Red Letter Roundup

Red Letter Grant selects Fall winners

Lauren Fisher

On Nov. 6, the Red Letter Grant announced the winners of its Fall 2019 grants.  The program awarded four women-owned start-ups with grants of $2,000, which came with additional advertising packages from Volume One Magazine and merchandise credit from Ambient Inks.  This year’s winners were chosen from among 16 applicants ranging from media production to personal care and more.

“Women apply for grant funding to start their business, basically turning their kitchen table businesses and their side hustles into their full-time jobs,” Sarah French, who has been the executive director for the program since October, said.  A panel of judges reviews all applications and conducts interviews with the entrepreneurs.

“That’s where these business plans really jump off the page and come alive,” French said.  “It’s a real woman sitting here in front of you baring her soul and allowing herself to be vulnerable and sharing what her dreams and visions are.”
The panel, which includes at least one past winner, chooses up to four winners per season.  Applicants are adjudicated based on their passion, financial need, and on the viability of their business.

The Red Letter Grant doesn’t stop by contributing start-up funds.  The organization’s founder, Becca Cooke, provides feedback and mentoring opportunities, and the Red Letter Grant organizes regular networking events and professional training opportunities.  They want to set women up to succeed, French said.

“It’s important work,” French said.  “It’s really cool to be supporting women and trying to close that gender gap.”

This year's winners are as follows: 

Wise Wombman Wellness

Kayla Estrada / WiseWombmanWellness

Kayla Estrada is a yoni steaming practitioner, providing herbal vaginal steaming services in the Chippewa Valley.  According to the yoni spa’s facebook page, yoni steaming can be used to regulate and ease menstrual cycles, cleanse bad bacteria, detox, and heal from giving birth.

YB Urban

Angie Whelan /

YB Urban? is a line of personal care products including bath salts, essential oils, lotions, and more.  Owner Angie Whelan moved to Ellsworth from Las Vegas in 2012 to farm with her husband.  Her Ellsworth storefront is open weekends.  In addition to her retail operation, Whelan teaches yoga in Ellsworth and Baldwin.

Wholesome Endeavors

Hannah Koschak /

Hannah Koschak, a registered dietitian nutritionist, provides nutritional counselling and classes to clients.  Her work includes individual classes, workplace presentations, grocery store tours, and more.  Working with people from all backgrounds and health conditions, she aims to take the pressure out of dieting.

A Clean Stage

Kayla Blue / Website Coming Soon

A Clean Stage is a residential cleaning company providing in-home tidying services.  In time, owner Kayla Blue hopes to expand into real estate staging.

Women in the Lead is sponsored by:

Women in the Lead is sponsored by: