HandMade in America launches fundraising campaign to benefit female entrepreneurs in rural WNC

Press release from HandMade in America:


Asheville, NC – HandMade in America (HIA) announces a new fundraising initiative aimed at benefitting female artisans

and entrepreneurs from rural communities throughout Western North Carolina (WNC). This small fundraiser aims

to help female artists and entrepreneurs access the education and business training provided through HandMade in

America’s Appalachian Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program.


Since its inception, the AWE program has helped hundreds of women in rural WNC grow and expand their small craft-

based businesses. The AWE program provides entrepreneurship education, career mentorship, support, and networking

opportunities to help businesswomen connect with one another, grow their businesses, and expand their skills. From

learning how to tell their story to knowing how to use social media and create business plans, each community of

women get the direct attention and education suited to their unique needs.


Linda LaBelle, HandMade’s Entrepreneurship Program Manager, knows firsthand how this program changes lives. “It is

just incredible, watching these women grow as artists, knowledgeable small business owners, and confident women.”

All donations received will go directly to scholarships and supplies the AWE program. The AWE program helps to

empower these women in rural WNC communities by providing them with tools to overcome the challenges that exist

in today’s economic climate. For every $60.00 donated, HandMade will be able to offer an AWE membership to one of

these unique craft artists and entrepreneurs for an entire year.


To learn more about the AWE fundraising campaign please visit their Indiegogo page.


HandMade in America envisions the WNC region as having a global reputation for a high quality of life, extensive cultural

offerings, and thriving, creative community industries where craft, heritage, and culture are seen as key investments.

Their service area covers the 25 counties of WNC and the Cherokee Qualla Boundary, which are predominantly rural

and includes 11,000 square miles. For over 19 years, HIA has collaborated with a variety of people, organizations,

and communities, built partnerships, connected resources, worked to revitalize 14 towns with populations of 2,000 or

less, and created numerous markets for craft artists (successfully growing the craft economy in WNC to $206.5 million in 2008.


HandMade in America grows economies through craft and creative placemaking, transforming both individuals and

communities through education, entrepreneurship and economic development. HandMade in America has a 19

year tradition for pioneering innovative ways to empower the people and towns of Western North Carolina through

programs that educate and facilitate the needs of creative entrepreneurs and communities. Additional information is

available online at handmadeinamerica.org or by calling (828) 252-0121.

About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.