Meet the Girlboss: April Melchior // Urban Works Textiles
INTRODUCING SUCCESSFUL GIRLBOSS FOUNDATION GRANT RECIPIENT, APRIL!
Hey Girlboss! Please introduce yourself and fill us in on your project.
Hi! I'm April, I'm the owner and designer of Urban Works Textiles, a small and quickly growing handmade home décor business located in Philadelphia, PA. All original illustrations are created by me, then digitally printed on fabric and made into various home décor applications. My main product is pillows, however I also create quilts, bedspreads, wall art and reupholstery.
My project focuses on meeting the demands of my existing customers and wholesale markets by streamlining production with an in-house fabric printer. Since the founding of UWT in May 2013, I have been using an outside company for all of my fabric printing. This was a great service, until I began selling higher volumes.
With my products in seven retail stores, as well as e-commerce and craft show markets, the demand for quick and reliable service is pertinent to the growth of my business. With a fabric printer I'll be reducing lead times, offering fast shipping times, and bringing down costs without sacrificing quality - a crucial element in the handmade market!
Tell us about your successful Girlboss Foundation application - what did you submit/make/do?!
When I found out about the GIRLBOSS Foundation, I had just finished reading #GIRLBOSS and was all wrapped up in Sophia Amoruso and Nasty Gal social media. The day GIRLBOSS Foundation was announced was the day I finished the book. "THIS IS IT" I thought. I had to submit!
I was determined to create a beautiful yet professional presentation, but I also wanted to show off my personality. To start, I designed a box that would fit a few essential GIRLBOSS items, a brochure of my work and a bit about me, plus a specially designed LA woodblock Illustration, a few business cards, and a fancy laser engraved flash drive.
For me, the best way to introduce GIRLBOSS to Urban Works Textiles was to make a video. I showed off my studio, my design/fabrication process and engaging with customers, then I talked business on the logistics of obtaining a digital fabric printer.
How will the Girlboss Foundation grant help you achieve your goals?
The GIRLBOSS foundation grant will allow me to propel my business forward by helping me to buy a Digital Fabric Printer. I cannot stress enough how important it is for me to speed lead times while maintaining or even improving upon the quality of my products. As a small business owner, reducing time spent fussing over shipments and communicating with outside vendors enables me to prioritize and reach out to new markets and deliver reliable service to my current customers.
What's your ultimate dream?
My ultimate dream is to find great success in doing what I love. I can't imagine my life being anything less. Winning the GIRLBOSS grant is a huge milestone for Urban Works Textiles, and brings me one step closer to realizing that dream.
Your favorite piece of advice from #GIRLBOSS and why?
I really identified with Sophia Amoruso's not-so-stellar track record and inability to keep a job due to severe boredom. I knew I was never right to be anything but my own boss, and Urban Works Textiles came naturally to me. I had no idea what I was doing, but I dove in head first.
Sophia had serious determination and drive, she didn't stop for anyone. I was sitting in a bookstore on a trip to Chicago, reading #GIRLBOSS and felt totally inspired to up my game by the story about how Sophia nailed business with Jeffery Campbell. I put the book down and cold-called a retailer for the first time. I lined up a meeting and within hours I had my products in a new store. Since that day in August I'm now in seven stores and growing!
Stay tuned to girlboss.com to follow April's GIRLBOSS journey!