March is International Women's History Month. Throughout the month of March, it is a time to honor and celebrate the contributions women have made in our society, past and present. Did you know according to Stats Can only 16% of small businesses in Canada are womenowned? As a small business owner myself, I know that that number could be higher.
So, to celebrate and bring more exposure to the female entrepreneurs, I'm sharing 5 Canadian women-owned businesses to start supporting now. These businesses are not only women-owned, but are dedicated to giving back to their communities and creating sustainable, eco-friendly products with our planet in mind. From make-up and shampoo to jean to ice cream, these women entrepreneurs are carving out a space for themselves.
Check out the list to start living more sustainably and help support women business owners in Canada. Not only will they appreciate it - the planet will love it too.
1. Beam Paints
If you enjoy painting or have an artist in your life they will appreciate the quality of Beam Paints. These exquisite hand-crafted paint palettes are a must buy. With quality ingredients, rich colors and plastic free packaging, you can't go wrong. Launched by Anong Beam, Beam Paints located in M'Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island/Mnidoo Mnising. Visit the Beam Paints site to read about how Anong was taught to harvest hematite pigment in the LaClouche mountain near her home and to select a palette to call your own.
I bought the one shown below for my daughter and it was such a hit.
2. Cheekbone Beauty
If you are looking to make the switch to sustainable make-up products, check out Cheekbone Beauty. Founded in 2016 by Jen Harper, Cheekbone Beauty is an indigenous owned, Canadian cosmetic company based out of St. Catharine's, Ontario. Her company's products are cruelty-free, their packaging is biodegradable and compostable, and they source locally where possible. As well, giving back to the community is at the core of Cheekbone Beauty.
3. Bottle None
Bottle None is based out of Vernon British Columbia and was on season 15 of Dragon's Den. Founded by sisters Jaye and Liz Siegmueller, they have spent the last 8 years creating products, sourcing ingredients and developing formulas that are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
I love the travel sets they make and the fact that they have shampoo and conditioner for all different hair types, including one for my curly hair. Their travel sets are are manufactured in Canada and include a shampoo and conditioner bar plus a case made of recycled material for when you're on the go.
4. Sequel Jeans
If you're looking for sustainable fashion, look no further than Sequel Jeans. Founded by Danielle, Sequel Jeans was launched with sustainability and custom fit clothes in mind. Unable to find jeans that fit, Danielle launched her brand to create custom fits upcycled jeans for your body. You can have your own pair altered, Danielle can find you the perfect pair from her inventory of vintage jeans, or you can select from the Ready to Wear jeans on her site.
5. Foundry Ice Cream
Whether it's chocolate or sweets, finding a local woman-owned business to support is a great go-to when you need a last minute gift. My favorite ice cream company, Foundry Ice Cream is produced in small batches here in Hamilton. It is my go to dessert and hostess gift. The ice cream comes in glass jars that can be returned. While only available locally in and around the Hamilton area, you can follow Foundry Ice Cream on social and check out their list of flavors that change with the season.
If you're looking for ways to start supporting more women led businesses beyond this list, you can start by checking your local Women-Led Business Directory like the one I've linked to from the YWCA here in Hamilton.
In addition, if you want to make your day-to-day life more eco-friendly, check out 3 additional ways to get started.
What does eco-friendly mean? Friendly implies beneficial, or at least not harmful. The idea of "green", "zero-waste" "earth friendly" or "sustainable" might come to mind. It's really about choosing ways to reduce waste and selecting products that benefit the earth in the long run. So check out the list below to get inspired, while focusing in the plant and reducing your plastic waste.
- Start in the kitchen with reusable products like Mind Your Bees beeswax wraps and Swedish sponge cloths. Reusable beeswax food wraps to extend the life of your food. You can keep your herbs, lemons, avocados, bread, and leftovers fresh while reducing single-use plastics. Swedish dish cloths are super absorbent, quick-drying, and reusable for up to a year. They are great for cleaning up spills, wiping countertops, dusting, cleaning your appliances, and more.
- Buy products with less plastic packaging. There are a number of companies sprouting up across the world that are focused on less packaging like Bottle None.
- Buy secondhand. With the #grandmillennial trend on the rise you can find inspiration across social media to decorate your home or find outfits that inspire.
Let me know if there's a women-owned business you'd like highlighted in a future article in the comments below.
Author: Catherine Riley
Catherine is brand and marketing strategist and is the CEO of Tenth Man Marketing. She supports small businesses, entrepreneurs and e-commerce stores looking to grow their business. Outside of the office, you can find her hiking one of the many trails around Hamilton or on twitter talking about all things to do with marketing.
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