Barbara Chandler Allen
Tell us about your business.Creating opportunity for generous, talented children to make a real difference in the world, Fresh Artists engages children as philanthropists, exhibits kids’ artwork in highly visible and unexpected places, and provides art supplies and innovative art programs to severely under-funded public schools. Outrage at slashes in arts funding prompted action. Designed a nonprofit where kids donate artwork that "goes to work" generating more than $250,000 in supplies and programs to schools in Philly, NYC, Denver. Kids asked to make games using their art & FA Memory Games were born! 5 themes, heirloom-quality, USA made, intergenerational play value, we used Kickstarter so kids could watch how capital is raised. 1st client was Anthropologie! Expanding product line and selling on our website, looking for catalogs and specialty shops. All about teaching product design & social entrepreneurship to young urban K-12 kids while creating reoccurring revenue for an innovative nonprofit!
What makes your business stand out?FA is a child-centered social business connecting disparate demographics - disadvantaged kids and the private sector. At our core, we are a corporate art consultant, providing arrestingly unique artwork for corporate interiors and using funds to deliver art supplies into desperately poor schools. With the engagement of children, we have built a collection of 1000+ digital images made and donated by 891 vulnerable kids and placed large-format high-quality digital reproductions of their artwork in Fortune 500 offices throughout the country. We are 100% groundbreaking, successful and unique. Our kids came up with the idea to use their art so "millions of kids could see that kids can change the world!" A council of young designers is now working with professional designers to expand our product line. The purpose is bold public advocacy for arts education, generating a sustainable funding stream for Fresh Artists' important work in the world & empowering all kids through giving to others.
What's the best business advice you've received?Seek the best advisors, but in the end, as a trusted friend said, "always follow your own gut". We had a bold, zany vision and designed a groundbreaking business model. We believed that the concept of a philanthropic movement of disadvantaged young children rallied to fix something broken in public education was empowering, smart, strategic and achievable. We stayed the course. We kept the copy of our original business plan in our archives with "THIS WILL NEVER WORK!!!" written boldly by an Ivy League MBA across its cover in Sharpie marker. What if we believed in him instead of ourselves.
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NOMINATIONSJun. 17, 2015
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VOTING BEGINSSep. 21, 2015
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
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