Brooklyn, N.Y. -- Home furnishings retailer West Elm is launching what it calls “We Love Local Small Business Grant” contest, designed to support U.S.-based artists, makers and designers as they grow and scale their businesses.
The contest launches Aug. 12 with open online submissions, followed by in-store portfolio reviews in five stores across the country. The public will vote online for one of 20 finalists selected by West Elm, and the winner will be announced on Nov. 19.
The winner will receive $25,000, business support, and mentorship from the West Elm team, as well as a chance to be included in the Best of Local Assortment available to customers nationwide this holiday season on westelm.com.
“We are at the height of a maker revolution in the United States,” said West Elm president Jim Brett. “Every time I visit our stores and meet artists and makers in our communities, I’m blown away by the small-scale manufacturing and design that’s happening in our own backyards.”
The We Love Local Small Business Grant is part of West Elm’s Local initiative, which brings regionalized assortments to West Elm stores across the country. West Elm Local currently includes more than 1,000 products from more than 160 artists and makers. Local assortments are available in 16 West Elm stores and by the end of 2014 will be in eight additional stores. This holiday season, West Elm will launch the Best of Local Assortment on westelm.com with 20 of the best-selling makers and more than 60 products available to online customers.