#EachforEqual is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, challenging us to actively celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness against bias. This day has a unique meaning for every woman. For me, it resonates both personally and professionally. As a female entrepreneur who has faced adversity, I know the importance of community and supporting others. As the mother of a young daughter, it is important for me to set an example of perseverance and strength, and to show Vivienne what effective leadership looks like through empowering others. Like the women in past generations who have paved the path before me, I hope to shape an even better future for my daughter and her generation.
On my journey building Partake, I’ve encountered my fair share of roadblocks and stumbles. Handling rejections from retailers and finding capital to grow my business was not easy. The fact that women-led businesses are underfunded is well-documented, as only 2.2% of venture capital funding goes to women, not to mention only .0006% of venture capital goes to women of color. That means we have to work harder, and push ourselves even further than our counterparts in order to achieve our goals. Perhaps because of this, there is more data that suggests women-led businesses outperform their peers.
Challenges along the way have not stopped me, as they haven’t for many female business owners. I started selling cookies from my car, and now am working tirelessly to get our allergy-friendly cookies on more grocery aisles across the U.S. Today, we’re located at over 900 stores in 30 states. And that number continues to grow. Thankfully, I’ve been able to find like-minded investors to help us accomplish this. But before that, I emptied my 401k, sold my engagement ring, and tried my best to crowdsource funds so I could get Partake off the ground.
Support for women-led businesses could pose a benefit far beyond our own community. The global economy could experience a $5 trillion boost if support for female entrepreneurs matched that of male entrepreneurs. That’s why #EachforEqual is a fantastic theme for International Women’s Day. How can we, on an individual level, find ways to lift each other up for the benefit of all? You don’t have to be a venture capitalist to make a difference—you don’t even have to own a business. You can show your support as a consumer with every purchase you make. Even recommendations made to friends, or sharing products from women-owned businesses on social media counts.
Here are some of my favorite women-owned brands:
- Bubbsi - Skincare products for kids made from organic, cold-pressed coconut oil. Their sustainable packaging includes bottles that are non-toxic and reusable.
- Birdies - Designer flats that are both fashionable and comfortable (aka - Meghan Markle’s go-to flats).
- Pop & Bottle - Dairy-free lattes made with organic ingredients and free of refined sugars and preservatives.
- Tata Harper - Skincare created with high-performance, raw ingredients that are free from artificial chemicals and fillers.
- FridaBaby - Started out with a natural, effective way to remove snot from your little one’s nose and has since developed many other childcare products.
Who are your favorite women-owned brands? I’d love to hear from you and share with our network of Partake fans on Instagram @partakefoods.
I’ve said before that it is critical for my husband and I to support our daughter in following her dreams, as well as empowering her to build a career that she is passionate about. One way of doing that for me, is leading by example. This International Women’s Day I’m thankful for what I’ve been able to achieve as a female entrepreneur and will continue to strive for new goals. I’ll look for opportunities to celebrate the successes of other women, as well as mentor young women with big dreams and great ideas.
I encourage you to do the same – to celebrate your own accomplishments and find ways to build up other women around you.