100%

funded

Total loan: $6,000

Holly

Minneapolis, MN, United States / Arts

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A loan helped to grow my existing toy business by replacing an outdated sewing machine, funding vendor fees for 15 art fairs, & purchasing a vendor tent, display elements, branding materials for wholesale & toy-making supplies & equipment.


Holly's story

I began designing toys 14 years ago because I wanted to handmake toys for my newborn son. As a dedicated thrifter, I was inspired to make my designs with secondhand clothing. Initially, I made toys for my son, then on a whim, I decided to participate in a local art fair and sold my entire stock of toys--I realized then I was making toys with unique appeal. I made more plushie designs, opened an Etsy shop, started a toy-making blog, and signed up for holiday markets. I continued growing this as my little side hustle for the past 10+ years, creating dozens more designs. Etsy and market sales have steadily increased, but my biggest barrier was my own mindset—I believed that Beeper Bébé could never be a viable full-time job. Increasingly, at my day job, I found myself doodling new toy ideas while in meetings, then working into the early morning hours at home to bring them to life. 3 years ago, my position was eliminated at my day job during a reorganization. I took a few months off then set about returning to the same type of work—but my thoughts turned to Beeper Bébé. This year, I participated in more craft markets, invested more time in designing toys, and decided I would say “yes” to all new opportunities. I not only earned more money than I thought possible, but was approached by several shops regarding wholesale (to which I am now selling), and had a major toy company express interest in contract design. After examining revenue sources, I know I can support my family. Finally, I believe I can make this my “day job.” I can bring my whimsical and eco-friendly designs more fully into the world because I know I can do this.