At the heart of American Made is the support of creative entrepreneurs. As part of that mission, the first day of the Workshop included The Elevator Pitch: The American Made Challenge. Top students from the School of Visual Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design pitched their small business concepts to an elite panel of judges, including Martha and VP of Etsy Matt Stinchcomb.
The winner of the innaugural American Made Challenge was Joanna Kuczek. Her business. Krasula Pierogi Bar, is a pop-up shop serving handmade Polish Pierogi dumplings drizzled with unique sauces. She wins $5,000 to help fund her business, a year-long mentorship with MSLO CEO Lisa Gersh, and a small-business start-up kit from The UPS Store.
"I have a lot of ideas and I hope she can keep me grounded," Kuczek said of her new mentor. She plans to use some of the prize money to purchase a shipping container that she’ll turn into her storefront.
Future plans include a product line that would be sold at small boutique food stores and maybe one day, a brick and mortar space.
Krasula Pierogi Bar will debut at The Brooklyn Night Bazaar Oct. 27.