Do you have a community service project that’s near and dear to your heart? Maybe it’s a youth center where you met a mentor or a community garden that sparked your passion for all things living. No matter what it is, here is your opportunity to show that initiative your gratitude and help them win a $2000 grant!
Scroll down to read more about the #ultrahug selfie contest and see who I nominated.
the #UltraHug Selfie Contest
From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag #UltraHug. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.
So, who am I nominating? A dear friend of mine named Melissa started a group called the Shenandoah Valley Handmade and Homegrown: Local Artisan Cooperative, in order to help bring together local artisans and farmers with the community around them.
She is an inspiration to me and I hope that I can help her spread the message of what she’s doing. I asked her a few questions to help share with y’all what she’s doing.
What is the Shenandoah Valley Handmade and Homegrown: Local Artisan Cooperative?
Melissa: Shenandoah Valley H&H is a socially-active cooperative dedicated to providing resources and outlets for small businesses owned by Artisans and Farmers located throughout the Shenandoah Valley, VA, USA. Any proceeds the group gains will be recycled back in to businesses that need help financially to expose, advertise or market their business.
What are your goals for the group?
Melissa: My goals for the group are to keep it all simple, really. I just want to help creative and artistic folks in all aspects of their careers…just like I needed when I started my business. I am providing business tools, positive encouragement, and general marketing advice so that each Artisan can sell their products. We do allow bartering or trading on our facebook page, but mostly I want each person to be confident about what they produce and excited to share it with the world.
I have purchased a spot at our local Farmer’s Market and allow Artisans to set-up their products for free. In the future- It would be nice if we had tables at multiple markets because we have such a large area our members are from. It would also be foreseeable to have spaces at events available for our Artisans free-of-charge too so that they can start exposing their businesses.
Do you have any advice for other people who want to help bring together small businesses in their community?
Melissa: Advice is so hard to give when you’re learning as you go! I’m just going with the flow and providing what I can. I think it’s really important for someone in my position to have experienced or be interested in the products and services a group like this provides so that implementing business-building can occur smoothly.
I’m a process gal. I like following processes and I strongly believe being the face and voice of your business is the most important key to success…but without a process: you can’t expect for your success to just appear.
I encourage Artisans to take care of themselves, stay humble and feel confident that what they do is important. That being said: I have to stay patient and sometimes be the voice-of-reason when the time comes too. I can build a website, make your brochures and business cards, create your logo and send you off in to the world of business, but if you build an unstable product: all I can do is continue to build-you-up emotionally.
Failure will happen. Mistakes will happen. Limiting the negative and staying strong is the key.
It doesn’t matter how popular you are or how “cool” your graphic is: YOU are the face of your business and maintaining integrity is important to me. I’m thankful I found a way to share what I do and what I create and I feel like my grateful attitude has no where to go but put back in to someone else’s business or idea. It’s almost like recycling helpful ideas and upcycling the not-so-successful ideas so that someone else can benefit from the gains and losses I’ve already experienced.
I expect the group itself will grow slowly, but my hope is that the individual Artisans and Farmers get the support they need to grow at whatever pace they need to obtain success in their field.
Advice in a nut-shell:
Stay humble and help everyone you can regardless of what may seem like an obstacle. Anything is possible and if you’re talented or skilled in something- put it out there.
Do you have a community service project that's near and dear to your heart? Maybe it's a youth center where you met a mentor or a community garden that sparked your passion for all things living. No matter what it is, here is your opportunity to show that initiative your gratitude and help them win a $2000 grant with the #ultrahug selfie contest! Read the comments to see who I nominated: