A loan of $15,000 helps a woman artist keep her store open through a city construction phase.
Springdale, AR, United States
Hello, my name is Rachel, a woodworker in Springdale, Arkansas. After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Physics, I promptly left my home state to find my future path. I worked in many fields, though only used my degree as an interview chip. Eventually, my new wife Melody and I were living in Asheville, NC where she was pursuing her Master’s degree. Inspired, I decided to return to academia and attain another, perhaps more immediately useful degree. Melody encouraged me to consider only fields that would bring me happiness, and having spent my childhood as a farmhand, I ultimately decided upon Carpentry or something similar. The very first program we researched was titled Professional Craft-Wood and it emphasized excellence in Fine Furniture and Design. As Asheville is a global mecca for elevated craft, I was placed on a waitlist to attend schooling the following year. On the awaited first day, we dimensioned lumber using traditional hand planes for six hours and I knew that I had found my purpose. While still enrolled in my final year of the program, I developed a woodworking shop/showroom in downtown Canton, NC with two fellow graduates. Running that shop trained me in every aspect that leads to a successful craft business, though I knew almost immediately that my ambitions were greater than the space could contain. Luckily, Melody graduated and accepted a promising position right back home in Northwest Arkansas. With the region’s growing population (500,000 strong) and economic boom, it was the obvious choice to bring our hard-earned degrees and experience back here to Arkansas.