Archive for the ‘ Grant Recipients’ Category

SmileOnU Win’s August’s Amber Grant!

Monday, September 15th, 2014

After announcing our finalists late last week. We’re happy to finally be able to announce this months Amber Grant winner. Meet BB, founder of the non-profit organization, SmileOnU.

Read on to learn more about her organization’s mission to create healthy and beautiful smiles.

BB Maboby Bahadarakhann
SmileOnU
www.smileonu.org

SOUHShoot

WN: What gave you the idea for SmileOnU?

BB: Born into a refugee camp in Thailand during the Khmer Regime, I always wanted to give back to the community for saving my family from a dismal situation. I was 10-months-old when my Pakistani and Cambodian parents and family were relocated from the Thailand to Chicago, IL through the aid of the United States government. Even with nothing, my parents were both very giving people. As a young child, I saw the radiant energy they received by giving and it was contagious! It was the way I wanted to live my life. It was the most beautiful thing.” After graduating college in 2009 and I worked in oral surgery sales, where I often coordinated the interaction between dentists, clients, laboratories and implant companies to assure surgeries went smoothly. I noticed the cost of these procedures was out of reach for those who needed them the most and realized something needed to bridge this glaring gap. My vision in the creation of the non- profit organization, “SmileOnU” was a way to change this and bring hope to people who have limited means for such extensive dental procedures.

WN: How many patients do you take on in a year?

BB: SmileOnU works to give the gift of smile! We are currently taking on 1 Hardship case a month. Our goal is to give 100 smiles a year to those in greatest need.

WN:  How are individuals chosen to receive dental help, are they nominated or do they have to apply?

BB: We work with the local foster homes and different resource centers. We also have an open application online.

SMILEONU TARGETED POPULATIONS:

  • Foster Youth
  • Former Foster Youth
  • Low-income College-age youths and adults with physical disabilities
  • Young adults, 18-25 years old, who have been raised in the child welfare system and are responsible for their own financial support
  • Adults, ages 25 or older, with dependents in their family unit

WN: Do you run specifically off of donations, or fund raise all of the expenses?

BB: We run solely on donations and contributions.

WN: Are you planning on expanding your business in the near future?

BB: We are currently establishing a network of volunteer dental professional across the United States in hopes to give the gift of smile

 

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 great day!

Nightingale Apps Wins July’s Amber Grant!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

After announcing our July Amber Grant finalists last week we’re happy to finally announce our July Amber Grant recipient!

Congratulations to Tiffany Kelly, founder of Nightingale Apps.

Below is our interview with Tiffany, where she tells us all about her Know My Patient app!

 

TKelley

Tiffany Kelly
Nightingale Apps
http://nightingaleapps.com/

WN: I see you have years worth of experience in the medical field. When you first started out did you ever imagine yourself producing such a helpful tool?

TK: When I first started my nursing career 14 years ago, I never imagined that I would be building a business focused on delivering a software solution to help nurses delivery higher quality care. When I started as a staff nurse, electronic information systems were very limited in hospital settings. Additionally, my focus at that time was on delivering the best care that I was able to provide to my patients. However, as my career has developed, I grew to love working with information systems in an effort to provide nurses with tools that can integrate with their natural way of working each day. The development of Know My Patient TM came about as I was observing nurses work as part of my Ph.D. research. The nurses’ main focus during that time was on the patient whereas my focus was on understanding how they use information to care for patients. This lens allowed me to recognize a large problem that could be solved with the right attention to detail in the design as well as understanding the nurses’ environment. I see Know My Patient TM as a tool that can support nurses in their delivery of safe, efficient, timely and patient-centered care.

 

WN: Who is the techy behind the Know My Patient App? How long did it take you to perfect the app?

TK: I am fortunate enough to have the clinical expertise, professional experience with information systems, and the evidence from my research to create the design for Know My Patient TM. To turn the design into a functional app, I reached out to Mr. Sivagajen Suntharalingam, my talented colleague of several years. He has extensive experience with clinical information solutions as a computer scientist. Nightingale Apps has a stellar first version of Know My Patient TM, which took several months to design and subsequently develop. I believe perfection is something that Nightingale Apps strives toward but we also recognize the need for subsequent versions to enhance the benefits of Know My PatientTM in delivering high quality care.

WN: Is the Nightingale App currently being used by any professionals in the medical field?

