Contrary to their name, small businesses provide big dividends to the U.S. economy. Not only do they generate 44 percent of economic activity, but they also create over 60 percent of net new jobs and inspire American innovation. And while the industry is mostly dominated by men, women are increasingly making gains as small business owners. An American Express Report found that in 2019 women entrepreneurs owned 42 percent of small businesses in the US, employing over 9 million people and generating nearly two trillion in revenue. Another promising statistic? Minority-owned companies account for 50 percent of these businesses. And while we wish we could highlight all the amazing women-owned companies out there, we’re excited to spotlight these six brands this Women’s History Month which — along with creating great products — are also pushing for positive social change.
Saie makes sustainable makeup
Founded in 2019 by Laney Crowell, Saie markets itself as a clean, minimalist makeup brand with products that provide their signature “Saie glow.” Over three years, the company has released 13 items, their most popular being “Slip Tint” — a skin tint that provides light and glowy coverage.
But more than just a beauty brand, Saie’s key messaging has always revolved around their various sustainable practices. Saie uses clean and mostly vegan ingredients and Crowell has partnered with The Coral Restoration Foundation to address climate change. One percent of every Saie purchase will go to the foundation, which works to return nearly 50,000 threatened corals back to Florida's coral reef. The brand has also stated that a major company goal is to one day be completely plastic-free.
Aside from its various climate-driven initiatives, the makeup brand is also big on diversity and inclusion, specifically seen in their marketing approach. Saie’s Instagram grid is filled with women — and men — of all skin tones modeling their makeup products, which is refreshing considering brands have been criticized in the past for their limited shade range, specifically when it comes to darker colored foundations. The company also includes older women with mature, unfiltered skin in their ads and social posts, a rarity in the makeup world. They even went viral for featuring Crowell’s 99 year old grandma on their social media.
And, it's clear that whatever Saie is selling is working — they have grown remarkably fast in a short time. The company now includes close to 30 employees and, in 2022, Saie reached a major milestone by launching their entire collection in Sephora — gaining a ton of new exposure. For those following the brand from the beginning, Saie’s growth probably isn’t surprising. Back in 2020, Crowell spoke to Glossy revealing her company, only eight months old at the time, had beat out its own sales expectations by more than 200 percent.
While Saie’s dewy makeup looks are what reel customers in, the brand’s dedication to diversity and its commitment to protecting the Earth are the stars of the show.
Tàche’s eco-friendly nut milk
Nowadays, consumers are inundated with a variety of dairy-free milk alternatives. From soy to coconut to almond to oat, there seem to be never-ending options. But a newcomer is disrupting the milk industry once again — pistachio milk. Roxana Saidi had the idea to launch her milk company Tàche one day in 2015 while vacationing in Paris with her family. Pistachios, known to be slightly sweet, are close to Saidi’s heart as they were a staple in her Iranian household growing up.
And while Tàche touts the drink’s taste — the business claims the milk is so good it can be drunk alone — the brand is also big on sustainability and prides itself on being environmentally friendly. Specifically, pistachios are more earth-friendly than almonds as they consume significantly less water, utilizing only 25 gallons of water to grow an ounce versus the 97 gallons needed for almonds.
A women-founded and led company, Tàche has also pledged to give back to young girls through their partnership with The Lower East Side Girls Club NY. On their website, they state their mission is, “to foster girls’ education and provide them with the mentorship, tools, and support they need to become healthy and successful women.”
The brand also spotlights Saidi’s Iranian heritage through its social media presence, like this Instagram post about Nowruz — the Persian New Year. Their first-ever company sale is currently taking place in honor of the holiday as well — customers can use the code “Persian New Year” to receive twenty percent off.
Some may be drawn to Tàche purely for the taste, but others will surely appreciate the brand’s social impact, making their pistachio milk a beverage you can feel good about drinking.
Bamby Collective creates a safe space
London-based influencer Ambar Driscoll recently launched her brand — Bamby Collective — with the mission to empower young women everywhere. Driscoll has stated the purpose of the organization is to create a safe space for all women to discuss topics like mental health and body perception.
For fans of the influencer, this move seems natural as the Bengali/English YouTuber has shared her struggles in the past, including opening up about her own body image issues on Instagram. A key component within the collective is fostering a connection between the members, allowing young women to feel comfortable enough to speak about sensitive topics. There are several ways members can find community within Bamby Collective: Through a private Facebook group where users can reach out to one another in confidence, at virtual events that take place every Monday including movie nights, and during its monthly book club via zoom. And, members are invited to in-person meetups throughout London as well. These events are promoted actively on social media and through a bi-weekly newsletter followers can subscribe to.
