West Elm to Debut Grant Program for U.S. Artisans

West ElmBROOKLYN, N.Y.-The West Elm segment of Williams-Sonoma will launch the We Love Local Small Business Grant contest, an effort to provide support to U.S.-based artists, makers and designers.

Beginning tomorrow, local artisans can go online at westelm.com/localgrant and submit stories about who they are, what they make and how the prize ($25,000 to the winner) could impact their businesses. On Aug. 16, West Elm will host portfolio reviews from U.S. artisans at its stores in Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tenn., New York City and Seattle.

From Sept. 10-29, West Elm will select 20 finalists from the online submissions and portfolio reviews. On Sept. 30, the finalists will be announced and public voting will take place from then until Oct. 14. On Nov. 19, the winner and three runner-ups will be announced.

Along with the $25,000 prize, the winner will receive business support and mentorship from the West Elm team, along with a chance to be included in the Best of LOCAL Assortment available to West Elm customers nationwide this holiday season on westelm.com. The three runner-ups will also have a chance to be included in this assortment.

Jim Brett, West Elm’s president, said, “We are at the height of a maker revolution in the United States. West Elm is committed to supporting emerging artists and makers around the world. But this small-business grant is focused on helping micro-entrepreneurs in the U.S. We want to give back to the communities where our stores are located and where we’re doing business every day.”