Dog bed from Small Business Grant Recipient Happy Beast Design
Twice a year creative entrepreneurs from around the world and at all stages of development apply for the Spoonflower Small Business Grant. This spring we are excited to announce a record high 15 grant recipients who were selected by four talented past awardees. We are also introducing a new Spoonflower Staff Pick honorable mention prize!
These talented creatives are making their mark by producing unique products like expressive one-of-a-kind wedding dresses, zero-waste period products, made-to-measure chest binders, wearable photography, and DIY kits. Meet the next class of grantees below and be sure to follow along on their Instagram accounts as they further develop their businesses in 2021!
Small Business Grant Panel
Meet the Small Business Grant Recipients
“With this grant I will be able to broaden the audience for DIY shoe-making and bring my espadrilles kits & my business into new realms of self-expression and design. I’d love to be able to offer a workshop on fabric design and espadrille-making that fosters both an enthusiasm for mindful making as well as a love of pattern and design.
Spoonflower offers something no one else can offer to A Happy Stitch, specifically for The Espadrilles Kits. With the Linen Cotton Canvas for the outer fabric and Organic Cotton Sateen on the inside, there are endless design possibilities! My customers have found and will continue to find the fabric just right for their personal expression….now I can even help them even branch out into designing their own!”
“My vision – as a queer artist/athlete – is that my wearable photos can transcend outdated gender norms and be a creative outlet for self-expression and creativity. Seeing my photos integrated into someone’s life as an evolving wearable art installation has been a dream of mine for years and I cannot wait to see what I am able to create with support from Spoonflower.
I had my preliminary set of photos printed on Spoonflower’s Chiffon and the quality for the samples was great for my wearable JMV fabric designs.”
“After losing my corporate job at the start of a global health pandemic, I began my business out of survival mode; obviously for the income but to also feel some sense of security and control over my world and as a way to connect with others. To find myself at this juncture exactly a year later with a clear trajectory of growth in my business feels incredibly validating. I am humbled and grateful.
I love Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas fabric for its beauty and durability. The fabric prints bright colors really well, which is a big draw for my customers, and it holds up well in the wash. In fact, I’ve found this fabric just gets better with use over time as the fibers loosen up and soften. It’s reliably gorgeous and functional.”
“This opportunity reminds me why I started Keefe Cravat, which in return empowers me to keep believing in the fact that we don’t just sell menswear accessories, we sell conversation starters. This grant will allow me to reinvest funds into my business as I find ways to sustain my company during this global transition.
I just love Spoonflower’s business model and the variety of options to choose from. After years of shopping, I finally ordered a fabric sample pack and that changed my life. Currently, my go-to is anything Performance Pique. It’s extremely easy to work with and it feels incredibly soft.”
“I plan to use the grant to support my first drop of shift dresses and camisole tops, all featuring my Australian floral prints. These illustrations have been my passion for a number of years and I’m so excited for the opportunity to be able to bring them to life. Turning my illustrations into garments that people can love and cherish is truly a dream come true.
The organic cotton range available from Spoonflower, in particular the Organic Cotton Sateen, is my go-to choice of fabric. It’s soft, a great weight for apparel, and takes digital printing beautifully. It’s perfect for my detailed illustrations. Having an option for organic cotton is so important as an eco-friendly brand. Knowing I can rely on Spoonflower to provide quality fabric is why I choose them time and time again.”
“HappyAnyToy is a young project, so the support of such a well-known company as Spoonflower is very important. It makes it clear that we are moving in the right direction in the development of our small business. The theme of our new collection will be rare wild animals because we want to call attention to the beauty of wildlife and the need to protect it. Thanks to this support, we will create this collection and offer new toys in both our online shop and in the largest children’s store in Moscow.
Our absolute go-to Spoonflower fabric is the Minky. It is fluffy and pleasant to touch. Tanya draws all the patterns herself, and we are in love with how high-quality and bright Spoonflower prints them on the fabric.”
“This small business support means that I can fully express the Ellie Day Activewear line and will allow a new woman-owned business to thrive in the golf industry. Producing a sample collection is expensive, and with this grant, we can bring fresh prints and colors more frequently into the women’s golf (and eventually tennis) marketplace. We want to create clothing women love to golf in and feel like themselves. Good prints are the foundation!
I love the Performance Piqué fabric. It’s perfect for activewear, but especially for women’s golf! The colors have printed up vibrantly, and the wash and wear have been fantastic. I’m using it as our core fabric for lightweight polos and golf dresses.”
“We have been waiting all year to bring an incredibly popular design back to our shop but with a larger variety of colors, fabrics and inventory. Our number one fabric choice is Petal Signature Cotton™ which works for a variety of our products. That includes bedding, covers, bow accessories & fabric pacifier clips. We love the low shrinkage percentage and how stiff the fabric is. The quality of the cotton is great for baby items that always require washing!
