Verizon Supports Inclusivity in the Outdoors: Charlotte Bowens Receives $10,000 to Expand Conscious Gear

Winner of small business grant awarded $10K for creating size-inclusive hydration packs

Charlotte Bowens, the founder of Conscious Gear, was recently granted $10,000 from Verizon to help her grow her business. The grant was given as a result of her participation in Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready program, which provides tools, coaching, and resources to small businesses. Verizon chose Bowens for the grant because of her active engagement with the program and her inspiring story.

Bowens’ motivation for creating the VestaPak came from her own weight loss journey and the realization of a gap in the outdoor equipment industry. She is focused on building a more inclusive hiking community through her brand’s products. The VestaPak has gained national attention, with USA Today naming it one of the 10 best gifts for outdoor enthusiasts. Bowens expressed her surprise at receiving the grant and shared her plans to use the money to hire a team member, outsource order fulfillment, and cover office rent. She is excited about expanding her brand and developing new products like hiking shorts and shirts for plus-sized individuals.

Bowens is working towards getting the VestaPak into REI Co-op stores both nationwide and online. She continues to be dedicated to promoting inclusivity in the hiking community and is grateful for the support she has received from both Verizon and the community as a whole.

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