Grant Recipient

February 19, 2024

January 2024 Skilled Trades Grant Awarded to Rowdy Fabrication

Rowdy Fabrication

Woman Entrepreneur:
Emily Ekbom

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Vote for her to receive this year's $25,000 grant!

Congratulations to Emily Ekbom, Founder of Rowdy Fabrication for being the WomensNet $10,000 January Business Specific Grant recipient in the category of Skilled Trades.

Recently, Emily shared a video with us about her business and some of her exciting future plans for expanding her offerings. You can listen to her conversation and view the transcript below.

Video Transcript

About her company:
I own and operate a small metal fabrication business out of Buffalo, Minnesota, Rowdy Fabrication. I am blessed enough to be the winner of the grant in January and I’m so excited. I’ve got some big ideas on the horizon and this grant is really going to put some wind in my sails to charge ahead with those ideas.

How she plans on using the funds:
I’m going to upgrade my plasma table, get a bigger table so I can put out bigger signs. I make a lot of custom metal signs. I can’t wait to get a MIG welder and expand the welding aspect of my business. I also want put money into advertising into and get someone to help me formulate a business plan to get the ball rolling even more than it already is. So super excited and super grateful. Sometimes, as small business owners, you get discouraged, so this for me has really put wind in my sails and I’m so excited to get to making! I’ve got an idea in the back of my mind to make custom sissy bars for motorcycles. So we’re going to charge ahead and it’s going to be awesome! I’m excited!

What and Who inspired her business:
I think what inspired my business is my love for the trades and working with my hands. I’ve worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for about 10 years now. In the off season I had to come up with a way to make income- and I tried a few different trade jobs and I stumbled into metal and welding and CNC plasma cutting. I haven’t looked back! I love the balance of time at my computer designing and then getting into the shop and working with my hands and seeing that idea and design like come to life.

I think working with the trades is so fulfilling and it’s just exciting! I don’t think I could ever go back. It’s like that feeling when I’m fishing and we drop off a bunch of fish knowing we’re going to make a bunch of money….it’s awesome! It’s the same thing in the trades, you get to see the fruit of your labor at the end of the day, so keeps me pumped!

Advice to other business owners:
My advice for other female makers or makers in general is there ain’t nothing to it, but to do it! I think a lot of times we can get discouraged and the fear of, what if I fail? What if I look dumb and what are people gonna think? That fear is strong and it’s hard to combat. But if you put one foot in front of the other and just get rolling on it, then girl, you’re doing it! You know?

My dad isn’t a fisherman. My dad, my parents aren’t in the metal fabrication industry. So everything that I’ve gotten myself into or done is just from putting myself out there and asking questions and connecting with people and not giving up. I think it can definitely get disheartening and exhausting sometimes, but just give it a shot and keep charging, you’ll make it happen! So yeah, I’m super excited and I love connecting with other female makers. The world needs more badass chicks out there making, so keep it up ladies! I’m super grateful and super thankful to have won and, check me out. I’m gonna go places!

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What people are saying about WomensNet


“You have to be in it to win it...seize the opportunity and apply.”

Nerd Wallet

“The Foundation awards $10,000 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $25,000.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant Foundation was launched in 1998 to honor the memory of a young woman. The grant was formed to help women entrepreneurs reach their goals when Amber could not.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”