Re:Make 2016 is officially upon us! In addition to picking up some serious creativity inspo from super inspirational women like Tyra Banks and Brene Brown, today is also a special day because we can finally announce the selected recipients of our second annual #IAMCREATIVE Foundation fund.
If you haven’t heard about our #IAMCREATIVE Foundation yet, allow us fill you in. Every year we offer grants between $2,500 and $15,000 to help kickstart super stellar creative projects by women. We looked for ladies starting a business, developing an innovative gadget or maybe even doing something great for their community. The projects are reviewed by our board of advisors (some of which include: Lauren Conrad, Rebecca Minkoff and the CEO of Crayola) and one special recipient is selected. Except, spoiler alert! We couldn’t pick just one. This year, there are two winners: Beth Bond and Stacy Rodriguez. Here’s a little bit about each of the projects our creative entrepreneurs have in the works!
Beth runs a social enterprise in Chicago called Community Startups. The program works with fifth to eighth graders in public schools to help the students create ideas and products that will solve societal problems.
It breaks down like this: Let’s say a boy in the program wishes he could drown out the sound of his sister’s voice. That might translate into something useful for others, like a noise-cancelling app you can program specific people’s voices into. Give that an even broader appeal, and it might turn into a noise-cancelling app that can tune out pre-programed noises, like an ambulance siren to help improve sleeping habits.
The program consists of a 10-week course in which students work with mentors and community members to actually bring their ideas to life. The program ends with a showcase where students pitch their ideas to an audience of family, friends and professionals in hopes of their project being acquired by either a non-profit or for-profit company (one already has!). There is also potential to generate more money for scholarships.
Beth explains that, currently, “Students lack resources and instruction to turn ideas into viable tech products that can solve societal problems. The goal is to help these students develop the skills to ideate, wireframe, prototype, 3D print and pitch new products to the market.” Beth plans to use the #IAMCREATIVE Foundation funds to help pay for each group’s project in the form of seed money and operational costs.
Stacy is an art teacher and printmaker based out of the Lower Rio Grande area in Texas. With her funding from the #IAMCREATIVE Foundation she plans to open Panda Printshop, a mobile art studio. The Panda Printshop will be a traveling workshop where individuals can learn and share a variety of creative skills. And it’ll all take place in an enclosed travel trailer. Think of it as a food truck for DIY! Stacy will set up shop in different locations and host walk-up mini workshops at local events. Workshops will range from DIY beginner classes to advanced classes that require more equipment and skill.
She explains, “Maker workshops are almost nonexistent in the expansive lower Rio Grande area of southern Texas, and there is little to no public transportation to access them. Also, younger generations don’t know traditional handicrafts.” Her goal is to bring maker workshops to the disparate communities and show a younger generation how to add a modern twist to traditional handicrafts. With her funds from the foundation, Stacy will outfit an enclosed travel trailer for her workshops and stock up on more art supplies for everything from beginner to advanced classes.
Have an awesome creative business you’re looking to get off the ground? Stay tuned! We’ll start accepting applications for next year in early 2017!
And PS: Are you free this weekend? If so, let’s hang! Swing by Fort Mason in San Francisco on Saturday for the festival day of Re:Make. Makers, DIY projects and food trucks, oh my!