Meet Our Microgrant Recipients
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!!
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!!!