Update – February 2014 – Watch Charlane’s segment on Go! Island
Charlane Simpson will never forget the image of her 1952 Singer Featherweight sewing machine – laying on its side in the snow, slightly charred and still smoking. She was a teenager, and she had recently acquired this sewing machine as her very own. When her family home had caught fire, in the midst of her harried escape, she tossed her most cherished possession out the window and into the snow bank below.
Now 61, Charlane still uses her vintage sewing machine. She uses it to create the prototypes for her Entertaining Aprons, the sew-it-yourself kits that are the primary product of her growing business, I’m Sew Excited. Charlane currently features three styles that she sells at craft fairs and online on her website, Etsy store and Facebook. Each kit contains everything a fledgling seamstress needs to sew her own one-of-a-kind apron – fabric pieces, notions, and an easy-to-follow pattern.
Charlane chose to “Pitch Your Passion” in order to obtain funding to expand her product line. She envisions adding two more patterns to her collection in time for the Christmas season. The $500 she won at this event will go towards paying her local pattern drafter for the two additional patterns and guidebooks to include in the new kits.
Several years ago, Charlane was diagnosed with cancer and facing homelessness. From the generosity of her community, she found a place to heal and a roof overhead at Harrison Place. While recovering, she began to set in motion a plan to build a business to secure her future.
Charlane enrolled in the self-employment program at Bridges For Women. She worked with the Bridge’s business advisor to establish her business plan, and obtained start-up funding from Community Micro Lending. She is immensely grateful to the compassionate resources in her community, including YoUnlimited, who have supported her journey to get back on her feet and follow her passion. She is also grateful for her Singer sewing machine, which has steadfastly enabled her love for sewing through every stitch of her life.
To support Charlane’s dream to grow her business or to purchase an Entertaining Apron Kit of your own, contact her:
|yoUnlimited's Pitch Your Passion is an opportunity gather, for five individuals to share their passion and go home with $500 in cash to support their idea. It is a unique 'in the moment' giving opportunity. The only judging criteria being the heart-centered support of someone's passion.