A couple of weeks ago, the same day that I spoke to a group of Fellows at RSA House about the Secret Pillow Project, 700 pillows successfully passed through UK customs from South India - an incredible milestone for the project and all the women involved.
My name is Fritha Vincent and I am the founder and CEO of Secret Pillow Project. Through making and selling Secret Pillows, my project empowers women worldwide to earn money to support themselves and their children.
So what exactly is a Secret Pillow? Well, in essence it's a snuggly blanket that folds up into a charming pillow which orginates from the world of quilting. I always loved them as a child and continued making them for friends as wedding presents into adulthood.
During a trip to India, I experienced the power of women working in groups to realise their business potential, and that was when I had the idea to use Secret Pillows in a global capacity.
I now run empowerment workshops that offer women the opportunity to become Secret Pillow producers and sell their pillows on the international market for a fair trade and with minimal risk. The RSA Catalyst Fund and Crowdfunding Support programme has supported my project from the beginning, giving me a robust and critical support structure, funds and boosts of confidence every time I needed it.
The framework of my successful Kickstarter Campaign that raised just under £17,000 came from my work with the RSA team and I can’t thank them enough.Without the support of the RSA, I doubt I would ever had got the orders for these Secret Pillows in the first place and I could not have helped 200 women from South India, who all face severe challenges in realising their personal power - I would urge any Fellow to seek support from RSA for their project.
I now feel extremely lucky to have the happy task of sending out all the 700 Secret Pillows sold to our incredible, patient and dedicated customers, some of whom are Fellows too.
Above is a picture of me and my colleague Aimee Faunt - it was taken at the celebratory moment when the Secret Pillows were delivered. If you would like to order your Sample Secret Pillow or find out about the story behind the project, please visit our website below:
The RSA is committed to supporting projects led by Fellows to get started or to have greater reach and impact. We do this by providing £100,000 each year to Fellow-led projects through our Catalyst grants; offering crowdfunding support; and helping shape and share Fellows’ projects and ideas.
Jack Lewars Tom Peyton
Launching their Crowdfunding campaign in the autumn, Jack Lewars from School of Hard Knocks tells us what it really takes to run a successful crowdfunding campaign and stand out from the crowd.
This is a guest blog by Lisa Oulton FRSA. Lisa was awarded RSA Catalyst funding for her project to help young people start creative businesses, and is now seeking crowdfunding to run a Festival of Enterprise in November. You can support her campaign on Kickstarter.