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Meet Our First Ever Annual Grant Recipient

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TogaNola Creates handmade snacks for adventurous souls. Katie writes "Becoming an entrepreneur gave me a sense of independence, purpose and empowerment. It gave me the confidence to pursue other non-traditional goals for a female. Over time the business transitioned its role in my life further, it became a way for me to demonstrate the principles and morals I believe to be necessary for a healthy community and local economy in a tangible way. It allowed me to emulate the aspects of business I believe to be productive and build relationships. This is the reason we are committed to sourcing our ingredients locally from small producers and distributors, we use only biodegradable plant-cellulose based packaging, and we offer numerous diet and allergy friendly options for those that otherwise struggle to find nutritious food options."

Katie plans on using the grant to purchase an industrial dehydrator to expand their offerings to include dehydrated food items.

Meet Our Microgrant Recipients

Gianna Addario
2022 Q1 Micro Grant Recipient

Congratulations Gianna Addario!! Gianna says that her art is her therapy and hopes that with this grant she can purchase high end supplies to create more personalized work for her customers. She began drawing when she was young and her Mother was battling cancer.  These were difficult times and she felt relaxed and happy when she was drawing.  After her Mother beat cancer she continued to draw and post images on social media.  She recieved lots of compliments and was urged to sell them for prints or tattoos.  Not long after that suggestion, she had her first tattoo customer. This motivated her to create a website to sell her work as well as to continue to take commissioned work.  Gianna has been doing research and preparing for the details involed in promoting, selling and distributing her artwork and hopes to also branch into framing in the future.  We wish her the best and look forward to seeing what the future holds for this talented and ambitious artist.

Melissa Myers
Q4 Micro Grant Recipient

Congratulations Melissa Myers, recipient of the Q4 Micro Grant with a focus on Athletes and Competitors.  In 4th grade Melissa had to give a presentation about what she wanted to be when she grew up. She confidently did her presentation on wanting to be an Olympic medalist in the sport of judo. She has been training and competing in the sport since she was 4 years old and says it's part of her identity.  Her typical day starts with a work out every morning and weekly with a trainer, After her workout she attends Mildred-Elley where she is enrolled in a massage therapy program. After class she goes to one of her two jobs to pay for training expenses and finally ends her day at judo practice doing high intensity sparring and technique work. Melissa is currently ranked #2 in the nation and #94 in the world in her weight division.  She will use the grant funds for travel expenses related to competitions as she continues to strive to increase her ranking and seek sponsorship. 

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Dr. Sarah Avery
2021 Q3 Micro Grant recipient

Congratulations Dr. Sarah Avery, Founder of In Motion Integrative Physical Therapy and Moon Cycle Seed Company.  Sarah's life mission is to empower women to optimize their health and wellness so they can live a long life full of vitality. She believes that conversation on women's health need to begin early in life for young women and need to continue through their lifespan. What we do in our early years impacts how we exist in the later years. In Motion Integrative Physical Therapy, in Saratoga Springs, NY sought this  grant to expand their Osteoporosis Program with the objective of helping women in the community prevent or improve their bone density as a natural alternative to medications with potentially harmful side effects.  The objective is that they will see their bone density either maintained or improved on their next DEXA bone density scan. The Osteoporosis Program is based on the latest research on effective weightlifting and yoga poses for women with osteoporosis. Funding was requested for marketing and equipment purchases (weight vests and resistance bands) for participants home use to see the most benefit. 

In Motion Integrative Physical Therapy was founded in 2021. Sarah is the heart and soul of this one-woman practice. In Motion was created to fill the need for specialized physical therapy treatments and medical therapeutic yoga. Although all physical therapy needs can be met, the specialty of In Motion lies within women’s health, yoga therapy, and dance wellness. What is unique about In Motion is that the therapy is IN MOTION. In-home visits, office visits, and virtual sessions provide accessibility to all. Group classes also allow community involvement which is valuable for social wellness and support. 

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Shawna Merrit
2021 Q2 Micro Grant recipient

Congratulations Shawna Merrit, owner of Nerdy by Nature, LLC.  Shawna started Nerdy by Nature the summer of 2018 after being diagnosed with debilitating autoimmune diseases in 2014 which prohibit her from working a "normal" job. She spent her days and nights building a creative outlet that not only helped her through her physical pain but created something beautiful and allowed her to contribute financially to her family.  She says that as long as she can remember she has been in love with nature, insects, leaves, herbs and stones and now handmakes items using semi precious gemstone jewelry, apothecary and curiosities.  As she grows her business she is constantly looking for effective ways to grow and tumbled stones are one of her best sellers. She recently discovered that she can purchase rough stones for a fraction of the cost of the tumbled stones that she had been purchasing. Her intentions are to use this grant money to purchase a vibratory tumbler that will process and 18 lb batch of stone to completion in just 6-8 days instead of the current 3 lb of stones in 4-6 weeks. With this increase in volume and a significant boost in quality of product she's able to produce she hopes to open a brick and mortar to which she is actively pursuing.  We are excited to have had the opportunity to celebrate this ambitious woman and look forward to following her on her journey.  Congratulations and the sky's the limit!!

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Maggie Harding

2021 Q1 Micro Grant recipient

Congratulations Maggie Harding of Maggie Harding Designs.  Maggie Harding is a local jeweler and recipient of the first ever quarterly micro-grant from the Moxxi Women's Foundation.  Maggie began creating jewelry independently in Saratoga, NY in 2018.  She is a 2011graduate of Skidmore College with a degree in studio art with a concentration in jewelry, batik textile, drawing and ceramics.  She spent years working in the service industry before accepting a sales position at Silverado Saratoga, though they do not employ any in-house jewelers.  Maggie told Moxxi about dragging her mattress into her pantry to rent out a room to save money for the necessary equipment for a jeweler's bench. She then booked a flight to Tucson to attend the largest gem show in the world and hand-selected the stones she would work with.  After some trial and error with a difficult bezel setting, she was able to sell her first bezel set piece, a Dendritic Opal, at Silverado in just 3 days!  Maggie will be using this grant to purchase a pneumatic engraver and hopes that she can develop Maggie Harding Designs into a full-time career.  Please join us in congratulating Maggie on her hard work and follow along as she continues to build her business with the love and support of the community that surrounds her!!!

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