41 minutes | Apr 27th 2021

Bonnie Hewitt

Bonnie Hewitt of West View has used the pandemic as a chance to re-invent her business, which began as an Etsy shop, PoshNotions selling T-shirts, pillows and other items with inspirational messages. Then the pandemic struck, and Hewitt taught herself how to sew, so she could make masks (she sold more than xxx). Then, the pandemic continued, and things, such as fabric and elastic, were hard to come by. That’s when Hewitt, 42, had an ‘ah ha’ moment. Instead of making new items, she uses junk to make things like totes, jackets and home decor. The idea caught the attention of entrepreneur and best-selling author David Meltzer, who is hosting a new business competition show on Bloomberg TV, 2 Minute Drill. During the show, five entrepreneurs get 120 seconds to pitch their business. Hewitt is a finalist for the third episode, which airs at 11:30 p.m. Friday. It will be rebroadcast on Amazon Video. The winner gets $50,000 in cash and prizes. (See the show’s trailer, which shows Hewitt crying.) “I’m beyond thrilled to have this opportunity,” Hewitt said. “It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time to give my pitch to three judges who own mega, successful businesses.” It’s also given her the courage and inspiration to continue to learn new skills to grow her business, which she named Up-Cycle. She’ll be selling items on Etsy and from her website, poshnotions.com. Her next project is to take the torn vinyl liner from the family’s pool and create totes. “I just hated the thought of throwing the liner in the trash,” said Hewitt, who’s always been environmentally conscious. “I thought, there has to be a way to give all the vinyl a new purpose.”   Re-invention is not new to Hewitt, though. A decade ago she was an accountant living a perfectly normal life in her hometown of West View. In 2011, she was diagnosed with Guillain Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body's immune system attacks nerves. Hewitt was temporarily paralyzed, and it caused her multiple autoimmune illnesses, debilitating chronic pain and other symptoms. Hewitt has spent the past nine years learning to heal and learning how to live with a disease that has robbed her of being able to return to her job as an accountant. She refuses to let it get her down, though. So, as the pandemic continues, she’s juggling learning to sew vinyl, while helping her four kids with virtual learning and fighting to stay as healthy as she can.
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