• Mon. May 20th, 2024

From Struggle to Success: Charlotte Bowens Receives Verizon Grant to Expand Conscious Gear and Revolutionize Plus-Sized Hiking Community

BySamantha Nguyen

Mar 27, 2024
Entrepreneur designing size-inclusive hydration packs awarded $10K small business grant

Charlotte Bowens, the founder of Conscious Gear, a brand dedicated to creating products that foster a more inclusive hiking community, received a surprise grant this week that will help her business grow. Verizon awarded her a $10,000 grant in recognition of her participation in Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready program. This program provides tools, coaching, and resources to small businesses, and Bowens won the grant after entering a competition through the program.

Bowens was chosen for the grant due to her active engagement on the platform and her story resonating with Verizon. Her innovative product, the Vestapak hydration pack designed to better fit larger bodies, caught Verizon’s attention. The Vestapak utilizes a vest-style design instead of traditional backpack-like straps to enhance movement, hydration, and exercise. It stems from Bowens’ personal weight loss journey and fitness experiences. She noticed a gap in the outdoor equipment industry and decided to address it with her brand.

The grant came as a pleasant surprise for Bowens, who expressed her passion for creating products that resonate with the plus-sized community. She plans to use the grant money to hire a team member, outsource order fulfillment, and cover office rent expenses. Despite occasional self-doubt, Bowens feels validated by the support she has received from the community and believes in the importance of her work.

Excited about expanding her brand, Bowens aims to develop new products such as hiking shorts and shirts catering to plus-sized individuals. Additionally, she is working on making the VestaPak available in REI Co-op stores nationwide and online. Bowen’s commitment to inclusivity and innovation is propelling Conscious Gear to new heights in the outdoor industry.

By Samantha Nguyen

As a content writer at newsskio.com, I weave words to craft compelling narratives that captivate readers and bring stories to life. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging and informative content that resonates with our audience. Whether I'm delving into the latest news trends or exploring unique angles on various topics, my goal is to deliver quality content that informs, entertains, and inspires. Join me on this journey as we uncover the news stories that matter most.

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