Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY


Cinder + Salt

Middeltown, Connecticut

“The larger of a voice we have, the more impact we can make.” –Rachel

Art can be many things aesthetically pleasing, impactful or mysterious. For Rachel, it’s also environmentally friendly.Rachel started her art career at 10 years old, when her father began teaching her to screen print. After getting a degree in Visual Arts, she found herself in a familiar situation.

I graduated college and I was trying to figure out, like most young people, what I wanted to do with my life, said Rachel. After seeing so much waste around, I decided my goal would be to turn it into something useful.

Rachel started screen-printing unique designs on recycled fabrics, turning throw-away items into hip new fashions. She started selling her designs on Etsy. Her whimsical prints quickly amassed a following. As her business grew, she made an offer to buy out her dad’s printing equipment and decided to open her own studio in Middletown, Connecticut.

I’m committed to only using the 100+ gallons of ink we purchased, some of it over 30 years old. I believe everything we need in this world already exists; it’s a guiding principle behind our brand. We have to get creative to pull designs together based only on materials we have.

In February of 2016, Rachel received a loan from Ascendus to help with readying her new storefront. This loan was made possible by support from The Hartford, which supports entrepreneurs like Rachel who are having a positive impact in their community.

Rachel’s business has grown significantly. She has hired three full-time employees, all artists like herself. Her clothes can be found online at, on Etsy and through, and purchased directly in her brick and mortar store. Many local businesses have also reached out to design custom clothing for their companies.

Middletown has a very supportive community and is very small business focused. Connecticut has been a great place to live and grow my business. I love that we’re only two hours away from major cities like NY and Boston, where I’ve been selling my work for years.”Rachel is focused on growing the brand and continuing to operate as a social enterprise.

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