BENEFITING: A LITTLE SOMETHING
Since 2007, A Little Something: The Denver Refugee Crafts Collective has been bringing refugee women together to help them build community, learn new skills, explore the healing power of the creative, and feel empowered by their earnings.
Although we have always been self-sufficient, A Little Something functions on a shoestring budget (a frayed shoestring, at that) and we need more available cash if we are to continue this work. We would like to stop fretting about our overhead expenses and focus more on creating and maintaining programs and community-building efforts for the refugee women participating in A Little Something.
Since the program started, the business model has been that the women get 75 percent of the selling cost of their items, with 25 percent going back to the business to offset expenses. For the past few years, the task of trying to sell our program participants’ creations has become an increasing logistical burden. All of us who oversee the project are volunteers who have full-time jobs elsewhere, leaving little time to work craft sales and festivals in addition to doing everything else we need to so the program can thrive. There can be a delay, sometimes of many months, from when a participant hands in finished work to when she gets paid because items need to sell before the women can be paid. We’d like to change that so our participants have more immediate access to their earnings.
About 18 months ago, we rented a studio and office space in the neighborhood where many of the women live so that we could do more with them and grow our program. It was a good business decision, but an expensive one, given how little income we have. Although our supplies are well stocked at this time, we need to raise much needed cash.
Our fundraising goal is threefold:
- First, we want to have enough cash in the bank to cover our overhead expenses for one year so we can once again focus our attention on the refugee women in the program instead of scrambling to pay our bills.
- Second, we want to change our business model so the participants don’t have to wait so long to be paid for their work. To do this, we need to buy—outright—all of our inventory currently on hand, pay the artists now for that merchandise, and going forward, pay them immediately when their work is turned in for sale. This will also give us more flexibility in pricing and eventually wholesaling our inventory.
- Third, we would like to hire some professional help so that our financial and business records are in order and A Little Something can run more efficiently and professionally.
To accomplish these goals, we need help from our friends, followers, and supporters. Please support our campaign so that A Little Something can continue to grow and thrive!