March is Women's History month, and what better time to support women entrepreneurs and business owners! We've always made a point of supporting women, both with donations to local organizations like the Soroptimists, as well as choosing fair trade products that benefit women - like these earrings from the Didi Jewelry Project. The Didi Project trains HIV+ women in India jewelry-making skills to support themselves and their families, all while creating original, fun, and stylish earrings.
But I like to think one of the most important ways we support women at The Crown Jewel is to buy products made by women artists and business owners. Did you know the number of women-owned businesses in the United States has doubled in the last 20 years? And in 2020, over half of new businesses were started by women of color? These are exciting trends! And yet, despite representing 40% of all US businesses, women-owned businesses received less than 5% of available venture capital funding and government contracts. (Why does this not surprise us?)
I'd love to amplify and celebrate just some of the wonderful things women-owned businesses bring us by sharing with you here a few of my favorite things from women artists and entrepreneurs in our shops. Some of these products we have brought on in the last few years, and some we have carried for many years - but we are astounded at the quality, thoughtfulness, and love that has gone into each of them.
The Standout Design in Los Angeles was built by Lynn Zeng, a jewelry designer who seeks to express her passion through delightful pieces created from a fascinating variety of colored gemstones. From the first day of her business in 2007, Lynn says, her heart has been touched and nourished immensely by people who love her jewelry, service and character. And we at The Crown Jewel can attest to that. Since the first day we met her at the Tucson Gem Show, Lynn stood out not only as a wonderful jewelry designer, but as a warm, helpful, and conscientious business owner. When I asked her for a quote for this blog, she wrote, "Making jewelry is my destiny and my message to the world is Standout, and live life with flying colors!"
The story of Honey House Naturals began on a farm near Puget Sound, Washington. “Queen Bee” Ruth Willis began keeping bees to enhance the fruit trees in her family’s backyard orchard. Soon, the bees were producing honey, which they sold at the local market. In an effort to help a friend whose hands had become severely dry and cracked, Ruth created a concentrated lotion bar made of pure beeswax and other natural emollients to mend and moisturize broken skin. Now her company sells Bee Bars, and lots of other moisturizing and all-natural products containing royal jelly and beeswax, around the world.
Based in Wyoming, Antoinette Cleoni has been creating sterling silver gemstone jewelry of the highest quality for over 30 years. Her designs grace a number of jewelry boutiques and galleries in the West. Antoinette's pieces feature simple silver bezel settings, which allow the natural beauty of her premium-quality gemstones to shine out in a style that is both contemporary and timeless. Take care of these pieces with a gentle polishing cloth from time to time, and they will last a lifetime for you.
Founded by Kori Guidici in Portland, Oregon over 15 years ago, Flipside Hats is now carried by over 350 stores across the country. From the start, Kori's company has used repurposed or recycled-material fabrics to sew USA-made limited edition, earth friendly hats that reduce impact on the planet. The result is hats that are stylish and full of love, life, and fun. After learning that her hats are favored by women under going chemo therapy, Kori refocused her company name and mission to be on Healing.