BROOKLYN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Home furnishings retailer West Elm is thrilled to announce the winner of the $25,000 West Elm We Love LOCAL Small Business Grant, Little Seed Farm. Based outside of Nashville, TN and owned and run by husband and wife Eileen and James Ray, Little Seed Farm designs and creates organic soap and skincare products made with goat’s milk and organically grown herbs from the family’s farm. The more than 30 goats who contribute to the success of Little Seed Farm were also the driving force behind the family’s winning public voting campaign under the hashtag #voteforgoats. Little Seed Farm will use the grant prize to purchase critical equipment and make facility improvements to grow and expand their business. A collection of products from Little Seed Farm will be available on westelm.com in Spring 2015.
“Little Seed Farm is an incredible small business with a unique product line and an unwavering commitment to their community, organic farming and land stewardship,” said Jim Brett, president of West Elm. “We, along with the public voters, were so impressed with their products, their story and, in particular, their ethical business model.”
“The West Elm LOCAL Grant will help take our small business to the next level, allowing us to expand to meet demand as well as introduce new organic soap and skincare products in 2015,” said Eileen Ray of Little Seed Farm. “We’re humbled and excited to work with West Elm’s in-house mentors and deploy the grant proceeds to grow Little Seed Farm.”
West Elm is also thrilled to announce the three runner-ups for the Small Business Grant:
- The Coastal: Rissa Sandman hand-paints ceramic coasters in Pacific Grove, CA. The Coastal’s coasters are currently available in our Southern California West Elm stores.
- Native Maps: David Anthony and Rebecca Harmon are based in Knoxville, TN and hand make colorful, research driven maps. Their maps are currently available in our Best of Local assortment on westelm.com.
- A Well Traveled Woman: Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Bekah Stewart makes timeless, understated home accessories, linens and bags.
“Our grant winners and runner-ups are similar to so many makers and artists we’ve met through West Elm LOCAL who are motivated to make a difference through their craft,” continued Brett. “We hope this grant and our continued partnership will support them in realizing their strategic path for growth while reinforcing their business principles.”
The We Love LOCAL Small Business Grant is part of West Elm’s LOCAL initiative, which taps into local entrepreneurship by empowering the teams in West Elm stores to find area makers and designers, building and nurturing a creative network that celebrates craftspeople and differentiates the brand with regional assortments. West Elm LOCAL currently includes more than 1,000 products from more than 160 artists and makers through assortments in 24 West Elm stores with plans to roll out to all stores next year. This holiday season, West Elm launched the Best of LOCAL Assortment on westelm.com with 17 of the best-selling makers and 30 products available to online customers.
About West Elm
Mixing clean lines, natural materials and handcrafted collections from the US and around the world, West Elm creates unique, affordable designs for modern living. Headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, the brand introduced its first catalog in 2002 and opened the doors of its first retail location in 2003. West Elm’s complete collection of furniture and accessories for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and dining rooms can be found in 68 retail stores in the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK and around-the-clock at www.westelm.com. The brand also offers international shipping to customers around the world and has an unaffiliated franchisee that operates stores in the Middle East. West Elm is part of an active community on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram and a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands.