Since the holidays are in full swing, I’m sharing a few of my favorite women-owned brands to shop. Great products for gift giving or just a fun treat for you. I share a little U.S. History on women-owned businesses and why I think it is important for us to support our sisters in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
The holidays are here! Have you finished your shopping? Me neither! Out of ideas? Our holiday episode features a few of my favorite women-owned businesses.
To add a little context to why it is important to support women owned businesses I share a little history of U.S. policy and why it is necessary for small business owners and entrepreneurs to advocate for themselves. If you own your own company or are thinking about your own start up, you will love this segment!
Then, on to the fun stuff. Shopping! I share a few of my favorite women-owned companies. These are all companies I have discovered in the last several years that are truly near and dear to my heart. The women who started these companies are women we can all learn from. They are talented and strong. They inspire and empower me on the regular. I have even interviewed a couple of them in the past.
We talk everything from bath and body to accessories to sweets. A fun episode for one of my favorite seasons of the year. The season of giving! The season of peace, joy, and love!
National Association of Women Business Owners
National Women’s Business Council
Link to interview with Brittany Merrill Underwood (Founder of Akola)
Whatsoever Things on Facebook and on Instagram
Beauty Counter with Gina Curtis
Art by Genevieve Strickland on Facebook and on Instagram
Link to interview with Genevieve on the podcast
Happy Holidays Pod Sisters. Today we are talking all about women owned businesses. The history of women owned businesses, where we are today from a policy standpoint and then a fun segment on some of my favorite women owned businesses to shop and support. Have a listen and then head on over to our website where everything will be easily linked in our show notes and transcript.
Happy Holidays! Today I want to have some fun and tell you about some of my favorite women owned businesses. Before that though, I’d like to first chat about the history of women owned businesses. Crazy enough we are only going back to 1988 (that is right…30 years). Up until 1988 women who who wanted to take out a business loan could not do so without the co-signature of a male relative. It could be a father, husband, even a son and he didn’t even have to be involved in the business. He just had to be male.
These practices were changed via HR5050 (Women’s Business Ownership Act). A bi-partisan effort born out of the 1986 White House Conference on Small Business. “[T]his Act that was decades in the making by smart and driven women entrepreneurs (many of them NAWBO leaders), key stakeholders, advocates and allies who saw a critical need for equal access for women business owners and government support for these business owners.” https://www.nawbo.org/blog/hr-5050-was-money-then-and-now
So what did HR5050 do? Well it did a number of things. Two of the most notable was that it eliminated the requirement for women to have a male co-sign a business loan. It also established the creation of the National Women’s Business Council – with the purpose to “review the status of women-owned businesses nationwide and to develop detailed multiyear plans in connection with both private and public sector actions to assist and promote such businesses. Requires annual reporting to both the President and the Congress.”
So, where does this leave us today. Well, it ain’t all bad, but there is room for lots of improvement.
According to the 2017 annual report from the National Women’s Business Council
“The growth of women business enterprises over the last ten years is unprecedented. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of women-owned firms increased at a rate 2-1/2 times the national average (52% vs. 20%), and employment in women-owned firms grew at a rate 4-1/2 times that of all firms (18% vs. just 4%). Women are starting more than 1,140 businesses per day, at a rate of more than 47 per hour.Yet, the comparison of revenue generated by women-owned firms does not reflect similar growth rates; the growth of average annual revenue of women-owned businesses merely paralleled that of all firms and only 1.7% of women owned businesses have average annual revenues of $1 million dollars or more. Equally concerning is that only 2% of women-owned firms have more than 10 employees, while 89.5% of women-owned firms have no employees other than the owner.” https://s3.amazonaws.com/nwbc-prod.sba.fun/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/05040802/2017-annual-report.pdf
“We are committed to working more closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Congress, and the White House to promote and construct policies that will address access to capital and market inequities that women business owners still face. We strongly believe that if we can address these two particular challenges, then women business owners will have the most important tools that they need to successfully scale their businesses and to accelerate their impressive rate of job creation. “ https://s3.amazonaws.com/nwbc-prod.sba.fun/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/05040802/2017-annual-report.pdf
Now, to give you a little background on the access to capital piece (because remember access to capital without a male co-sign is where this all started 30 years ago) According to Guidant Financial and this is consistent with other studies “Both men and women cited obtaining funding as the top challenge when opening a business…[f]indings indicated business loans for women may also be harder to secure. Only 6 percent of women reported they used an SBA loan to fund their business, 24 percent less than men. This is consistent with nationwide statistics, which report business loan approval rates for women are 15 to 20 percent lower than they are for men. Despite this, the top funding method aspiring female entrepreneurs pursue is still an SBA loan.
