After losing her job, Madison woman finds new purpose & starts ice cream business for a special cause

MADISON, Wis.— While major cities across the country are reporting unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression and millions of workers are losing their jobs, a Madison woman is proving a little innovation can create a sweet reward.

Katrina Ervin was furloughed from her job as a graphic designer and photographer in March. So, she took up a new hobby: making ice cream. Every week, she’d drop off pints on her friends’ doorsteps.

Ervin called the project “Ice Cream Social,” designed a logo, ordered recyclable containers and stickers, and, in her own words, went “a little over-the-top about it.

At first, the word ‘social’ was a play on social distancing. But after the murder of George Floyd at the end of May, ‘social’ took on a new meaning— social justice.

Ervin came up with the idea to start selling her ice cream. Within 24 hours, she had an Instagram page up and running, and within 48 hours, she had her first sale.

With the motto “small batches for big change,” Ervin now sells her ice cream in 12 ounce containers for a base price between $7 and $10, although customers can pay more if they want.

After covering her costs, all proceeds benefit social justice causes.

During the month of June, Ervin’s business raised almost $1,000 for Campaign Zero, a police reform campaign. This month, all proceeds will benefit Freedom Inc., a local non-profit that works with low- to no- income communities of color.

Ervin said she believes anyone can make a difference, as long as they use their passion to find a purpose… and are willing to learn along the way.

You can learn more about Ice Cream Social on Ervin’s Instagram page here. Some of her past flavors include Peanut Butter Fudge, Milk and Cookies, and The One with the Fruity Pebbles.