Every month FTW gives a portion of our proceeds back to help others. This month we wanted to do something a little different and highlight one very special project we are helping to fund in the mountains of America through Kiva.

Michelle is a talented stained glass artist who needs a loan to carry on her family skills. Here is her story.

Michelle’s story

I won’t pretend my childhood was easy, it wasn’t. But I will say watching my Mama make stained glass everyday and the way her face would light up when completed has shaped me. I have always been a fiercely independent person, usually working 2-3 jobs at a time. Growing up poor in Indiana had it’s ups and downs but it 100% made me who I am today. For the first time at 36, I KNOW who I am, WHAT I want and HOW to get it. It’s a very exciting time for me, for anyone in the same position. My dreams for the future are simple; make art on a mountain surrounded by goats and chickens and gardens. For something so simple, it takes a lot of initial investment to get going. That’s where y’all come in. It means so much to me that this is a loan, not a hand out.

I am the product of my Mother. A successful stained glass artist in her own right, I grew up learning and watching from her. I spent my 20’s traveling the world with bands (working merchandising) and after growing tired of that life, finally opened Halona Glass. Throughout the years I have struggled to find my place in the stained glass market, as ideas abound in my head. I have moved every year it seems, further making it harder to get ahead. Having now found my dream home, combined with a true and succinct vision for Halona, I feel like now is the time to ask for a loan. I have no family that can help me, so I am constantly in a state of breaking even. I’m lucky that glass is my true passion and I find joy and peace in creating art everyday, but that doesn’t make it easy. Your loan will help me finally get that small push ahead that I so desperately need. Thank you.

What is the purpose of this loan?

After finding my dream home, nestled in the mountains of New Mexico; I knew I needed to make this happen. My Kiva loan will help me in ways I didn’t realize I needed until I found the cabin. From securing the 40 year old goat pens, to helping me with new equipment to lastly, getting a 4wd vehicle I will need for living on the mountain… every penny will be used wisely and to better my business’ new layout. Upon arrival in NM I am relaunching Halona with all new parameters. No more made to order, specializing in one specific design, branching out to silversmithing, adding more and more surprises. It’s a stream-lined version of the Halona we’ve all grown to love. But alas, I can not do it on my own. I’m not comfortable with begging, so the idea of a loan rather than a gofundme is something that means a great deal to me.

About Halona Glass

Industry: Arts
Years in operation: More than 5 years
Website: halonaglass.com

Link to Michelle’s fund on Kiva: https://www.kiva.org/lend/1236504