We LOVE to support women-owned and operated businesses — and not just because we’re a female-led organization ourselves. We are passionate about empowering other women to embrace the challenges and rewards of owning their own businesses.
It’s no secret that women face a unique set of challenges in building a company. Overcoming the persistent roadblocks, naysayers, and extra hurdles require an intrepid spirit and a lot of grit.
And there are so many women who are doing exactly that!
Did you know?
- As of January 2017, there were an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. These businesses employed nearly 9 million people and generated nearly $1.7 trillion in revenue.
- Since 2007, the number of women-owned businesses surged 58%, while all businesses increased only 12%. Four out of every 10 businesses (40%) in the United States are now women-owned!
- Total employment by women-owned businesses rose 21%, while for all businesses it declined by 0.8%.
- Women-run businesses are excellent for local economic growth — women reinvest up to 90 percent of their income in their families and communities, compared to 40 percent for men.
Despite such incredible statistics, however, women entrepreneurs still face challenges getting fair access to capital. For example, only 4 percent of the total dollar value of all small business loans goes to female entrepreneurs.
Supporting women-owned and operated businesses is an investment in economic equality, gender parity, and the overall growth of the economy — a significant investment, in fact, if those numbers above are anything to go by.
Let’s just call it like it is — women are amazing and the women-owned and operated businesses they build are incredible. We’re excited for you to meet three of the women-owned businesses we have been thrilled to partner with.
These beautiful, practical bags are the brain-child of Rachel Danish. A lifetime of loving bags — everything from clutches and duffles to cross-body purses and totes — means founder and owner Rachel knew exactly what makes a bag extra special. (And ladies, we all know that it takes more than just style to make us fall in love with a purse. Functionality!)
Rachel decided to up the standards for bags everywhere. She wanted a line of women’s bags in that were stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous, but also incredibly practical. She started experimenting with performance materials in custom prints, to create beautiful and functional travel and beach bags.
Her line of stunning, printed bags are lightweight, lined with waterproof material, machine washable, and extremely durable. We partnered up with her to create an exclusive clutch just for us and we still can’t get over how awesome our mermaid scale print is.
And guess what? She’s about to launch a ton of new prints. (Her favorite is Marrakech.)
Rachel’s Advice for other female entrepreneurs (but this applies to everyone):
- “Be kind to yourself. The way you to talk to yourself will be reflected in the work you do, and the way you treat others. Don’t let negative voices around you take root. Seek out support and surround yourself with people who encourage and lift you up.”
Rachel Looks Up To:
- CEO Isobel Schofield, owner of Bryr Clogs. “I love their beautiful handmade clogs, and the meaningful brand relationship they have built with their customers.”
Three Qualities Rachel Values in Business:
- Ownership. Hustle. Attention to detail in the quality of work.
Lisa Heydet business started because she was tired of using plastic ziplock bags for her kids’ toys. As a mom of several little kids, she had tiny toy pieces scattered everywhere throughout her house. To organize, she used what she had on hand — plastic bags. But it wasn’t effective and she hated that she was contributing to an already out-of-control global plastic waste issue.
She wanted a bag that was reusable, washable, visually-appealing colors and prints, and see-through. Sounds like it would be an easy thing to find — right?
Nope. She couldn’t find bags that met these standards anywhere. So, she decided to make her own.
While ZizzyBee bags actually started out as toy organization bags, it quickly became apparent that these multi-use, eco-friendly storage bags had a virtually limitless number of uses. They are perfect for purse clutter, crayons and art supplies, sunscreen and other swim gear, toys, toiletries while traveling, snack/lunch bag, and so much more.
But while home organization is exciting, ZizzyBee Bags has even bigger goals in mind. Lisa aims to be a business at the forefront of the war on plastic.
Plastic waste is such a problem that floating islands of waste have accumulated in the Pacific ocean. The biggest garbage-island is twice the size of the state of Texas and weighs as much as 500 jumbo jets.
A 3-pack of ZizzyBee Bags replaces 1000+ large, single-use plastic ziplock bags per year. For every family that makes this choice, we can significantly cut down on plastic waste in the US.
To further this vision, Lisa is launching the Plastic Pledge to partner with brands that have created products that replace plastic alternatives or use recycled ocean plastic. Ten percent of proceeds will be donated to plastic clean-up projects in our oceans.
“Together, we can create change,” Lisa says, “and it starts with education.”
Lisa Looks Up To:
- Author Brendon Burchard. “His motto ‘Live. Love. Matter.’ really resonates with me and he has incredible business training tools and books!”
Three Qualities Lisa Values in Business:
- Trustworthy, Ambitious, Loyal
Lisa’s Favorite Quote:
- “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” – Oprah Winfrey
Sometimes it’s the simplest problems in life that create the spark of an idea that launches a business. For mother Alison Tringale, her daily frustration was seeing her kid’s drawers perpetually messy. Every time she would fold all the clothes and get the dressers organized, the kids would effectively destroy her hard work digging around for their outfit.
A frustration, we know, that nearly every other mother on the planet faces share.
But, unlike the rest of us, Alison decided that instead of putting up with it, she was going to create an organizational system that was easy, space-saving, and effective.
After some testing, Alison decided that the best method for clothing organization was rolling the clothes. This would save space and make it easier to see the clothing in the drawer. (Think Netflix sensation Marie Kondo’s folding method, but quicker.)
But to keep clothes rolled neatly, she needed to develop something sturdy, easy-to-use, and that would be gentle on even delicate clothing.
Trial and error led Alison to the creation of the Tidy Snap. These are silicone-coated steel bands that ‘snap’ around the clothing roll. (For everyone who grew up in the ’80s-’90s, think snap bracelets, but covered in silky-smooth silicone.) Her Kids Starter Kit quickly followed, which is a simple, easy-to-use tool empowering kids to roll and band their own clothes.
Alison’s idea took off like a rocket and she soon appeared on CBS This Morning, CBS News, Atlanta Plugged In, and was featured by the Huffington Post. Quickly proving, we’ll add, that she was not the only parent despairing over the state of their dresser drawers.
These days, Alison has expanded her product offering to include laptop sleeves, accessory bags, passport holders, and jewelry organizers. (Her favorite product is still the Large Tidy Snaps in pink, though.)
Alison’s Advice for other female entrepreneurs:
- “Learn how to ask people for help. Not everything is a one-man show. There is a reason we all have different gifts.”
Alison’s Favorite Quote:
- “I’d rather it be an ‘oh, well’ than a ‘what if’.”
Three Qualities Alison Values in Business Partners and Employees:
- Intellectual curiosity, grit, and integrity
Join the Movement and Support Women-Owned and Operated Businesses
We’ve had the pleasure of partnering with several other women-owned and operated businesses over the years, including those above and three of our manufacturing businesses, among others. We have been honored to have come alongside these other female-led companies, recognizing their growth, their accomplishments, and the vital role that they, and others, play in our economy.
When you support businesses led by women, you’re investing in a future for our daughters, sisters, and mothers where there is more diversity in business, more economic empowerment, and more vibrant communities.
You’re investing in a future that women have fought to realize for thousands of years; a world where women leaders are paving the way for economic success, innovation, and equality.
That’s worth investing in.