Knitting LIVE! by Vogue Knitting Presents Launch Pad 2020/2021: Refocusing Your Business For Success. A Small Business Development Program.

Vogue Knitting is excited to announce the second annual Launch Pad. The inaugural Launch Pad program was launched in Fall 2019 which culminated at the Knitting LIVE! January 2020 show, where the graduates successfully vended. Since graduation, times have changed dramatically; this program will focus on not only surviving as a business, but thriving during these unprecedented times. Some changes we are making to the program include it happening over three months, not two and will concentrate more on teamwork and collaboration. Upon completion of the program, since graduates will not have the opportunity to vend at a LIVE show, they will instead be featured in Vogue Knitting magazine and highlighted on Knitting LIVE’s Instagram channel.

Below are details of the Launch Pad: Refocusing Your Business For Success. We hope you will apply! A special thank you to Diane Ivey from Lady Dye Yarns for putting so much thought and effort into this program!

What is the Purpose of this Program?
This program was developed as part of Vogue Knitting’s commitment to a future in which our industry better represents the great diversity of our community. This program provides resources and support for members of our community who are marginalized and who are either just starting a business; in any stage of running a business; or hoping to become vendors in the future. This program has been conceived specifically to remove barriers to entry for these small business owners.

What is the Goal of this Program?
The ultimate goal of this program is to increase the diversity within the Marketplace at Knitting LIVE! events into the future, once in-person events resume and to provide tools that will help small business to flourish elsewhere within the industry. We envision a future in which our industry is more inclusive and more equitable, and are committed to doing what we can to make this happen.

Who Will Be Prioritized?
Applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) small business owners are prioritized, but we understand there are other marginalized groups such as people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people, or people whose first language is not English, who face barriers to entry across our industry. With this in mind, we welcome applications from everyone. Though primarily aimed at BIPOC small business owners, applications from everyone are welcome and will be considered, no matter your age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or socioeconomic status. Applications will be reviewed and accepted by Diane Ivey, Claudia Carpenter, Brenda Loan, and a representative from Vogue Knitting.

Who Can Apply?
Any small business owner can apply who is looking for access to resources and seeking advice from experts to help support their growing business.

What Topics Will Be Covered?
A series of online lectures from industry experts will cover how to launch and grow your business, building a social media strategy in 2021 and TK accounting.

Who Will Be Speaking and What Will They Be Speaking About?
Brenda Loan Baker: Co-founder innerOvation LLC, and of The Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy, executive and small business coach and consultant. Brenda will be speaking about The Confident Business Owner: A Two Part Course to Launch & Grow Your Company!

Jason Maldonado: Director of Social Media at SurveyMonkey. Jason will be speaking about Building A Content Strategy in 2021

Claudia Carpenter: Owner of Crochet Luna. 
Claudia Carpenter’s Session: Bookkeeping Toolbox: Getting Your Business Ready for Tax Season

What is the Structure of this Program?
Each presenter will speak for an hour and a half and at the end, present homework. Then teams will work together on homework and present their findings to the presenter and the rest of the group. Additionally, once a month, participants have the opportunity to attend a voluntary Zoom and Coffee Chat with Diane Ivey and a special guest.

What is the Schedule?
This is a three month program requiring participants to attend a total of 4 x 1.5 hour speaker presentations on the scheduled Monday 1pm—2:30pm EST. At the end of each presentation, the speaker will give an assignment that each team will work on and later present their findings. A team consists of five participants. There are also voluntary monthly Friday Zoom Coffee Chats from 1pm-2pm EST where Diane Ivey will be connecting with small business owners in the industry and asking them about their best practices in business. The program will end with a Zoom Cocktail Hour and Meet and Greet with Alumni from Launch Pad 2019. Full schedule of all dates is listed below.