TK: Currently, Nightingale Apps is weeks away from completing the first version of Know My Patient TM. We have been conducting ongoing validation of the application with nurses over the last several months. Once the first version is completed, we will be conducting a feasibility study with nurses to test and refine the product design. Nightingale Apps is fortunate to be receiving the Amber Grant in order to support the costs of that study.

WN: What’s the next step for Nightingale Apps?

TK: The next major step for Nightingale Apps is to pilot Know My Patient TM with nurses working in hospital settings. The company is currently working to secure the first pilot site for testing Know My Patient TM. The company is excited to reach that milestone as well as looking forward to seeing Know My Patient TM in the hands of other nurses.

WN: What advice would you give to women who are interested in starting their own business?

TK: I would encourage other women to pursue their interests in starting their own business. I believe anything is possible as long as you are able to have a vision for what you want to achieve and the willingness to work hard for that vision. In addition to one’s internal drive, I would encourage them to surround themselves with good people who believe in the vision for the company and who want to help them make it successful. While starting a business may begin with one person, building a business requires the help of many people.

 

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 great day!

The Glass Jug Wins Junes Amber Grant!

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

After announcing the June Amber Grant Finalists last week, we’re excited to finally announce June’s Amber Grant winner!

A huge congratulations to Katy Creech, owner of The Glass Jug!

Continue reading to learn more about Katy,  her company and her love for craft beer!

Katy Creech
The Glass Jug
http://glass-jug.com/
Chris-and-Katy

WN: Have you always been a beer fan? Did you ever see yourself starting a business in the beer industry?

KC: I have always been a beer fan, and one of my most commonly used phrases is, “Anyone who doesn’t like beer, just hasn’t met the right one yet.” I love sipping on a great craft beer, whether it’s a refreshing pale ale at a hot summer cookout, a big ol’ imperial stout curled up on a snowy winter night, or anything in-between. But, I think my favorite thing about supporting craft beer is all the benefits it has on our local communities.

Before I got into craft beer, I had no idea all the things it does for communities where it thrives. Craft beer provides good jobs, serves as an attraction to draw in the working class & brings good fun for the existing locals. Craft beer has proven to be an excellent economy booster in North Carolina, providing hundreds of jobs on its own, and also boosting the state as a cool place to live. That has been a major factor in our state’s ability to attract large businesses moving here with thousands of jobs.

I decided to get into the craft beer industry largely because of its mantra, “The rising tide lifts all boats.” Because we are all working together to fill our communities with happy, responsible craft beer drinkers, there is a lot of camaraderie amongst companies that would be fierce competitors in other industries.  The craft beer industry is packed full of people committed to their industry and to their communities – I simply couldn’t resist getting in on it.

 

WN: Since the new law has been passed in North Carolina, do you know of any other businesses in the state opening growler filling stations?

KC: Yes. There are a handful of retail stores that are beginning to fill growlers in the state, from big establishments like Whole Foods to smaller specialty shops like ours. We are looking forward to the increasing popularity of growlers in the state, because there are so many great things about buying beer in growlers as opposed to traditional bottles or cans.

Our main differentiation points are:

a: We only plan to sell beer in growlers that can’t be easily purchased in bottles or cans. Lots of small breweries can’t afford to bottle or can their beer, so consumers aren’t typically able to buy this beer and take it home; they can only get it in specialty bars. Additionally, many larger craft breweries only bottle and can a few of their beers, so their special or seasonal beers are often in the same boat. We want to bring these beers to our community in such a way they can enjoy them at home or with friends outside of a bar. (And don’t worry, we’ll also have a selection of bottled and canned beer at the shop, so you can still find your old favorites.)

b: We will counter-pressure fill our growlers using space-age-looking filling machines. This is a huge deal, and it will greatly improve our customers’ experience with the quality of their growlers.

 

WN: Will you be offering tastings?

KC: We plan to host a wide variety of events, tastings, and classes led by local industry experts. For updates on these events, sign up for our monthly email newsletter!

 

WN: What’s your favorite beer that you plan to carry at your bar/shop? And how could we acquire some?

KC: Oooh… that’s a tough one. I don’t think I could possibly pick one favorite… or even a favorite style, for that matter! I love variety, and I think there’s a perfect beer for almost every occasion. That’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to helping our customers with – breaking out of their go-to-beer comfort zones and helping them find new, exciting things for different occasions.

Acquiring the beer is simple, just stop by! The store will be located just off I-40 on Hwy 55, convenient to RTP, Durham, Cary, Morrisville, and Apex. We are in the Greenwood Commons shopping center with some of our favorite local restaurants such as Papa Mojos, Sarah’s Empanadas, Thailanna, and Tandoor Indian. The shopping center is also the location of the South Durham Farmer’s Market every Saturday morning!