Without access to traditional funding methods, women are left with less access capital to launch their businesses. Male survey respondents were 19 percent more likely to invest more than $100,000 in their business. And when asked about the difficulties of running a business, 10.7 percent more women listed lack of capital as a top challenge.” https://www.guidantfinancial.com/small-business-trends/women-in-business/
So, by now if you own a small business you might be chomping at the bit to go and check out the National Women’s Business Council’s website (you should totally do that. It is really cool and has lots of great info and data). I would really encourage you to do this and also check out ways you can get involved even on a local level in policy making. No matter your side of the isle many of these small business initiatives are bipartisan and advocating for yourself and other small business owners is important.
If you don’t own a small business you are probably asking when is she going to get around to shopping. I’m getting there. Patience sister. First, I want to share WHY I think it is so important to invest in women owned businesses.
Now, when I say invest I don’t mean an investment where I see a $ return. I will point you to http://www.jackievanderbrug.com. For a conversation on investing with a gender lens. An amazing woman with amazing insight.
What I mean by invest is that I am spending my money on products I need or want in companies that I know are doing the most good. I am talking about social investment. Choosing to support women owned businesses because I know that when you invest in a woman you invest in her family and her community. We know this because the data shows that women have different spending priorities. According to research done by Goldman Sachs when a woman earns additional income 80% goes into her family’s health, education and nutrition compared to 30-40% of men. So when you invest in women when you invest in her business you are investing in her family and her community. These women are advocates of bettering their families, their communities, themselves.
So now we have had our history lesson and you know that supporting a women owned business is a micro impact you can make in your community. Let’s chat about five of MY favorites in no particular order! And upfront I just want to say these endorsements are mine and mine alone. I have not been paid nor have I received any free product. These businesses have no idea I am even promoting them. Although I will of course reach out to them and let them know once this episode is released.
Funny enough you may have already seen Kate Weiser on a few things already this holiday season. Because after just 5 short years in business (yes she launched her amazing chocolates 5 years ago during the holidays) she has made Oprah’s favorite things list this year with her Carl the Snowman. I discovered Kate Weiser 3 years ago when someone gifted me with her beautiful chocolates. They look like amazing pieces of art. Almost too good to eat. It quickly became my go-to gift for neighbors, teachers, friends…literally everyone! Boxes start at $18. Per her website: Kate graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2005. She then returned to her home town to begin her career. She worked in various restaurants including Pachamama’s of Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City’s 4 star restaurant, Bluestem under pastry chef Megan Garrelts and James Beard Award winner, Colby Garrelts.
After a brief stint at Stephen Pyles and an Executive Pastry Chef position at Nobu, Kate decided to hone in her skills on one thing: chocolate.
Kate began her chocolate career with an Executive Chocolatier position at Chocolate Secrets in Highland Park. While there, she was able to experiment and create a style of chocolate making that was new to the Dallas area. Her Handpainted Chocolate Collection and artistic style quickly gained attention and excitement through the DFW metroplex. She opened her own store in August 2014 in Trinity Groves in Dallas and has since expanded to Northpark Center as well as the Shops at Clearfork. This holiday season you can also find Carl the Snowman in Neiman Marcus and on Oprah’s Favorite things list. You can also shop on her website kateweiserchocolate.com. Family favorites at our house include Ninja Turtle, Cookie Monster, salted caramel and passion fruit are fan favorites in our home.
If y’all are regular listeners of the pod you have heard me mention Akola a time or two and you have probably even heard my conversation with its founder Brittany Merrill Underwood. But I could not do a holiday show without mentioning Akola. And if you haven’t had a chance to listen to our conversation I will make sure to link that in show notes as well.
