I must warn you. Yes, I must warn you- that if you ever want to buy from women-owned businesses, it is not a click away, but maybe three, and perhaps even four clicks into the web. Have you ever tried to Google “buy from women-owned businesses”? Don’t be surprised by the amount of advice you will find on why you SHOULD support these businesses, rather than being offered a direct link that reads “click here to buy” from these women.
This is no different from what happens in the workplace: on the search for a Mentor, women are often told they must look for a Sponsor if they want to succeed. Sponsors are individuals who have some hiring or promotion power. They serve as a spokesperson and grant you actionable opportunities for increased pay or for widening the breadth of your responsibilities and getting you promoted. (Apparently, you need to hire someone for things you should be able to do yourself, even if that means widening the wage gap a little.)
Way too often, however, women are given loads of Advice and have people with power acting solely as Mentors, when they need Dollars and Sponsors.
In terms of solutions available, here is what I found:
On Google, there are a few websites that offer directories. However, these seem outdated, or offer too few options, with too many layers of clicks that don’t allow you to simply glance at direct product offerings.
Amazon had a feature for International Women’s Day that dedicated a specific page for highlighting women-owned businesses offering products on Amazon. The issue here is that it is a very small percentage of the actual availability of products made by women across the internet. Needless to say, a day sounds very little time for creating any real impact on those women’s profits.
Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands are the ones I’ve seen make more headway in promoting themselves as mission-based women-owned businesses and I have been targeted by them frequently. This is a strategy that is growing in terms of market share and is causing some shifts in consumption patterns: slipping away from large traditional retailers and into startups. Hope to continue to see these platforms take off!
Lastly, there is word of mouth. This is rather inefficient in today’s world since we are now global citizens rather than townspeople. We need real options to buy from women-owned businesses from wherever we are in the world.
This is why I built this online marketplace. Every item you find offered on here is from a woman-owned company. These are hardworking, insightful, brilliant human beings that deserve your consumer dollars.
Even in the buildout of the page, I attempted to use all female-owned businesses but here is where you run into a larger issue that I hope to see other of my females tackling: most of the platforms available to build my store were all founded by men. Shopify. Mailchimp. Paypal. Facebook and Google for ads. The one I was able to find, that is woman-founded, is the digital bank Azlo! Wooohooo! One success, 5 unavoidable failures. I have asked my GirlBoss community for a female-founded alternative to Mailchip which is called Flodesk. Unfortunately, they do not currently have a free basic option so while I am waiting to transition over, I am revenue-generating.
So what can you do about it right now?
1. Shop from our page. Tell your friends about it. Get your Holiday gifts on our page!
2. Tell us if you have a product to offer that you want us to feature, or if you have more suggestions about women-owned businesses we should include on our page, please email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!