Call me crazy, but I think “ally” could end up as the word of the year for 2018. We’ve seen the rise of the protest movement and increased demands for equal pay for equal work. “MeToo” became a global rallying cry for women AND men. And the number of women in business has continued to grow, both here at home and around the world.
Here are a few interesting stats about Canadian women in business.
- On average, women business owners are younger and have fewer years of management or ownership experience compared with male business owners.
- Are much more likely to choose to start and run small businesses in the retail and service sectors.
- Women entrepreneurs do not make as much money as male entrepreneurs although the gap appears to be closing.
Women in Business and Being an Ally
So, with the holiday season in full gear (Happy Hanukkah for those of you celebrating), and Christmas around the corner, we wanted to throw our weight behind women in business, and become their allies. And also help promote them and tell their stories.
Since many of us already actively support women-owned businesses or female crafts people, we asked around the office to gather a few of our team’s faves!
Pen Jar Productions
Pen Jar Productions was my suggestion, and just one of many things on artist Alison Garwood-Jones’ plate! She’s worked in the magazine industry for years, as a writer and an editor, and teaches Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media at the University of Toronto. So, it’s no surprise that iPads and drawing apps inspired this tech native to get back to drawing.
Her designs caught the eye of her friends and others on Instagram, and the rest, as they say, is history! She now has a colourful line of pillows, scarves, bags, and laptop skins (by GelaSkins!). I love them and I hope you will too!
Model: Donna Papacosta
Scarf (and background) by: Alison Garwood-Jones, Pen Jar Productions
Kyra Kendall: Artist
If you’re looking for a unique present for that special someone, our account coordinator Erica Quattrin suggests a one of a kind piece of art!
Kyra Kendall is a Toronto based artist who graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in visual studies.
Kendall’s paintings are incredible, with a slight ’60’s pop-art vibe to them. And you can buy completed works, or commission an original. Plus, you don’t have to be in Toronto to do either. Thank you, internet!
Her art is also really competitively priced, because for her, “…the joy of my painting going to someone who loves it is the best feeling. I love knowing that my originals are hanging in first apartments and dorm rooms as well as swish Calabasas mansions.” And THAT, my friends, is the make of a true artist.
You can see her work on her website (linked above), or on Instagram.
Knix is an awesome undergarments brand. Started back in 2013 by Joanna Griffiths—who had invented a line of underwear designed to help women deal with “little leaks”—Griffiths went on to broaden her offerings and grow her business. Content director Lindsay Bell chose Knix not only because the products are great, but because the company is insanely pro-women, and use real sized and shaped ladies to model their products. They also support kicking the stigma around infertility, Free the Girls (an organization which helps survivors of sex trafficking) and health and wellness.
Products range from stretchy, seamless, moisture wicking underwire-free bras to undies, tees, tanks, bodysuits, sports apparel and more, including a line for teens.
As they say: “… women shouldn’t be confined to what’s conventional. We should be free to be comfortable and confident, and free to be ourselves.” Amen to that.
Love Good Fats
Lindsay also suggested Love Good Fats, because heck, who doesn’t love good fats! Well, as it turns out, a lot of us are still stuck on the old school ideas of avoiding fat. The truth is, healthy, natural fats are very good for us. And CEO Suzie Yorke has built a business around providing those healthy fats in snack bar size.
Love Good Fats are high protein, VERY low-sugar (1 – 2 g/bar) bars that are chock full of “good for you” fats.
Fans of the healthy treats run the gamut from sports fanatics to busy moms, and they’re a favourite for those on low carb diets. There are vegan and gluten-free varieties – and flavours like peanut butter and jelly, mint chocolate chip, coconut chocolate, and more!
Our email & digital strategist Melissa Sellner brought Good Gifts to our attention, and it’s very cool! Good Gifts is an online marketplace born of six perfect words: do good, gift good, and feel good. Founder and owner Christine Lelacheur and her team scour the globe looking for well-made, eco-friendly gifts. Good Gifts helps artisans living in marginalized areas of the world earn a living wage while building their businesses and preserving their craft.
Everything from jewelry to housewares to clothing and accessories to baby and kids’ gifts can be sourced at Good Gifts. And just think, you’ll be supporting a whole bunch of women in business in one go by checking them out!
And it appears we’re not the only ones who want to support women in business. Boing Boing just released a great article, and an accompanying spreadsheet, listing loads of female led companies you can support. You’ll find the list here!
So there are a few of our favorites. We would love you to add your own women in business that you love and support, from your neck of the woods! Happy shopping!