Skye Sonnega | Mar 07, 2022
Small Businesses to Support During Women’s History Month
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.” - Michelle Obama
This Women’s History Month, we are highlighting women who are making moves in their community by starting their own businesses, mentoring others, advocating for equality, giving back to their communities, and challenging bias. Hear from these founders of women-owned businesses as they talk about starting a brand, leadership and advice they want to share with aspiring entrepreneurs.
Little Saints | @littlesaintsco
Founder Megan Klein says she created Little Saints as a way to “share plant magic with as many people as possible and empower all genders to honor the wisdom of feminine energy in their daily lives.”
Like many during the pandemic, Megan started indulging a little too much in alcoholic beverages. She noticed her physical health deteriorating, and began feeling rather “wrinkly.” It was at this moment that she decided she needed to find an alternative to sugar or alcohol to help take the edge off. So, she created something that tasted and looked like a cocktail, but didn’t contain alcohol. And ouila! Little Saints was born.
Today, Megan’s plant magic mocktails can be ordered online for any time you need a boost without it taking a toll on your body. When she’s not out being an entrepreneur, Megan finds peace in her morning routine. Megan told us:
“Each morning before I look at my phone, I shake my body like an animal for 30 seconds. I smell an essential oil to connect with plants, I do 15 minutes of yoga, and I meditate for 15 minutes. This helps me feel centered throughout my day no matter what happens.”
Megan’s best advice for female entrepreneurs and leaders? Do it, commit, and make sure you love what you’re doing down to your core.
Coffee Meets Bagel | @coffeemeetsbagel
Dawoon Kang is the co-founder and Chief Dating Officer of Coffee Meets Bagel. Dating apps are historically geared towards men, and the industry has been coined a ‘sausage fest’ with a typical 65-35 men to women gender ratio. Because of this, Coffee Meets Bagel was born, aiming to provide a service that women can get behind, while offering a more balanced and optimal service for everyone.
Dawoon told us she finds inspiration from her entrepreneurial father. She said,
“I had seen him grow his company, spending so many hours thinking about it. It was his other baby. We kind of grew up with a mentor that said the best way to leave a legacy in this world is to create something meaningful out of nothing. We’ve always believed that we wanted to create something that could impact millions of people’s lives.”
For all women looking to grow in a professional setting, Dawoon advises to not dwell on anything that doesn’t move you towards your goal. This includes those pesky voices inside your head saying “you can’t.” She also says to share your visions and ideas frequently, and to always seek to self-upgrade by staying curious.
Partake Foods | @partakefoods
After helping her daughter navigate food allergies, Denise Woodard founded Partake Foods, a natural “worry free” foods company that is sold across more than 8,000 retailers including Target, Trader Joe’s, and Kroger. Denise is the first Black woman to raise more than $1 Million publicly for a CPG food startup. To date, the company has raised over $7.5M from investors including HER, Rihanna, CircleUp Growth Partners, FF2032 and Marcy Venture Partners.
Denise has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but started her career in corporate. By taking action to start Partake, she says she has “had the privilege and responsibility of having a leadership role from Day 1 and it’s one I take very seriously. I have the opportunity to create jobs and a culture that celebrates diversity—and build impact into every decision
that we make.”
While Partake’s mission is to create natural, allergy-friendly foods, Denise has found opportunities for making an even greater social impact as the company grows. She is doing this in two ways: fighting food insecurity in the U.S. and opening doors for HBCU students interested in careers in the CPG food & beverage industry. Denise says,
“Food allergies affect 1 in 13 children across the country, and (according to foodallergy.org) Black children are at a significantly higher risk of developing these allergies. We are passionate about getting safe food into the hands of food-insecure families, so a portion of our proceeds go to organizations, like No Kid Hungry, to provide access to the food, education, and advocacy these families deserve.”
In her free time, Denise runs, meditates, and loves to spend time with her friends and family. Her biggest advice is what she shares with her daughter: “Do what you say you're going to do, treat people how you'd like to be treated, and do your best!”
Girls Inc. | @girlsinc
This month BrüMate is donating $15K to Girls Inc., a network of nonprofit organizations serving girls ages 5-18 at more than 1,500 sites in 350 cities across the United States and Canada. Their evidence-based programming focuses on the development of the whole girl through supporting, mentoring, and affirming girls in a pro-girl environment.
Girls that are a part of Girls Inc. live healthy and active lifestyles and are less likely to engage in risky behavior. They are eager to learn, successful in school, and more likely to graduate from post-secondary education; and they display diligence, perseverance and resilience.
Follow Girls Inc. on Instagram, or go to their website to learn how to support our next generation of young leaders!
There are over 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. They make up over 40% of businesses across the country and generate over 1.8 trillion dollars a year. When you support women-owned businesses, you are investing in women's economic empowerment, gender parity in commerce, and the growth of the economy overall. So get out there this month and every month and support women-owned businesses.