Total loan: $7,000
Asheville, NC, United States / Arts
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A loan helped this female entrepreneur to build her online marketplace, bringing high quality, ethical pet products to a broader audience.
After feeling frustrated and disappointed by the questionable materials used in the cheaply-made pet products found on the shelves of big box pet stores, I began searching for higher quality products online for my furry family. I initially turned to Etsy, an online site that sells handcrafted goods, and was shocked to find how challenging it was to find the right product. I searched for US-based handmade cat toys. I got 16,000 results! I knew that no customer would bother to search through that many products to find the right one -- it's just too tedious and frustrating. In addition, the rules for Etsy have grown so lax over the years that some of the items identified as handmade in America are, in fact, mass-produced and made overseas. The quality artisan’s products get lost among the junk and my artist friends have expressed to me how hard it is to build a business that way. Growing up in Annapolis, MD and living in Asheville, NC for the last 6+ years, my circle of friends includes many artists and craftsmen. I have seen how difficult it is for these artists to find their customers and for their customers to find them. With a background in leading sales and marketing teams and an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship, I decided to create Devoted Human to help three key groups: artists, customers, and grassroots animal rescue organizations. It's important for me that this business succeeds because I know that there's a need here. We're filling a niche that can really contribute to the world in a variety of ways. I'm proud of what I've developed so far and I hear wonderful feedback from our fans and customers...I just need your help taking it to the next step.