The Organic Sweet Pea Gauze™ is a must-have fabric for our burp cloths, bandana bibs & blankets. The absorbent muslin structure is perfect to clean up everyday messes. Lastly, the soft Modern Jersey provides number one comfort for baby hats, mittens, blankets and covers.”
“Being selected as a grant recipient is an exciting personal milestone, and having that encouragement and validation from a company I respect really gives me the confidence to charge ahead and put everything I have into launching my small business. I’ve been working on this idea in my head for over a year, so this grant really feels like the beginning of it all becoming a reality!
My absolute go-to Spoonflower fabric is the Organic Cotton Sateen. Because I’m making reusable period pads – products that sit close to a very sensitive area – using a textile that is soft, comfortable, and free from any irritants (like pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers) is essential. The Organic Cotton Sateen also holds colour and detail really well, another factor that is crucial to my products, as they centre around bold patterns and intricate lines.
“With the devastating blow that the wedding and bridal industry saw last year, this grant comes as help toward my sample making budget, to create new styles. Spoonflower has empowered my artistry by mitigating some of the risks of investing in styles with my original floral prints, love letters, and more. That means jaw-dropping ballgowns, deep pleats, long trains, or bias cuts are all fair game, without worry over the investment in that dramatic yardage.
Being selected for this grant means I can continue my mission of empowering all kinds of women with radically self-expressive gowns for the moment when they present themselves to their partner for their forever. I have a few staple fabrics I order, but my favorite is the Poly Crepe de Chine. The drape is delicate, but it has enough body to layer well, with a lovely matte finish.”
“With material in-studio, we can make-to-order these unique prints with faster turnaround! This grant helps us in our shift to more individual and custom-printed orders, and it helps our face masks stand out in an increasingly crowded field.
Our go-to Spoonflower fabric is Sport Lycra! It turns any sports bra or chest binder into a one-of-a-kind expression for the customer, and we love seeing what they pick out. The colors are really vivid and the stretch is reliable – the material lasts a long time.”
“The Spoonflower grant will support my small business by helping me produce a full line collection that I will be launching in my brand new boutique. With that, I am able to make ready-to-buy items for those that come in store, as well as continue my make-to-order policy so that I am still able to follow my mission of being a slow fashion brand and doing my part for the environment.
My go-to Spoonflower product is and has always been Organic Cotton Knit. As I am a brand handmaking children’s clothing, it is very important to me to use fabrics that are of great quality, durable and great for the skin.”
“Being selected means so much to me. I used Spoonflower fabrics when I first launched my business and have continued to use your fabrics as my business has grown. Spoonflower fosters an amazing creative community and gives artists and designers the platform to share their designs. I have been thinking about making tea towels for a while and this will allow me to introduce this new product in a limited quantity to test and see how my customers respond to it.
I have been working with Spoonflower since 2012 and it has been great to see how their fabrics have evolved and what new fabrics have been brought in. I have used the Petal Signature Cotton for my beeswax wraps and when I do make-your-own beeswax wraps workshops. I love the Organic Sweet Pea Gauze for apparel and I am so excited to test out the Linen Cotton Canvas for my new tea towel collection.”
“This grant will enable our business to get off the ground and go from a dream to a successful reality. Our project is going great so far and we’re really excited about our test patterns. We just can’t wait to see these limited-run jackets with our own custom Spoonflower fabric.
We’re honored to have been chosen, and it’s affirming that Spoonflower is interested in helping us out. It says a lot about their values that they’ve chosen to support folks like us. This project is really important to us and it is wonderful to feel like Spoonflower is on our team. We’re really excited about the Dogwood Denim, which should be a perfect fit for the heavy-duty work jacket we’re making.”
“I will happily collaborate with a Hungarian designer and launch a limited edition collection of dog bed patterns. I believe this will not only increase awareness of my brand and strengthen its positioning as a creative, bold, youthful product; but also support the Hungarian graphic designer community and generate awareness of their beautiful art pieces too.
As I need durable fabric for dogs’ use, I am definitely into heavy-duty home decor fabric like Dogwood Denim (even the name tells it, right?), but at a certain point, I will also try the eco-friendly Recycled Canvas fabric.”
Spoonflower Staff Picks
We love getting to meet creative entrepreneurs through this process and this year, we’re excited to introduce the Spoonflower Staff Picks. This runner-up prize awards $250 in Spoonflower credit to four makers that caught the eye of our staff panelists.
Julia Schumacher, Germany
Julia Schumacher Textile Design
Sustainable, timeless and minimalist products for your home
Sally Otis, US
Offering handmade items to support social justice through cultural awareness and profit sharing.
Angie Johnson, US
A line of textile-focused home decor items handmade in Los Angeles.
Stefan Mesaric, US
A project developing a camouflage pattern that is more effective in every environment.
Best of luck to all the grantees as their businesses grow and thank you to all the small businesses that applied this spring. Looking forward to the next Small Business Grant deadline on August 15.
Ready to start getting your application in tip-top shape for the next deadline of the Small Business Grant? Check out these pointers from the grant team and past recipients!