It’s no secret among victim service providers that funding is down and supporting victims of domestic violence requires ever more creative approaches. Uncovered Artistry offers a unique option that simultaneously provides economic and empowerment support to survivors of intimate partner violence. We interviewed Sarah and Angie to learn more about their work.
CD: How did you get the idea to start this project?
UA: When we were freshman in college, we won third place in our college’s business plan competition. The plan was for a jewelry company on Etsy.com, and we had so much fun running it. We felt that owning that business, even though it was small, was so empowering. Our sophomore year, an opportunity arose to apply for a $10,000 grant from Projects for Peace. We thought, “If business empowers us, I bet it can empower other women too,” and Uncovered Artistry was born. We belive that art and business are empowering, and we hope that by supporting the creative businesses of domestic and sexual abuse survivors, they are being empowered.
UA: We do particularly well during Christmas and had our best month in November 2011. Right now, we’ve been less focused on marketing our shop and more focused on re-vamping our website. We just changed to a new, fresh logo and are nearly done transitioning the site. We are currently focused on raising money through Kickstarter for an “Art Show to End Abuse,” which is a very exciting new event! You can read more information about it and support it here.
CD: Does the money for a purchase go to the survivor who made the piece or back into a general fund?
UA: We actually run just like a regular boutique more or less. We buy the handmade products from an artisan (who is a survivor of abuse) at a regular, fair wholesale price. We then sell those products on our site at a retail price. As a result, we support the artisan’s business and we have a great way to generate revenue without always looking for donations. We also put on events that raise money for local domestic violence shelters.
CD: Is there a success story you would like to share?
UA: We occasionally ask for feedback from our artisans, and this is what one has said about her experience creating and selling handmade work and working with Uncovered Artistry:
I not only survived, but I’ve overcome, I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned patience. I’ve also learned that there is beauty in every thing and every person, it’s just sometimes hidden. Helping women see their beauty – and give them the courage (sometimes) to let it shine – is the ultimate reward for me. To see a woman smile because she’s found something special to her many times brings tears to my eyes.
CD: Why is it important for abuse survivors to have access to your service?
UA: Domestic abuse is a hard issue. We’ve found that many people don’t understand it, try to avoid it, or think it isn’t a problem. At Uncovered Artistry, we want to celebrate that our artisans have survived abuse and they are powerful, strong individuals. We believe that supporting the creative businesses of abuse survivors reinforces the truth: that they are courageous people. We believe that art and business can empower anyone, especially survivors of abuse.
CD: Anything else our readers should know?
UA: If you are a survivor of abuse, and want to learn more about being an Uncovered Artistry artisan, feel free to contact us at uncoveredartistry (at!) gmail.com. You can also apply online here.
CD: Thank you, Angie and Sarah!