 

WN: Your site says you should be open this Summer/Fall do you have a specific date set yet?

KC: Haha – isn’t that the question of the day? Our opening date is still a bit of a moving target, but we’re shooting for early September, sooner if possible.

 

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 great day!

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.

BraveHoods
Allison Yacht

http://www.bravehoods.com/

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!

 

Hazel Lane & ArtInFact Magazine Win April Amber Grants

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Last week we announced the April Amber Grant finalists and today we’re elated to announce not one, but two winners.

Big congratulations going out to both Hazel Lane and ArtInFact Magazine!

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

Hazel Lane
Ashley DeKellis & Samantha Strom
http://www.hazelln.com

Hazel Lane Co Founders

Hazel Lane is a subscription box service that helps people explore the world, without having to leave home. Every month they send a carefully curated box of surprise goodies from that month’s selected city, taking great care to represent that place’s unique spirit and flavors. San Francisco’s box was foodie focused, while LA’s was sun & health. NYC will be fashion-forward, and Austin will be WEIRD!

We asked Ashley & Sam a few questions about their venture, and here’s what they had to say:

1. When spotlighting a new city each month, you must encounter many products. How do you select the items and businesses you feature?

We do find a ton of swoon worthy companies and products in every city. We work with our network, our members, friends, friend-of-friends, bloggers and anyone who wants to nominate a brand. Because we are committed to featuring locally-made, small brands that are eco-friendlier, our pool of products is automatically narrowed down. We also tend to feature a lot of female-founded businesses. Our final decision is usually when we both say “I have to have this and so-and-son would love it too.” It’s very scientific. =)

2. Do you get to go to these places and personally pick out the products yourself?

One day we will. That’s our goal! We’re lucky that we have enthusiastic supporters and members who help out in the meantime. We recently had a subscriber email and tell us she’s sending US a product she thinks we will like from a city she thinks we should feature. It’s a lot of fun to see people get so excited and engaged with the process from start-to-finish.

3. What is your favorite product you’ve found so far?

Oh this is a tough one! We really love everything we’ve put in the boxes so far. The top three are probably: Poco Dolce Chocolate and *plastique from San Francisco & Miss Marissa by Ebba from the Brooklyn box.

4. If you could visit one city in the world, right now. What would it be?
Paris, France! We have wanted to travel to Paris together since college. Ashley was a fashion major and took 4 years of French. With that knowledge under our belts, we can at least say “pardon moi, Ou se trouvé Le centre commercial Le plus proche?

Translation, Excuse me, where is the nearest shopping mall?” That’s all we really need to know, right?

5. Do you have any advice for any other moms out there looking to start their own business?
Yes, It sounds cliche because it really is…”Do what you have a passion for”. There is so much work that goes into starting a business. From web design, pricing, product selection, legalities, budget…but most of all time not spent with your family while working on the business. It’s been a struggle working on something you hope will benefit the future of your family but in turn requires a significant amount of time away from them. I’m still trying to balance work and family and honestly have a hard time finding a happy medium. Just surrounding myself with positive people, asking for help (babysitters, friends and mother-in-laws) and the overall love for my family helps keep the dream alive and flourishing.

ArtInFact Magazine
Semhar Woldeyesus
http://www.artinfactmag.com

ArtInFact

ArtInFact Magazine is content platform for entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, and independent brands in New York City. It was created to provide early adopters with coverage of creative startups and micro-trends.Their chief goal is to empower independent creatives and small-scale entrepreneurs who have not been able to garner press attention, but have incredible products and services.

Here’s what Semmi had to say:

1. How well did the ladies on your team know one other before starting ArtInFact? How did you meet?

We first met each other four years ago at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. None of us are originally from New York City, so we quickly bonded. Getting adjusted here can be tough at first, especially when you don’t know anyone. But we really lucked out! We collided over a common interest in not only building our profiles as entrepreneurial, creative storytellers, but also supporting the endeavors of the people we feature. After graduating, we kept in touch. Despite working for different channels and media platforms, we continued to cheer each other on and support one another. We all had big dreams before coming to the city, and our friendship has empowered us to continue achieving them. Knowing each other is a real privilege; we are basically like family!

2. What inspired you to launch a magazine together?

We were inspired to start ArtInFact Magazine because we realized that so many entrepreneurs and creative professionals in this city could not get their stories told. In our day jobs, we kept noticing how independent brands and startups couldn’t get the same kind of coverage or attention as mainstream brands. New York is a city built and run by entrepreneurs from all different sectors. Yet the startups that get routine coverage are often tech ventures or companies that have major investment backing. We wanted to create a platform for those who don’t have a celebrity cosign, but truly care about their work and have a remarkable product. We are here to capture the independent spirit of New York.

3. Once you’re officially registered as an LLC, what will be your first plan of action?

Once we are registered as an LLC, we plan to roll out ads and take ArtInFact Mag into the real world with events, pop-up sales, and partnerships with independent brands. Although we are a content platform, one of our top priorities is to empower creative startups beyond telling their story. We are dedicated to building a community, not just an audience. Our events will also be linked to a mobile app where startups and creative professionals can register their company and get noticed!

4. Do you have any advice for those who are in the startup business in NYC looking to get in touch with you?

We are always on the hunt for new startups or ideas. If you are based in the NYC area, all you have to do is pitch us via our contact page. In your pitch, don’t be afraid to get personal. Tell us about your work and what inspired you to get started. And it doesn’t matter if you haven’t sold millions of units or are just starting out − we want to know about you! As we’ve learned in our own journey as a startup, the most important thing is to just do it. By working consistently, producing a lot of work, and putting yourself on a deadline, you will reach new heights.

5. What’s the most rewarding part of owning your own business?

To have full autonomy over the quality of work we produce and to be able to tell the stories of people we feel truly play a vital role in our communities is a great feeling. As entrepreneurs, we have put ourselves in a position to empower others. The most rewarding feeling is when a reader reaches out and tells us how a story impacted them or when an entrepreneur we’ve profiled expresses thanks. We understand how tough it is to get noticed and we are constantly in awe of underdogs. That’s who we are here for. Starting your own business involves so much risk, every story we publish is an opportunity to encourage other like-minded spirits to keep going! Failure only happens when you quit.

We’re honored to be able to help each of these fantastic businesses in a small way! Stay tuned for more inspiring applications and winner interviews, and don’t forget – the deadline for our May Amber Grant will be here before you know it!

Pig of the Month Wins March Amber Grant

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Congratulations to our latest WomensNet.net Amber Grant Winner, Lea Richards.

Lea is the President of Pig of the Month, a mail order meats company specializing in BBQ.  Continue on to learn more about her company, her motivation, and her advice for women entrepreneurs…

WN: Congratulations on winning the March Amber Grant!

LR: Thank you so so much!  This is amazing!

WN: Where did the idea for Pig of the Month come from?

LR: I had just left my job in finance, and moved back home to try and figure out the next step.  Father’s Day was coming up, so I ordered ribs from a competitor for my Dad. When they came we were so disappointed by the quality of the meats and presentation that my dad remarked that I could do a better job — so, we researched it a little bit, and gave it a go!  We named it Pig of the Month since you can get all sorts of different kinds of piggy products delivered to you every month.

WN: How did you find others to get involved?

LR: It’s grown very organically.  I’ve hired people that I have come across during normal business activities.  For instance, our sales guy used to be our FedEx rep – he impressed me so much that I just knew I had to have him on board. Hiring is tough, so if you see someone in action that impresses you it never hurts to ask them to join you.

WN: We know that you emphasize customer service.  Talk about how you make your customers feel appreciated.

LR: I think it’s very important to make every part of an interaction with your company a positive, memorable experience.  We use custom shipping notifications that are really funny, along with custom shipping labels to make even the mundane more fun.   When customers call us we always answer with a smile, and since we only have 2 people doing customer service, they typically remember you and ask about your family, the weather where you are, etc. to make the customers feel like they really are a part of our family.  Every little thing counts!

WN: How do you plan to change the way this generation looks at food?

LR: I think we need to move away from mass produced foods with unrecognizable ingredients to whole foods that are made fresh.  We’re doing it through the products we sell, and the informational videos and blog posts we do on our site as well.  It’s important to us that we make sure our customers know why our products may be a little more expensive, but a lot better for them.   Let’s get rid of the preservatives and nitrates once and for all!

WN: What advice would you give to other women who are interested in starting their own business?

LR: Just get started!  The hardest part of starting a business for me was taking all the research and information from courses, etc and actually putting it into action.  Once you get going though, you can easily test every element of your plan out and see what actually works for you.  Don’t compare your success with anybody else’s – this might be their 3rd attempt, or 4th year in business.  You never know the backstory, and its not fair to compare your middle to their end – it will only leave you feeling bad.