the Amber Grant?

PH: I’ll use it to buy fair trade coffee. Typically at a small local triathlon has as many as 200-400 athletes compete. What I do is set up a Tri 4 Freedom tent at these races to display our shirts and give out information about what we do. One way to engage the athletes and spectators is by having coffee available that attracts them to the tent. I did it this past weekend and I had bought coffee and all the supplies and was selling it for $2 per cup. The idea didn’t work. Folks who came by wanted coffee for free. Our financial situation, being so small, won’t allow for us to do this. The Amber Grant will allow me to give cups of coffee free to people who came by our tent and still allow me to pass out information on human trafficking and fair trade. The flyers, posters and stickers on human trafficking we get free from the US Department of Health and Human Services.