Every day at Spoonflower, we get excited by what our community creates. While we are driven by seeing the brilliant work everyone makes, twice a year we’re proud to announce the winners of our Spoonflower Small Business Grant, which supports handmade business owners from all stages of development and has two deadlines each year—March 1 and August 15. As always, grant winners and runners up are selected by a panel of former grant recipients. Staff picks are nominated by a group of Spoonflower employees.
Grant winners receive up to in $1000 Spoonflower credit as well as a $2500 award to spend on marketing and branding efforts to further support their small business. Keep reading to meet our Fall 2023 cohort and learn about their businesses, how they plan to utilize the grant and where you can find their products!
Small Business Grant Panel
Fall 2023 Small Business Grant Winners
Allie Chamberlain of Reclaim Creative
How will you use this grant to support your small business? We are working on a sustainable quilt coat collaboration with a surface designer (JULU). The investment costs on this collaboration are massive, and using this grant to print all of the custom fabric will allow us to bring this collection to life! This allows us to try an entirely new product offering and see if it will work for us in the future.
Christine Bejarano of HomeGrown Tots
How will you use this grant to support your small business? With the current rise of belt bags coming back in style, HomeGrown Tots is committed to keeping your little ones up to date with the latest trends as well. Our kiddie belt bags are made to be trendy but also useful for your child’s everyday adventures and treasures they pick up along the way. Everyone loves matching Mommy-and-Me pieces, so we will soon be releasing a line for mom and tot.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? Spoonflower’s fabric selection is something I continue to come back to, for the quality and durability.
Desiree Scarborough of desiree scarborough
How will you use this grant to support your small business? I will use this grant to fund my upcoming collection, which will be my biggest collection yet. I want to update and reintroduce key shapes and techniques essential to my brand’s DNA that will establish our place in the fashion industry.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? My go-to Spoonflower fabric is Modern Jersey. I love how it takes the color in my prints, as well as its comfort and durability. It’s easy to work with and customers love the way it feels!
Tatiana Anisimova of TA ART SHOP
Brand snapshot: The TA ART SHOP offers handmade versatile roll-up brush/pencil cases for any artists’ needs. We care about your creativity and want to help you keep supplies organized and ready to go, no matter whether you work in the studio or outdoors. Use it for paint brushes, make-up brushes, pens, pencils, markers, crochet or knitting needles and be inspired by designs based on original watercolour paintings. All brush cases are handmade by Tatiana Anisimova and based on her original artworks.
How will you use this grant to support your small business? The TA ART SHOP launched as a small hobby project created by the needs of an artist. When I made my very first brush cases, I was asked if I sell them, so it gave me an idea to incorporate my original artworks into fabrics and sew them into brush cases for artists, hobbyists or anyone who’d like to organize their supplies and loves art. It’s like an artwork in your hands that inspires, motivates and encourages you to create. This grant will help me to expand my collection of brush/pencil cases. It will also allow me to sew more cases with various watercolour designs, patterns and sizes so anyone can find a unique piece that will suit their needs and preferences.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? I just adore the ultra cuddly Minky and its soft finish! It brings a unique and delicate touch to my brush cases as it’s sturdy enough to keep shape and perfect for the outer layer of brush/pencil cases. As adults, we don’t buy plush toys for ourselves. Brush cases made of Minky bring back the brightest memories of childhood and allow us to enjoy the moment.
Alicia Morris of Chispa Park
How will you use this grant to support your small business? Chispa Park is currently producing a series of basic wellness books for toddlers. I have enjoyed promoting the series by offering two of the titles as cloth books. I’m excited to use this grant to print these titles in Spanish.
Sheena Bean of Naisish Handmade
How will you use this grant to support your small business? I have long wanted to expand my swim trunks line, Papaya Boardies, into a wholesale brand that I can offer to small boutiques. This grant will allow me to make samples and start production in hopes of seeing Papaya’s in shops coast to coast!
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? Sport Lycra®. No other swim fabric substrate comes close to the quality of Spoonflower’s Sport Lycra. It holds up beautifully no matter how much sand, sun, salt or chlorine you throw at it!
Sophia Zhou of Taneko Says Hello
How will you use this grant to support your small business? This grant will help me expand my new tote bag collection. My brand is a very tactile business and its primary focus is handmade plush toys of characters I invent and sew. Its secondary focus is creating art featuring these characters. Making a tote bag collection featuring character patterns has helped bridge the tactile nature of my plush friend products and my two-dimensional art items. I’m excited to grow this new product category!
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? I print my designs on Spoonflower’s Recycled Canvas and use this fabric to sew my tote bag product line. I love its durability, how vibrant the color printing is. Both my customers and I love that this fabric uses recycled plastic!
Mariah Thomas of Aesle
Brand snapshot: Aesle designs botanical, geometric and abstract prints for handmade travel bags, pouches and accessories. Aesle creates art, patterns and gift items for creatives, explorers, entrepreneurs and anyone else who seeks delightful patterns, fresh ideas and beauty in their lives, every day.
How will you use this grant to support your small business? We are so excited about how much more creative and responsive we can be in the next year with the help of this grant! Not only will we be able to provide a larger selection of prints and colors to our customers for our handmade goods, but we will also have the freedom to explore what our patterns look like on home decor products and provide more patterns in our shop for other makers to use.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? Our go-to is Recycled Canvas. We love how smooth (and durable) it is and how vibrant our patterns look when printed on it. Plus, it’s made with recycled bottles!
