Today is all about winning! This weekend at World Maker Faire NY, we had 233 people sign up for our e-newsletter, and for a chance to win a fab BERNINA 215 sewing machine. And the lucky winner is...Annie Tickell!
Congrats Annie! We hope you're tickled with your new machine (and can forgive us for our juvenille love of puns)! Please KIT and let us know if you plan to upload any sweet new sewing projects to Kollabora!
Andrea Giattini also wins a $25 Gift Certificate to shop the Kollabora Marketplace, for commenting on our Bernina product post!
We also want to give a shout out to another lucky lady, Samantha Kimble, who was the winner of our "We Are What We Make" contest with School House Craft. Samantha, who has her own awesome repurposing indie biz, Reinvented By Me, scored a three day pass to attend the School House Craft conference in Seattle a few weeks ago. Here's what she had to say about the experience:
"Hello and thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! Okay, so that isn't nearly enough thank yous for sponsoring the School House Craft Contest. I was your winner and just need to let you know how much those three days have changed everything for me. I have walked away with so many ideas, met so many amazing people (and made a couple of new best friends), and now have more confidence in my work than I had a week and a half ago. Really I no longer see myself as someone trying to make an Etsy shop work--I'm an indy business owner. That change alone makes me believe that my goals for my business are really in my reach and not just a dream. If I could I would give you all hugs for this amazing opportunity that you gave me. Thank you."
No Samantha, thank you for making us all feel warm and fuzzy about what we're doing here at Kollabora! We love your highly caffeinated Etsy shop, your mission to re-love discarded materials and support those in need, and the story you told us for the School House Craft contest. It was so moving, and a huge part of the reason that Kollabora was created--to give people the option to make alongside a built-in community that can inspire and support them! Read it and weep, then check out Samantha's work!
"As long as I could remember I've worked in retail or customer service. Someone needed help? No problem I could fix any issue. Need a floor remerchandised? You've got the girl. Need someone to increase sales? I can do it. One day I stopped and looked around. Why or how the idea struck me I had no idea, but all I could see was everything we were selling ending up in the landfill and it made me sick, but I pressed on putting the thought in the back of my mind.
Months later my world came crashing down along with the economy and my job was gone. My store was closed, I was pregnant, out of money, and spiraling into depression. In order to get through my days I started writing and sewing. At first it was sewing remnants of fabric that I could find. Than it turned into making bags out of burlap coffee sacks that the coffee roasters were going to throw away. The more I sewed the more compliments I got. Finally I decided that maybe I could go at this. Find a way to start a business that upcycles fabrics and turns them into things that people could use again. My job became finding ways to reinvent things that would end up in the landfill, be it stained shirts, ripped jeans, baby clothing, or even a burlap bag. But hey if I'm going to be eco-friendly than why not socially conscious too? There had been so many people who helped me in a time of need that I wanted to give back too, and started buying things that I needed for my bags and stuffed animals from non-profits that support City of Hope, Living Wisdom Schools, Sober Living, and AA. And I started donating a part of the proceeds from sales to the Tibetan Nun Project to help educate and feed women.
So in short I make bags and toys from reclaimed items. I do it because I was in need of reclaiming my own life and came to learn that if I want a healthier, happier world than it needs to start with me."