Local Arlington Business Busy Bee Workshops Receives COVID-19 Relief Grant from The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation

Busy Bee Workshops is a small studio that hosts instructor-led classes where guests can work on fun do-it-yourself projects like string art, paintings, and home décor. Before the pandemic began, the studio hosted weekly classes where anyone was welcome to join in the fun. In an effort to keep visitors safe, Busy Bee has adapted by creating their own take-home projects available for curbside pickup. Each Busy Bee Box is unique and contains everything you need to start a fun DIY project. “By far, the most heartwarming part of our job is seeing families connect in the studio and our favorite thing is when guests don’t think they’ve got a creative bone in their body, but they end up leaving with a smile and sense of accomplishment after finishing a project,” owner ValleCaldwell says.

The business was honored with a $5000 grant from The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. The foundation was created by the CEO of Spanx, the popular clothing company, that serves to alleviate some of the financial pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. By partnering with GlobalGiving, a nonprofit organization that helps companies and individuals create their own charitable projects, The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has been able to provide $5000 grants to 1,000 female-owned businesses across the country.

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has named this grant the “Red Backpack Fund”. The name of the fund is a reference to a red backpack that Sara Blakely’s mother used while she was in college. After starting Spanx, Blakely felt as though the backpack was a symbol of luck for her. Even as her company began to grow she refused to buy a purse or handbag, insisting that her lucky red backpack was the key to her success. Each recipient of the Foundation’s $5000 grant also receives a red backpack as a reminder of this story. Now, looking back, Blakely sees her red backpack as a symbol of women’s potential and inner strength. The Foundation has donated millions to charities around the world since 2006, and in 2013, Blakely signed the Melinda and Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, a promise to give half of her wealth to charity.

Thousands of business owners and nonprofit founders from across the United States and its
territories applied to receive a grant from The Red Backpack Fund to combat economic
hardship caused by COVID-19. Busy Bee Workshops was selected for the grant based on its
outstanding application, its urgent need for COVID-19 relief, and its demonstrated capacity to overcome COVID-19 setbacks.

One of the primary goals for GlobalGiving and Spanx, both women-owned companies, is to help other women-owned companies succeed as they have. In the difficult times of a global pandemic, this goal is as important to reach as ever. As GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier states, “We’re proud to announce the grantees of The Red Backpack Fund. They have successfully undergone GlobalGiving’s rigorous vetting process, and we believe this grant will help them continue to thrive, despite the shifting economic circumstances brought on by this crisis. The world needs more women-led organizations who are a key force in overcoming COVID-19 and establishing a better normal.”

Supporting local businesses is more important now than ever before. Grants like this will be essential to keep these key community players going. In owner Valle Caldwell’s recent video to Spanx, she says, “We want to be able stay part of this community – we love our guests, we love the people who come here to create things. We are a huge part of the community – we donate to its fundraisers, employ its students, support its non-profits. It’s something we feel strongly about and we thank you for everything you are doing.”

For more info on Busy Bee Workshops, visit https://busybeeworkshops.com/ 



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Salvador Ontiveros
Salvador is a proud Texan who lives for Whataburger, good music, and cheap drinks. After graduating from UT Arlington with a BBA in Marketing, you can find him working on various projects ranging from recording & producing music to photography & photo editing. His favorite color is teal.