Business

Post image for To better support its work at shelters in Thailand, Kasumisou Gallery seeks small business grant

Kasumisou Gallery in Menlo Park is seeking community support in its quest for a Fed Ex Small Business Contest, the only business in town to have entered this competition.

“I really have no idea how many votes we will need in order to move on to the next round, so we are asking everyone we know to support us,” said Mark Rosasco, who co-owns Kasumisou with fellow Menlo Park resident Clare Warner.

The winning entry receives $25,000, which Kasumisou Gallery would use to offer more help to the nun’s workshop in Thailand that makes the beautiful children’s dresses the gallery has long marketed under the name “Princess Charming.”

While the most experienced, highly skilled women work on making the hand-smocked dresses, many of the women can perform only simpler tasks.

“This year we hit on the idea to make teddy bears from school uniform skirts — Clare calls them “plaid lads.”

In addition, some of the teenage girls who live at the shelter make friendship bracelets for Kasumisou to earn their own pocket money. “We sell the friendship bracelets — at our cost — to schools in Tokyo and the U.S. Unfortunately, those girls make the bracelets faster than we can sell them, so we are always looking for new school clients who might like to order bracelets,” explained Mark. “We can offer them in school colors or in a mix of colors depending on the customers’ preference.”

Clicking on this link will take you to the entrants’ gallery page on the Fed Ex contest website. If you then enter “Kasumisou Gallery” in the search box labeled “Search by location or business name,” it will take you to the correct page on the contest site.

Once you are on the Kasumisou Gallery page, click on the orange box labeled “Vote for this Business” and then enter your name and email address, complete the captcha to prove you are a real person and then click again on the orange box labeled “Vote for this Business.”

At the end of the voting period on April 4, Fed Ex will narrow the field down to 100 finalists based on various criteria including the number of votes cast on the website for each company. The one hundred finalists will then have to submit additional materials on which final judging will be based.

Note: You can vote once every 24 hours, which really means 24 hours so, for example, if you voted yesterday at 2:00 pm you cannot vote again until today at 2:01PM or later.

Photos courtesy of Kasumisou Gallery

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