• Wed. May 29th, 2024

Verizon Awards $10,000 Grant to Small Business Conscious Gear: Enhancing Inclusivity in the Outdoor Community with Innovative Hydration Packs

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 that creates products to build a more inclusive hiking community, received a surprise this week that will help her business grow. Verizon awarded her a $10,000 grant to support her brand. This grant was the result of her participation in Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready program, which provides tools, coaching and resources to small businesses.

Bowens won the grant after entering a competition through the program. Her story resonated with Verizon, making her a deserving recipient of the grant. ABC15 previously featured Bowens and Conscious Gear, specifically highlighting their VestaPak hydration packs designed to better fit larger bodies. The Vestapak utilizes a vest-style design, different from traditional backpack-like straps, to enhance movement, hydration and exercise. This innovative product stemmed from Bowens’ personal weight loss journey and fitness experiences. Throughout her fitness endeavors, she noticed a gap in the outdoor equipment industry and decided to address it with her brand.

Receiving national attention, USA Today included the Vestapak in its list of the top 10 gifts for outdoor enthusiasts. Bowens expressed that the grant came as a pleasant surprise, emphasizing 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 to expand her brand, Bowens aims to develop new products such as hiking shorts and shirts catering to plus-sized individuals

By Samantha Nguyen

As a content writer at newsqwe.com, I am passionate about crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate our audience. With a background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I strive to deliver content that is not only well-researched but also adds value to our readers' lives. From breaking news stories to in-depth features, I take pride in my ability to tell compelling stories that resonate with our diverse audience. When I'm not typing away at my keyboard, you can find me exploring new cafes, practicing yoga, or getting lost in a good book. I am thrilled to be a part of the newsqwe.com team and look forward to sharing my love for writing with all of our readers.

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