Monday, December 7: 1.5 hour speaker presentation from Brenda Loan
Monday, December 14: Work on homework with team
Week of December 21 and 28: Break for Holidays
Monday, January 4: 1.5 hour homework team presentation
Week of January 11: 1.5 hour speaker presentation from Brenda Loan
Week of January 18: Break for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Week
Monday, January 25: Work on homework with team
Monday, February 1: 1.5 hour homework team presentation
Monday, February 8: 1.5 hour speaker presentation Jason Maldonado
Week of February 15: Break for President's Day Week
Monday, February 22: Work on homework with team
Monday, March 1: 1.5 hour homework team presentations
Monday, March 8: 1.5 hour speaker presentation from Claudia Carpenter

Friday December 18: Zoom Coffee Chat -- Diane Ivey with special guest Aimée at La Bien Aimée
Friday January 8: Zoom Coffee Chat -- Diane Ivey with special guest Kate Burge from Spincycle Yarns
Friday February 5: Zoom Coffee Chat -- Diane Ivey with special guest Candice English from The Farmers Daughter Fibers
Friday March 5: Zoom Cocktail Hour and Meet and Greet with Alumni Graduates from Launch Pad 2019

What is the Cost of This Program?
$275 per person. Note that the cost has increased an additional $75 from Launch Pad 2019. After receiving feedback from the 2019 participants, we have restructured the program by by making it more comprehensive and more in-depth, which has an additional cost associated to it. If any net proceeds remain after we have paid for all program costs, Vogue Knitting will donate net proceeds to support Black Girls Code. A payment plan of three installments is available when registering.

When is the Deadline to Register?
Thursday, November 19
Notification of acceptance to the program: Monday, November 30
*Deadline for participants to reserve spot and submit payment of $275 for program due before the 1st webinar: Monday, December 7 (or alternatively, first installment payment is due before Monday December 7)

The information and materials contained in these webinars is for informational purposes only. It is not legal or financial advice. You should consult with an attorney or other appropriate professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. Vogue Knitting does not make any guarantee or other promise as to results that may be obtained from using our content. No one should make any investment decision without first consulting their own financial advisor and conducting their own research and due diligence. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Vogue Knitting disclaims any and all liability in the event any information, commentary, analysis, opinions, advice and/or recommendations prove to be inaccurate, incomplete or unreliable, or results in any investment or other losses. Content from this program is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice or investment advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Your use of the information provided through this program is at your own risk.


Webinar #1: December 7
Your Dream Vision and The Most Practical Business Plan in the World with Brenda Loan
How do you want to change the world? What ideas do you have for creating an amazing for-profit startup that could make a difference in the world? We explore how to begin properly envisioning the creation of a startup and zeroing in on a problem worth solving. A framework to begin structuring your company is introduced.

Who Do You Serve and What Do You Really Have to Offer Them? with Brenda Loan
“The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” (Peter Drucker) — How do we know we are solving a problem that really needs to be solved in a way that will solve it? History is littered with companies that never answered this question properly, quickly enough. A method for doing this is introduced. What is a problem worth solving and how do you know? — “It's not the customer's job to know what they want” (Steve Jobs) — We dig deep into what it takes to flesh out a business idea. We learn how to zero-in on the most critical elements that need to be addressed as quickly as possible in order to ensure the business venture will succeed. — “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - ascribed to Henry Ford. With a better understanding of the problem, we create a better hypothesis of the solution.

Webinar #2: January 11
Why Will Anyone Pay You and How Much? with Brenda Loan
What is your business model? Why do so many companies give away so much for free? How do they make money? How do you price? Who will pay you? Why? We investigate what it takes to create a business model that creates value — for customers and your business! What do you need?What do you need in order to succeed? What should you do? What should you outsource? What resources and partnerships do you need — vendors, investors, lenders, co-founders? How do you get what you need? Learn initial ways to answer these questions.

Scaling and Your Pitch to the World with Brenda Loan
How do you get the right resources on board? How do you let people know what you’re doing in a way that gets them to buy-in and want to help you with additional resources? Sample ways to pitch are offered, including a template for: Current state; problem; real problem; solution; why you; projections; and how the would be world better with your solution. The Entrepreneurial Mindset: “I have not failed, I have tried one thousand ways that did not succeed.” (attributed to Thomas Alva Edison) —How to fail fast! We examine mindsets that make for successful entrepreneurs, and we explore the importance of failing fast.

