Hotsy Totsy Haus is an online retailer known for providing “unapologetically extra” bath and body products. The luxury shop, founded by Christi Leonardi, offers an inventory of handmade, sustainably sourced bath bombs, scrubs, oils, and body butters that are paraben, phthalate, and cruelty-free.
“Everyone deserves to indulge in self-care. My thoughtfully crafted bath products turn the simple act of bathing into an extraordinary experience for the senses,” Christi explained. “Part of the beauty of self-care is taking a moment to allow yourself to breathe and let go. Now that I’ve partnered with CSD SVF, I’m able to let go too, delegating some of the logistics of owning a business to their team so I can focus on what I’m most passionate about – helping you celebrate your fabulous self.”
Christi founded Hotsy Totsy Haus in 2014 to support her daughter, who has disabilities. She started inventing one-of-a-kind bath products in her garage workshop and selling them online. In 2021, Christi’s years of hard work brought the decadent digital shop to the corporeal marketplace, opening a brick-and-mortar location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Now that Christi can boast both an online and in-person shop, she is looking to the future. Christi hopes to expand her shop to be a nationally recognized retailer and to increase Deaf representation in entrepreneurial, creative, and self-care spaces.
“Christi’s entrepreneurial spirit, proven success, and commitment to accessibility truly embody the values of a CSD Social Venture Fund partner,” said Rosa Lee Timm, CSD Social Venture Fund Division President. “The more we work with her, the more we see first-hand how committed she is to her craft, growing her business, and creating opportunities for Deaf people to see themselves represented in new spaces. We are thrilled to be able to support her and create more opportunities for Deaf Success.”
As a Deaf, single mom, Christi regularly faced discrimination while searching for employment opportunities. Challenging workplace biases, Christi decided the best way to share her heart, creativity, and drive to succeed with the world was to start her own business.
“Finding accessible employment to be able to support my family was nearly impossible,” explained Christi. “People with disabilities can’t always wait around for the world to make space for us. We need to take charge and lead by example, showing everyone what truly accessible employment looks like. I plan to do that through Hotsy Totsy Haus.”
This moxie is exactly why Deaf and hard-of-hearing people are more likely to start their own businesses. Unfortunately, because of preconceived notions about people with disabilities, Deaf and hard-of-hearing people are also less likely receive crucial funding from investors which is fundamental to creating those businesses and making them viable.
That is why Communication Service for the Deaf established the CSD Social Venture Fund – the first-ever social impact fund developed specifically with the purpose of investing in Deaf-owned businesses in the United States. CSD SVF addresses gaps in employment and financial independence by supporting Deaf-owned and led businesses, expanding job opportunities, enriching the Deaf ecosystem, and ensuring Deaf representation.
CSD Social Venture Fund has an open funding cycle. That means we are always accepting applications for funding from Deaf founders whose business is scalable and inspires a greater impact on Deaf communities. Learn more about our existing portfolio and partnering with SVF to see if this opportunity is right for you.
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