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Little Hat Workshop Gets Big Boost from Staples

Business owner Andrea Leiser of Mystic, Conn., makes hats for people battling cancer.

When Pigs Fly founder Lisa Hiler wins the grand prize of the Staples Make Your Idea Happen contest. Credit: Staples
When Pigs Fly founder Lisa Hiler wins the grand prize of the Staples Make Your Idea Happen contest. Credit: Staples

By Patch Editor Susan Petroni 

Staples is turning three small-town entrepreneurs’ dreams into reality, including Andrea Leiser of Mystic, Conn. 

The three winners are:

They were chosen from more than 16,000 entries in the Staples “Make Your Idea Happen” contest.

The “Make Your Idea Happen” contest invited entrepreneurs to share their big ideas for a chance to receive the products and advice to bring their businesses to life. Consumer voting helped Staples determine the top three winners:

  • Grand Prize Winner: When Pigs Fly: Lisa Hiler - Norwalk, Ohio
    • A retail store that generates donations to help aid struggling families affected by a terminal illness.

  • First Place Winner: Lansing Roller Derby Vixens: Ryan Knott - Lansing, Mich.
    • A flat-track, women’s roller derby league that’s looking to revitalize the city of Lansing.

  • Second Place Winner: Little Hat Workshop: Andrea Leiser - Mystic, Conn.
    • A hat and accessories store that creates hats for people with cancer.

Winners will receive a combination of Staples gifts cards and cash at a value of $25,000 (Grand Prize), $15,000 (1st Place Prize), and $10,000 (2ndPlace Prize) to help the winners purchase the products they need to help their businesses succeed. 

In addition, each winner will receive consulting sessions with small business experts who will offer advice. Mentoring sessions will be led by small business expert and business columnist Gene Marks, and CEO, entrepreneur and jewelry designer, Kendra Scott

“At Staples, we’re dedicated to supporting small business owners as they pursue their dreams,” said Staples Social Media Director Tim Williams, in a press release. “We had thousands of great entries. Our winners have creative ideas to build their businesses and improve their communities. We’re thrilled that we can help them make more happen with the tools they need to further their business and dreams.”

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