Elizabeth Gee of Lizzy Gee LLC
Brand snapshot: Lizzy Gee is an independent fashion brand that creates chic, sustainable designs for all genders and sizes! Each vibrant, whimsical piece is made with love in Brooklyn, New York, using bold, eco-friendly textiles, zero-waste production and convertible innovations so that the design may be styled to suit the wearer.
How will you use this grant to support your small business? I will be using the financial support from this grant to produce my most popular designs in every size for my customers. My garments have been made to order but now every customer no matter their size can try on my corset tops and dresses. All my designs have my original print designs, so I will be printing fabric for small production runs. This way my brand can be truly inclusive.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? I’m especially excited to use Spoonflower’s Recycled Canvas fabric to print original designs to create my brand’s convertible corset tops and other more structured garments.
Rosie Powell of Fantail’s Nest NZ
Brand snapshot: Fantail’s Nest NZ is the home of the 2-in-1 Universal Pram Nest, a universal fitting pram sleeping bag/liner carefully crafted from New Zealand wool and cotton. It’s designed to last from newborn to 5-years old and beyond! Items are handmade by Rosie Powell, a Kiwi rural mum who focuses on quality and just wants kids to be safe and warm on their adventures.
How will you use this grant to support your small business? We want to steadily increase the number of nests we make with a larger range of prints. We are hoping to get to the US and UK market with this beautiful product. This incredible grant will help kickstart this to no end. Currently, I’ve been waiting for Spoonflower sales and it’s been sporadic in ordering. I’d love for this to be more consistent. 🥰 I’d also love to delve into creating more fabric designs that other Spoonflower creative community members can enjoy and love too!
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? Linen Cotton Canvas. It’s the best quality, and thick and robust enough for my pram nest print panels. It’s also the perfect weight for the handbags and schoolbags that I make also.
Christine Guanipa of Little Man
How will you use this grant to support your small business? Our collection of self-care products are currently made from several of our custom designs printed through Spoonflower. Our small inventory of happy prints has our customers wanting more. We’re so excited to have the availability to create more prints to expand our inventory and reach a larger audience.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? We currently use Petal Signature Cotton® by the yard as we wish to incorporate natural fibers into our self-care line. It is also important to us (and our customers) that our selections not only have charming prints but are printed in the USA.
Lera Hephner of Ojiberish Designs
How will you use this grant to support your small business? There is little to no Indigenous representation in the national and international market when it comes to fabrics and designs. The grant will allow my business and artwork to reach a larger audience and share the beauty of Ojibwe Floral with the world. It will also allow me to provide unique designs and patterns that can be used to create powwow regalia. Along with my patterns of powwow regalia outfits that can be easily cut out and sewn together, this work will make these items more accessible and affordable to Indigenous people.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? Petal Signature Cotton® is my go-to Spoonflower product because it is easy to work with for any skill level, and cotton is often used in powwow regalia making.
Alana Allison of Needle and Dagger
How will you use this grant to support your small business? I only just started this business and I already have so many plans for where I want to take it, though I knew realistically it would be a slow process as my business grows. Having this amazing support from the Spoonflower grant will launch my business exponentially into the future. I feel very lucky to be given the opportunity to get this business running.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? I have only been able to window shop fabrics up until now.
Elizabeth Spiers of Honey and Hudson
How will you use this grant to support your small business? I will be able to expand my range of fabrics I have to offer. I am especially excited to offer a brand new Christmas range for my customers. This will help my business by offering new and exciting prints!
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? Lightweight Cotton Twill. This is my go-to fabric because the quality is perfect for my collars and leads. It is durable and sturdy, yet also soft and easy to wash! The colours always show up so vibrant and clear. It truly is a beautiful fabric.
Meleah Hickman of Cascadia Threadworks
Brand snapshot: Cascadia Threadworks fearlessly embraces color and pattern to make handmade bags that are joyful, functional and inspired by the beauty of the natural world. These bags are handcrafted one at a time with sustainable and recycled materials, with 1% of sales donated to Washington Trails Association to support their efforts in protecting and maintaining Washington’s hiking trails.
How will you use this grant to support your small business? This grant will be used to expand Cascadia Threadworks’ product lines to include bicycle panniers, laptop messenger bags and larger backpacks. It will also support Cascadia Threadworks’ commitment to making bags with sustainable materials.
What’s your go-to Spoonflower product and why? From its inception, Cascadia Threadworks has featured Spoonflower’s Recycled Canvas, with modern designs from various artists featuring mountains, trees, fungi and other flora and fauna. The unique designs and the sustainability of using digital printing and recycled fabric that Spoonflower provides aligns with Cascadia Threadworks’ mission as an eco-conscious and nature-loving business.
Spoonflower Staff Picks – Honorable Mention Awards
Brand snapshot: Through my brand, Living Water Quilter, I empower women with inspirational stories and practical workshops through a live streaming show (Quilt Conversations LIVE!) and at local and national events. With this work, I share my experience and expertise, enabling quilters to become more confident and develop professional, creative machine quilting skills.
Itzela Quirós of The Bella Vista Collection
Brand snapshot: Inspired by Panama’s “hydraulic tile” floors, The Bella Vista prints bring together history and fashion. Hand crafted in Panama, these designs represent the best expression of these unique floor patterns that were booming in the first half of the 20th century.
Fresco of Madcap Menagerie
Brand snapshot: Madcap Menagerie is a plush doll shop that specializes in handmade pet keepsakes and other custom work. The current focus is on rats, with plans to expand to other creatures.