Conscious Gear Founder Charlotte Bowens Receives $10,000 Grant to Expand Business and Promote Inclusivity in the Outdoors

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

Charlotte Bowens, the founder of Conscious Gear, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Verizon to help her grow her business. The grant came as a result of her participation in Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready program, which provides tools, coaching, and resources to small businesses.

The VestaPak hydration pack, a product launched by Bowens recently, has gained national attention with USA Today naming it one of the 10 best gifts for outdoor enthusiasts. The VestaPak is designed to make it easier for people with bigger bodies to move, hydrate and exercise during outdoor activities. Bowens’ motivation for creating the VestaPak was driven by her own weight loss journey and the realization that there was a gap in the outdoor equipment industry.

Bowens plans to use the money from the grant to hire a team member, outsource order fulfillment and cover office rent. She is also excited about expanding her brand and developing new products like hiking shorts and shirts for plus-sized individuals.

Verizon chose Bowens for the grant because of her active engagement with the program and her inspiring story. Bowens expressed her surprise at receiving the grant and shared her plans to continue promoting inclusivity in the hiking community through Conscious Gear.

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