Prounounced “REE-BLOOM” our name has a double meaning!
The first is a play on the latin prefix “re” which means “again” or “back to the original place.” Most of the organizations we work with are doing well in their physical space, but may need some help pivoting their business models online. We’re here to help these businesses bloom again, hence “re:Bloom.”
The second meaning is that “re:” is typically used in email subject lines to denote a response. The “re:” in our name pays homage to the fact that we were founded as a response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
re:Bloom was founded in Pittsburgh, PA April 2020 by Abbey Mui as a response to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. Our founder was helping her mother’s small business grow their online presence when she realized that her mother wasn’t alone. Many small businesses struggled to pivot online in the digital age, which was only exacerbated by the pandemic.
As a result, we put together a program that would help traditionally underserved communities, such as women and minority-owned small businesses, to overcome the technology gap. We understand that businesses come to us with varying backgrounds and resources, so we seek to find technical solutions that are tailored to the business needs, budgets, and technical abilities of each organization.
We started in Pittsburgh and partnered up with organizations like Bridgeway Capital, Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority, and Neighborhood Allies to further the reach of our efforts and constantly looking to partner with more! Since founding, we’ve connected over 50 volunteers to 42 small businessses (and counting!)
My mom is the owner of a childcare center which lost over 50% of its students during mandatory statewide shutdowns related to COVID-19. Being a smart woman, my mom knew that once they reopened she had to market her center. She hung up flyers in local pizza parlors and put up lawn signs on main roads. However, the world as we knew it had changed. Families were getting delievery more than ever and many more families were working from home, rendering her methods ineffective.
That’s when she turned to me for help. The childcare center previously had a web presence but it was last updated in 2009. Because the website required programming knowledge, it made it incredibly difficult for my mom to update it on her own. She had lost contact with the original webmaster and it cost thousands of dollars to find a new web agency to remake the website. She understood the importance of a digital presence, especially since the pandemic fast-tracked the need to for one, but she didn’t know where to begin. However, she knew she did not want to be in the same position a few years later: stuck with an outdated website.
I dedicated over 60 hours understanding the business needs, budget, and technical abilities of her mom before remaking the website on a modern and intuitive platform with functionality that aligned with and supported her current and future goals.". However, I ended up spendign most of my efforts into thinking about my mom would be able to update the website herself, and ended up spending an additional 20 hours focusing on a future strategy including how-to guides and next steps that put my mom in control of her own website.
During this process, I realized my mom wasn’t alone. There was a real opportunity to help my community. My mom’s children’s center was not the only one struggling. In fact, there were many others like her who struggled to pivot their business online even prior to COVID-19. The pandemic further exacerbated the digital gap between larger corporations with vast resources and small businesses in our communities.
In April 2020, I founded re:Bloom, a non-profit digital agency whose mission is to make web services accessible, affordable, and sustainable. We emphasize working with traditionally underserved small business communities, such as women & minority-owned because it reminds us of our roots. We also place an emphasis on training and future plans because throughout my time, I realized how irresponsible it was to create a tech solution for organizations without teaching them how to use and maintain it.