Next Gen 2019: Anna Welsh
Founder, Little Bags.Big Impact
From an early age, Anna Welsh nurtured her talent for sewing at the Handwork Studio in Narberth. Soon enough, she was designing attention-grabbing small clutches, though she initially shrugged off the positive response. “It was cool that people noticed it, but I just thought they were being nice,” she says.
Once enrolled in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a sixth-grade Welsh got serious about crafting a business model for her clutches, and philanthropic ideas also started taking shape. Welsh won her YEA competition and went on to the national event. She was also a winner in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Stellar StartUps competition.
Feeding off those successes, Welsh enlisted the help of her parents and launched Little Bags.Big impact in early 2017. Focusing on reclaimed materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill, she’s saved over 2,000 pounds of fabric so far. She donates 15 percent of the proceeds from sales to Philadelphia’s Tree House Books, which provides books to children who’d normally go without. In the last two years, Welsh has raised over $3,500 for Tree House and helped collect 1,250 books. The cause is especially close to her heart, as she hopes to become a teacher.
Meanwhile, Welsh has expanded her line to include totes, pouches perfect for cosmetics or sunglasses, and crossbody bags. To keep up with the demand, she’s hired part-time manufacturers. “It’s nice to have support,” she says.