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Waterloo business owner aims for bigger things by partnering with Kiva Iowa

WATERLOO, IA (Nov. 17, 2022) – When Dana Rae saw a need in her community last year, it led her to take a big chance by leaving her job in order to start her own company.

Now she’s hoping that lenders around the state will take a chance on her.

Rae founded DanaRae-LLC, an online gift shop and home for in-person crafting workshops in Waterloo. She’s already found success; her business is one of only four featured vendors who were selected to take part in Main Street Waterloo’s 222 Holiday Pop-Ups for Shop Downtown Saturdays.

But Rae has even bigger plans. She can’t currently afford to lease a permanent space. So in an effort to expand her business, Rae sought a loan from Kiva Iowa.

This loan would allow Rae to purchase and update equipment for her business; to have materials on hand to fulfill online orders; and to pay for legal consulting, licensing fees, and insurance. Rae also hopes to lease a location so that she will no longer need to regularly rent workshop space.

“In addition to crafting workshops, I feel it is important for customers to be able to come in during business hours and try non-workshop crafts,” she says. “My goal for this workshop component of my business is to create an experience to remember.”

Kiva is a nonprofit with a mission to connect people through lending. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their potential.

The Iowa branch of Kiva launched in 2021, and has successfully funded more than $226,000 in loans to borrowers across the state already.

“I’ve been able to have a lot of meaningful dialogue with business owners and lenders across the state,” says Kaitlin Byers, Capital Access Manager for Kiva Iowa. Over the past year, we’ve built a lot of credibility and shown that this program is for real.”

When Byers gave a presentation earlier this year at 1 MIllion Cups Cedar Falls, Rae was in attendance, and she immediately filled out an application for a Kiva loan. (Rae will also be presenting at 1 Million Cups in Cedar Rapids on Nov. 30.)

DanaRae-LLC’s loan application was endorsed by Waterloo’s 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium. In addition, Community State Bank in Waterloo has agreed to match the amount raised by the Kiva loan.

“This loan is special because it helps a female entrepreneur kickstart her business,” Byers says.

The clock is ticking, however. The loan has just 8 days left to get fully funded on Kiva Iowa’s website. Interested lenders can learn more and make a loan of as little as $25 at,

DanaRae-LLC’s online store already offers gift options like rhinestone mugs, personalized tumblers, and resin products like keychains to tic tac toe boards. Rae also offers workshops, both crafting and non-crafting.

“My goal is to give a worry-free, hands-down crafting workshop experience while letting you forget about your daily hustle and bustle,” she says. “Most important, I want to give you a chance to try a new craft, get your hands dirty, and color outside of the lines while in good company.”

About Kiva US

Kiva is a 501(c)3 U.S. nonprofit fueled by passionate people. Founded in 2005, and based in San Francisco, with offices in Bangkok, Nairobi, Portland and staff around the globe.. With as little as a $25 loan, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and realize their potential. For more information about Kiva Iowa, visit

About NewBoCo

The New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative, Inc. (NewBoCo) is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. NewBoCo’s programming supports entrepreneurship, innovation, and tech education to help Iowans become more resilient and thrive in a changing economy. For more information, visit

About DanaRae-LLC

DanaRae-LLC is a crafting experience and stress-free workshop environment where customers can come and be crafty, and where ‘coloring outside of the lines’ is a good thing. Shopping at their online store gives customers several different gift options.The company has recently started a wedding collection called ‘The Blissful Yes’ that includes, personalized mugs, T-shirts, wedding souvenirs, and more. Learn more at

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