In line with Bamby Collective’s mission, Driscoll recently introduced her first product: positive affirmation jewelry. The bracelets include the phrases “I am strong,” and “I am enough,” in both gold and silver options. The launch dropped in late 2021 and Driscoll took to her Instagram to explain her motive behind the products. “What you think often becomes your world, and repeating things that uplift and comfort me make such a difference … I made these bracelets for myself, but also for you, in the hope that they serve as a helpful reminder when you need it,” she said. A woman of color herself, Driscoll has chosen to donate five percent of the proceeds from the collection to support Imkaan, a UK organization that fights violence against black and minority ethnic women and girls.
Bamby Collective’s goal to create authentic relationships amongst peers, all while challenging harmful societal norms, seems to be working. The group’s events usually sell out within hours, proving the brand’s doing something right.
So Good So You’s innovative approach to plastic
Founded in 2014 by Rita Katona and her husband, So Good So You sells probiotic shots meant to make people feel their healthiest. The company, which offers everything from sleep shots to energy shots to beauty shots, revolves around the idea, “people and planet first.” So, it’s no surprise their juices are created with quality in mind as the brand uses a “high pressure processing method” that preserves the enzymes and nutrients.
But while the business packs a ton of good-for-you ingredients inside their wellness drinks, they’ve also put the same thoughtfulness in crafting the outside. All probiotic shots are made with BTRBTL (pronounced: better bottle) — a new type of biodegradable plastic. If BTRBTL were to somehow get into a landfill, the plastic would break down into water, soil, and carbon-based gasses, according to a So Good So You press release. Producing something that had positive implications for the environment was important to Katona. “Our goal continues to be creating products that are delicious, nutrient-dense, and beneficial to the world as a whole,” Katona said during the bottle’s launch.
The organization is also owned by mostly female directors, has a senior leadership team of 50 percent women, and employs a majority of women with 46 percent of their staff also identifying as BIPOC. Their commitment to empowering women leaders led them to officially be certified as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise of National Council in 2021.
So much more than just a trendy wellness brand, So Good So You has an admirable and clear mission: to become a vehicle for large social change, all while helping individuals feel their best along the way.
Eizzy Baby's commitment to give back
In 2020, Assie Khoussa created Eizzy Baby with the vision to simplify the parenting process by making accessible and non-toxic baby products. The company’s homepage lays out the brand’s four core values: carefully designed, sustainably developed, on your side, and giving back. Each product is crafted with safe and eco-friendly materials – mostly food-grade silicone. A major goal for Eizzy Baby was to also produce products that would actually enhance every parent’s life. Khoussa details how the functionality of two of the brand’s items in particular — the Snack Cup and Silicon Bibs — made it possible for her to spend more quality time with her son and less time cleaning up after him.
Khoussa’s vision goes beyond helping parents, however. Through a partnership with Angel House International, an organization providing resources for young women living in Uganda, Khoussa has made a commitment to use her small business for social change. The Eizzy Baby website states, “we want women across the globe to live in their communities without fear or violence. Through education there is the creation of opportunity for young women to break down barriers and become an integral part of their thriving community.” All proceeds from the company’s Beads of Hope are donated to Angel House.
That Eizzy Baby provides inexpensive and safe products for babies is already a huge win, but the company’s deeper mission to amplify the voices of young girls in Uganda is what really makes them stand out for all the right reasons.
Alqo Wasi supports local communities
The idea for Alqo Wasi — a clothing brand for dogs — came to native Peruvian Patricia Queirolo when she was traveling through the Andes with her family in 2005 and noticed Alpacas roaming the land. Quierolo, a dog enthusiast herself, immediately envisioned crafting one-of-a-kind premium canine sweaters with Alpaca fiber and organic Pima cotton. Now, years later, the brand continues to sell their signature sweaters, while also adding toys and other accessories to their product line. But for Queirolo, the business was always about more than just producing quality dog items. Rather, her focus was to help her community.
Alqo Wasi has deep-seated roots in Peruvian culture — the brand name even translates to “dog home” in Quechuan, an indigenous language found in Peru. But perhaps the clearest link between the business and the culture is that Queirolo works directly with local artisans who use traditional weaving techniques to craft each sweater. These handmade garments are made via ancient methods which preserve the historical significance of each piece as Alpaca fiber has long been a staple within the Incan community for centuries.
Alqo Wasi prides itself on fostering these close relationships with the local Peruvian women. In an interview with Style Tail, Queirolo spoke of the impact her business had on the neighboring areas. “Creating good jobs in different regions of Peru and being environmentally responsible with natural fibers … helps reduce poverty and generates sustainable development for a third world country such as ours,” she said.
By shopping at Alqo Wasi, not only can you snag an adorable sweater for your furry friend, but you’re also supporting women artisans making this brand a no-brainer for conscientious shoppers.
Ethical and Successful
These six women-owned brands stand out for their innovative products, while also using their platforms to speak up about important social causes. By doing so, each of these small businesses offers customers an insight into their values as a company, and also as human beings. And these women have all seemingly cracked the code for being successful entrepreneurs without compromising their morals, proving it’s possible to run a thriving business and still focus on the greater good.
Who would you add to this list? Let us know on Twitter!