It’s been a year for the ladies. From the #metoo movement to electing 100+ women into Congress, we’ve made a lot of strides. But we’re also still dealing with a whole lotta bullshit.
I’m neither the politically-active (I voted, don’t worry) nor the protesting type, but I still want to support. So instead of donning a pussy hat and practicing my picketing (although that’s equally awesome), I decided to give my money to women-powered businesses in the food and beauty space.
I can’t take full credit for this idea — the inspiration came mostly from podcasts and social media. I’ve been voraciously listening to Radio Cherry Bombe and pineapple radio, both of which highlight females in the food world. I also follow a number of fem-forward food and wellness bloggers and have learned about other woman-powered brands through them. For months now, I’ve been amassing a giant list of products, from essential oils and natural deodorant to feminist wines and artisan olive oil.
I figured I couldn’t be the only person who wanted to give and receive a box stuffed with fem-powered goodies, so I started searching the wide world of subscription box services. Surprisingly, most of what I found were listicles with the “best” subscription boxes for women, not by women.
So for the holidays this year, I decided to make my own. Here are some of the products I included:
This single-origin turmeric is grown from organic, heirloom seeds. Sana Javedri Kani, Mumbai-native and self-proclaimed “queer womxn of color,” founded the company to put money in the hands of Indian farmers and alter the Western narrative of Indian cuisine. They’re committed to direct trade, lowering traditional mark-up and ensuring all involved in the harvest, processing, and delivery earn a living wage.
New York, NY
Sarah Kauss created S’Well to help eliminate plastic bottles “through fashion and function.” Launched in 2010, S’Well has become one of the fastest-growing woman-founded brands. They have water bottles, tumblers, and traveling mugs in various sizes. In addition to their stylish drinking receptacles, S’Well supports a variety of charities like UNICEF, (Red), and the Breast Cancer Research Association.
Jean Thompson founded Jcoco in 2012 to make a difference through culinary-inspired chocolate with unique flavors like black fig pistachio and edamame sea salt. For each bar sold, JCoco donates fresh food to various food banks in Washington, New York, and California. To date, the company has donated over 3 million servings to those in need.
Chef and cookbook author Chitra Agrawal is the mastermind behind this line of Indian pickled condiments known as “aachar.” Her recipes are inspired by ingredients she finds in both India and Brooklyn, and their sweet, spicy, savory, and sour notes make them the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches, soups, eggs, noodles, and more.
City Girl Coffee Co.
City Girl is bringing equality to the ladies of the coffee industry by sourcing product from and financially supporting women-run farms in countries like Columbia. Alyza Bohbot founded City Girl after taking over her parents’ Minnesota coffee business, setting out to make a difference for the thousands of woman whose livelihood depends on that cup of joe.
Kween and Co.
San Diego, CA
Ali Bonar founded Kween and Co. when she couldn’t find an alternative to nut butter. Cue Granola Butter, a nutritious and nut-free spread that is as delicious drizzled on toast as it is baked into cookies. Through her Instagram (@avokween) and blog following, Bonar helps others with intuitive eating, recovering from eating disorders, and changing their relationship to food for the better.
Nana Joe’s Granola
San Francisco, CA
Chef Michelle Pusateri developed her granola recipes to be a hearty surfing snack, but she ultimately built her business to bring healthy, fresh foods back to the breakfast table. She named the brand after her Italian “Nana” Ignacia and her two grandfathers named Joseph, and each bag displays a Polaroid of her parents in 1968. Nana Joe’s makes a variety of grain and gluten-free options, and they partner with local chefs to dream up new flavor combinations.
When her family started an organic livestock farm in SoCal, Bethany McDaniel took a hard look at what was in her bathroom cabinet and not just what was on her plate. Primally Pure was born out of her passion for including real ingredients in skincare. From the lip balm to the deodorant and everything in between, all products are safe and organic with ingredients sourced from family-owned farms when possible.
The products of Thistle Farms are crafted by trafficking and sexual assault survivors. Their motto? “Love is the most powerful force in the world.” The company not only provides meaningful jobs for these women — it also provides housing, education, access to counseling, and a supportive network of alumni. Thistle Farms’ model has also inspired 40+ other recovery organizations for female survivors.
Got other fem-powered brands I shouldn’t miss? Let me know!