Tink Knit is a student-run nonprofit started by the Enactus Team at Brown University in 2014. We aim to provide part-time income and practical skills to low-income single mothers, and help them achieve a balance between improved earnings and additional childcare time. We teach single mothers to knit hats that we sell at the Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design Bookstores, as well as our own online shop.
Since knitting can be done at home while taking care of kids, single mothers can make an extra-income without compromising the time spent with kids, which leads to lower children education problems. Partnering with Healthy Families at Meeting Street, a nonprofit that supports low-income mothers with young children, Tink Knit has student volunteers that host knitting workshops and teach the mothers how to knit, while the social workers at Healthy Families assist the pickup and drop off of yarn and products with the mothers. All knit products are made with high quality Lion Brand yarn, tagged with both a metal Tink Knit logo on the outside and a hand-signed label by the knitter on the inside.
Single mothers will receive paycheck based on the quantity of hats they make ($5 per headband, $15 per hat, $20 per scarf), which is the equivalent of minimum wage in Rhode Island (since on average a headband takes a little over 30 min to make, a hat takes 2 hours, and a scarf takes less than 3 hours). There will be a criteria to ensure the quality of all the products and penalty will be made if the products do not meet the criteria. 40-50% of the retail price goes directly back to the single mother knitter, while the rest is used to purchase yarn, looms and cover operation costs. Tink Knit offers a 9-month program that runs from September to May each year, with the intention of empowering the mothers to graduate and find jobs during the summer. The single mothers can re-apply again in September to re-join the program if financial assistance is still needed.
In addition to providing financial support, Tink Knit also connects the single mothers with resources in job-finding, micro-financing, and legal support, with the goal of enabling the mothers to become financially independent. Eventually, we envision to form a strong supporting network for single mothers and their kids, bridging the gap of current Rhode Island single mother assistance organizations.
McKinsey Women's Impact Award 2015
Walmart Women's Economic Empowerment 2015
Brown Student Agency Inspire Week Competition, First place 2015
Founders League Pitch Competition, Most Creative 2014
Rhode Island Monthly Magazine: Tink Knit Teaches Moms to Craft for Profit (2016)
Featured by the Brown Alumni Magazine Gift Guide: Tink Knit Aids Low-income Single Parents (2015)
Brown Daily Herald: Tink Knit Aids Low-income Single Parents (2015)