The Welcome Project
Gaining self-sufficiency, together
Heartfelt Tidbits and our partner Wave Pool co-founded a social enterprise called The Welcome Project. The enterprise supports our newest neighbors with classes in fabrication and art skills as well as store management training while bringing new life to the business district of Camp Washington, Cincinnati.
The Welcome Project storefront comprises a makerspace where we host sewing and art classes, a store where the public can buy participants' artwork and crafts, and a meeting space where workshops and community events are held.
The Welcome Project has big plans for the future! If you're interested in lending a hand to build out our kitchen and courtyard area, see our volunteer resources.
The Welcome Project grew organically out of our women's art classes, offered in partnership with Wave Pool gallery. Within a matter of months, the women participating in art class inquired about selling their work and dreamed of having a space of their own to conduct their classes and to run a shop out of. The building next to Wave Pool became available, and the Welcome Project came to fruition. The name, logo, and configuration of the new space were directed entirely by the women who work at The Welcome Project.
The Welcome Project allows refugees to apply skills cultivated in their home countries to a social enterprise setting, earning a fair wage. Additionally, their artistic creations allow them to cultivate friendships and transcend language barriers in order to truly express themselves.
The Welcome Project today
Seven refugee artisans are regularly employed through the enterprise today. In addition to creating artisanal goods, many of the members offer classes to the public in the space. Other refugee and immigrant women have the opportunity to pilot their own entrepreneurial endeavors in the Welcome Project’s workspace. The storefront is managed by Lourdes Martinez, one of the founding participants.