Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Lavon.
Hi Kimberly, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve spent years studying, learning, and working in creative. For me, it’s been a lifelong passion. I gone so far as to earn two higher education degrees (B.F.A. Fine Art Printmaking + Graphic Design 2009, M.A. Advertising 2020) worked countless apprenticeships, internships, workshops, and more to be the best in my field. I had no idea that all that work would eventually lead me to grant writing.
When I started Melinda Livsey’s BSB course, my big idea was to provide creative for creatives. After diving in and learning the ropes, I found that idea wasn’t quite right. So, I pivoted to business in a box for creatives. At the time that looked like the best solution. People were super interested and needed the help but didn’t have the budgets to work with me. Briefly stuck, I took time to pause, think and pivot again. I want to help creatives. Actually, help them, make a real difference in their lives and businesses. So, I decided that all of the previous business ideas were just warm-ups for the real thing. But what was the real thing? That’s when serendipitously, at the end of the BSB, Melinda and I discovered my superpower. Writing. More specifically, grant writing. Why? Because it’s a blend of technical and persuasive rhetoric. A skilled trade that I had developed in 2004 without knowing it.
I’ve been writing and winning grants since 2004. I funded my undergraduate, and graduate degrees with grant funding. I’ve been hired by others who have won grants to facilitate their creative projects, I even paid for the bootcamp that inspired the creation of this business with the help of a grant. It wasn’t until I took this course that my history would become an idea that would turn into a solution for creatives everywhere. Melinda’s bootcamp gave me clarity and helped me place my skills in one place to fulfill a crucial need. The best part is that most had never heard of the proposed solution making it a perfect niche for my new business. I’m thrilled to have found my place in the world. Even more happy about being part of creating a curated, community-focused, impact on creative projects everywhere. I get to be Lady Robinhood!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
My biggest challenge I’ve faced so far has been to create a streamlined comprehensive funding system. Ironic a bit because my fine art experience was all about following systems to the letter. I suppose the transition from fine art to the business side of creative is what has posed this challenge.
Thankfully, I have already identified the solution and have implemented it already with the help of other entrepreneurial professionals in my community. They key for me to solve this dilemma was to employ the superpowers of my friends and colleagues. They all come with their own superpowers. They’re in my circle so they were willing to lend a hand from time to time and when they can’t I know their rates for services and have the ability to build a budget to work with them. I would highly encourage you to do the same if you’re ever in this situation yourself.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Mint Maven?
For Creative Placemaking Agencies and Entrepreneurs who want to earn free funding to launch projects, Mint Maven is a fundraising agency who that provides the framework, resources, and support to earn free funding though grants, pitches, and more.
I specialize in working with creative placemakers because I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it is for creatives of all trades to earn funding. These businesses and entrepreneurs either need time to build an audience they can sell to, are at a transformational point (want to grow/scale) or have clients who need their services but have no budget to hire them. Mint Maven proudly provides the resources needed to overcome these obstacles.
What sets me apart from other professionals is my resourcefulness, speed, and creativity. If you have a unique need, I can perform the research needed to find the solution. If you have a tight deadline I have been known to “create time” so to speak by expediting deliverables with lightspeed which also happens to be my nickname. And if nuanced creativity is required to get the job done look no further. I have over 20 years of hands-on experience in all things creative and can get the job done with flair.
If you like what you’ve read so far and want to know more, please visit me online at https://www.mintmaven.co
What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is when I discovered the print shop across the street from my home. The business printed all sorts of things. They had a full suite of presses that ran all the time. I thought it was the coolest thing. Little did I know that growing up next to this shop would become the catalyst for my future entrepreneurial journey.
I was a young artist. 7 or 8 at the time. But I thought I was a big deal. I decided one day to create my own publication. A small newspaper that featured everything a real newspaper covered but from the eye of a kid in a small town. My paper featured my first comic strip too. My favorite part of the print. I was so pleased with my first iteration that I got dozens of the paper printed. I soon began knocking on doors in my neighborhood selling the prints for $1.25 each. I had no idea what I was doing, how to make sales or the ins and outs of producing a real newspaper. But it was fun. I learned a ton and got my first taste of notoriety too. Fun times.
- Website: https://mintmaven.co/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mintmaven.co/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MintMavenGrants
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtvic1XrBdL0e7NU-MqdVLQ
- Other: https://dot.cards/mintmaven?fbclid=IwAR21GekOv3O19HhQLgFJkaBpwLKDt3ra6LGQHBse2oraPW1-vABsP2hRXg4