Webinar #3: February 8
Building A Content Strategy in 2021 with Jason Maldonado
So much has happened over the past year. Businesses big and small have had to pivot and focus more of their marketing efforts online. With businesses all rushing to connect with their audiences in the digital space, how do you create a content strategy that breaks through the clutter and still represents your brand? This two part session will help you build or focus your content strategy to ensure your business can excel this year.

Webinar #4: March 8
Bookkeeping Toolbox: Getting Your Business Ready for Tax Season with Claudia Carpenter
If you are a small business, chances are you are your company's accounting department. Learn how to prepare the documents you need to make tax season less of a headache. Set up a Chart of Accounts that works for you. Conquer the mountain of paperwork that builds up week after week. Establish good bookkeeping practices that will help your business thrive. Understanding your company's finances is vital to the health and growth of your business. Let's get organized together!



Claudia M. Carpenter, Small Business Owner – Crochet Luna
Almost 20 years of experience as office manager for her family’s Telecommunications business taught Claudia so much of what it takes to have a successful business. When she later branched out and started her own bookkeeping and tax preparation service company, she was able to focus her experience and knowledge on helping small business owners understand that no matter what the product or service they are involved in, having an efficient bookkeeping system is crucial to their business success. Claudia has always been a creative person and has found these past three years developing a business in the fiber community a unique and personally satisfying challenge. Having good bookkeeping practices doesn’t have to be complicated, and it is a skill that all business owners should develop. She looks forward to helping those wanting to get their creative businesses off to a good start. Education: Bachelor of Arts in Art from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles, California, 2002
Experience: Office Manager: Pathcomm LLC, 1992–2010, Clear Point Bookeeping Services: 2003-2015

Diane Ivey


Diane Ivey is the owner and creative director of Lady Dye Yarns, an indie-dye yarn company since 2010. A knitter for 17 years and a dyer, spinner and crocheter for 12, Diane looks forward to not only expanding her company but using her expertise in growth and expansion with other BIPOC businesses to grow on a national scale. She spent 16 years in the nonprofit sector. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Mass Communication with a concentration in Print Journalism from Georgia College & State University. She also holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Suffolk University.


Although Brenda serves leaders at all levels and across a broad range of functional roles and industries, she has a special interest in partnering with women and minorities in normally male-dominated industries like STEM, finance and law, to help them become more confident, visible, and influential leaders. It is Brenda’s passion to assist women and minorities in building greater confidence, improving their communication and public speaking, so they can lead with strength and compassion and become a role model for women to follow. Leading them to dream bigger, achieve their goals with or without a female mentor, and blaze a path of leadership combining all of their qualities including the feminine ones.


Bringing over 20 years of sales, marketing and finance experience spanning many sectors including corporate and international organizations, regional businesses and non-profits, Brenda has a breadth of knowledge to address a wide-range of business development needs. Whether a client is a solopreneur looking for business startup coaching, or a C-Suite executive who is looking for high quality leadership development and employee engagement strategies, Brenda can offer the right solution. She is highly skilled at facilitating Board development as well as leadership development at all levels.

Brenda is an Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a Certified Professional Coach trained in both Core Energy LeadershipTM through IPEC (The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) and the Results SystemTM through Thought/Action. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business/Marketing from the University of Massachusetts. Brenda coaches from a model of Clarify, Strategize, Plan, Act, Realize.


Jay Maldonado is the Director of Social Media at SurveyMonkey. Before his time at SurveyMonkey, Jay was the senior marketing manager at Mailchimp and worked for American Cancer Society, The Home Depot, and Edelman Digital—where he worked on Disney Parks, Nike Women, and ConAgra Foods. A true social nerd, Jay met his now husband 10 years ago on Tumblr.