As a quick reminder…and I pulled this straight from the website” In 2006, Brittany Merrill Underwood founded Akola when she was a sophomore at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX after she met a Ugandan woman named Sarah who cared for 24 street children in her home. Inspired to action, Brittany discovered that by training and giving work to women who are struggling in crisis and guaranteeing them a monthly income, Akola could care for thousands of children. Today, Akola provides training, dependable living-wage work opportunities and holistic education programs to over 500 women in Uganda and Dallas, TX who care for approximately 4,000 dependents.
Every dollar spent on Akola products is reinvested in our mission to provide work opportunities and training to women in poverty in Dallas, TX and Uganda. Additionally, Akola relies on donations to provide social programs that teach women how to use their income to create meaningful change in their families and communities.”
Akola has also expanded since Brittany was on the podcast you can shop their exclusive line with Neiman’s in store and online. I have also seen it available at Neiman’s Last Call. You can shop their main line in their holiday pop up shop in Northpark Center, their flagship store in Snider Plaza or online at akolaproject.org and as of now there is also a line available through HSN and I will make sure to link all of this in the show notes.
I shopped Rosa Gold this year for a few family gifts after I learned about her last year from the Jen Hatmaker podcast. They are known for their blanket scarves that are very warm and toasty as well as stylish and fun. They also have a fun Beret line, bridal line and jewelry line worth checking out! Straight from their website: “Most importantly though, we’re a company that gives back. Right from the start, ROSA GOLD baked compassion into it’s business model, so a portion of all profits goes straight to education-based charities (You can find out more about that here).
we enjoy creating each and every piece. We’re making this stuff for you, and you’re making a difference by wearing it.”
“From the beginning, I knew that compassion needed to be an integral part of the ROSA GOLD business model. Not only did I want to build an awesome little company, but I wanted to use it as a vehicle to give back.
I TRULY BELIEVE THE FUTURE IS FEMALE, AND BECAUSE EMPOWERMENT IS BUILT THROUGH EDUCATION, A PORTION OF ROSA GOLD’S PROFITS SUPPORTS 2 CRAZY-COOL CHARITIES – PENCILS OF PROMISE AND DONORSCHOOSE.
Pencils of Promise works to build schools in developing countries, giving lots of girls abroad access to a quality eduction.
DonorsChoose helps our amazing teachers here at home by funding requests for supplies, books and technology to use in the classroom. (Did you know that teachers spend an average of 1.6 BILLION dollars of their own money per year on supplies?! That’s crazy and unacceptable to say the least.)
Not only do I want you to feel warm and cozy in your monogrammed blanket scarf, but I hope you’ll feel proud knowing that your purchase is helping to make it’s mark on a child’s education.”
Founder Becca Stevens is an author, speaker, priest, entrepreneur, founder and president of Thistle Farms.
“Handcrafted with love by women survivors” – natural products for bath, body and home. Based out of Nashville TN. Specifically for women who have survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction.
Our 2-year residential program, based in Nashville, Tennessee, provides housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education, without charging residents.
Residents and graduates of our residential program are employed in one of our social enterprises. Here the women can learn new job skills and make a living wage to support themselves.
Similar to an alumni network, after the women leave our program, they still have access to counseling, education opportunities and emergency financial assistance
I am particularly partial to their cool shave gel as well as head to toe body wash and bath soak.
If you are in Nashville they also have a cafe that I hear has amazing food and you can shop their flagship store there as well. If outside Nashville you can shop online at: https://thistlefarms.org I believe they are in some retail stores as there is a place to inquire about having them in a retail location so if you are interested in adding them to your store or finding out who carries their products I am sure you can reach out to them on their website.
Whatsoever Things on Facebook and on Instagram – Vinyl Monogramming Fun
Two White Sheep – Traditional Monogramming and Applique
Beauty Counter with Gina Curtis
Art by Genevieve Strickland on Facebook and on Instagram
Link to interview with Genevieve on the podcast
To close thanks so much for listening today. We have one more episode before 2018 comes to a close and I just can’t believe it! If you’re enjoying this podcast, head on over to iTunes and hit subscribe. And while you’re there, I’d really appreciate it if you would rate and review it in order to make It easier for others to find. I also make sure to read every review and email and Facebook posts you leave and I am always, always, always excited to hear your feedback. We also have a private Facebook group, the How She Got Here Community page, and would love to have you join us there to continue the conversation on today’s episode as well as any other fun, How She Got Here content. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for listening. I’ll see you soon.