Throughout the pandemic, women small business owners have struggled to make ends meet and see their dreams come true.
And Saturday, November 27 will be your time to support them wherever you live, as shopping for the holiday season begins with the 12th Annual Small Business Saturday.
Supported by American Express as of 2010, Small Business Saturday is still held on the weekend after Thanksgiving. The idea is to get people to “buy small” or “buy local” as opposed to doing business in big box stores owned by big companies, which many do frantically the day before, Black Friday.
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Women business owners in the United States are on the increase, according to census data, but they remain lower than those of men. For women of color in particular, the likelihood of owning a business is even lower, due to structural racism and barriers. A 2020 snapshot of American women-owned businesses released by Fundera, however, showed some promising numbers. Of the new women-owned businesses from the previous year, 64% were started by women of color.
Here are nine women-owned businesses across New England that you can support with your small business dollars this Saturday – and throughout the year.
Emerald City Plant Shop – Norwood, MA
New England’s first black-owned plant store and botanical event space – Emerald City Plant Shop – is run by entrepreneur Quontay Turner. After working at a Boston South End factory outlet and then selling plants online, Turner signed a lease at Norwood during the pandemic and opened Emerald City in May.
Emerald City is a haven of greenery, filled with houseplants of all kinds and plant-themed clothing that could make the perfect gifts for a plant lover in your life. Turner also offers workshops on plant care, plant design, consultations, event space rentals, and even plant rentals.
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âWhether you are new to the plant community or, like our founder, take the pandemic as a valid reason to turn your existing plant collection into a full-fledged love letter for the Amazon rainforest, plants have always been a factor. key to our mental and physical health, âstates the Emerald City website.
Achillea millefolium – Kittery, ME
Billed as a wellness boutique for âhead, heart and home,â Yarrow is a carefully curated boutique brimming with little treasures. Jodie Curtis’ business sells body products, kitchenware, jewelry, cards, books, metaphysical supplies and more.
Curtis opened Yarrow in 2019 on the first floor of a tiny house just outside of downtown Kittery, with the goal of providing a holistic space for health and healing.
On Yarrow’s shelves are CBD products, embroidery kits, crystals, tarot cards, dyes and tonics, as well as candles, small home furnishings, bath products, and lotions. At the back of the store, you will find a well-stocked technical room.
Skida – Burlington, Vermont
For the outdoor enthusiast in your life, this woman-owned business in Burlington sells ski-inspired hats and other winter accessories.
Corinne Prevot was 16 when she founded Skida in 2008, while attending Burke Mountain Academy. She then developed it at Middlebury College.
Outside Magazine once praised Prevot for starting a “hat empire”.
Skida is headquartered in Burlington and its iconic line of colorful hats, headbands and ties are produced locally in the Northeast Kingdom. Skida products are also available at resorts and ski shops across North America.
Fusion Dolls – Brockton, MA
You can buy an American Girl doll for a gift this holiday season, or you can support a woman from Brockton who has started her own business selling multicultural dolls.
Fusion Dolls recently opened their own storefront in the Westgate Mall. Laid off during the pandemic, founder Widline Pyrame sold her dolls online, most with black and brown skin and textured hair. Her dolls quickly gained popularity, through various pop-up events and in a mall kiosk before her storefront.
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âRepresentation really matters,â Pyramus said previously. “When you see yourself in a doll, you can say, ‘It’s me.'”
Pyrame said its self-love doll offerings are directly driven by feedback from its child customers.
Small Potatoes – Norwich, CT
Opened by Erica Sullivan-Corbett from Norwich in 2013, Small Potatoes sells unique crafts and gifts. Its aim was to create a space to showcase the work of the region’s creative minds.
âWith the artists represented in the store, I believe in local shopping and supporting other small businesses,â Sullivan-Corbett writes on his website. âThe community can only grow stronger by coming together and supporting the talents of artisans in our region.
For Small Business Saturday, Small Potatoes will undoubtedly be stocked with locally made holiday decorations, candies, lotions and soaps, teas, jewelry and more.
Lore – Providence, RI
A lifestyle store located between Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Lore primarily carries fair trade and women-owned brands.
Owned by former RISD student and designer Jayna Aronovitch, Lore sells a host of unique works of art, including prints, puzzles and collages. The boutique also offers hair accessories, incense and candles, felt flowers, and women’s clothing, among countless other handcrafted goods.
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Looking for gifts for a little one? Lore also sells unique animal slippers for infants, handcrafted in small batches in rural villages in Kyrgyzstan.
Bedlam Book CafÃ© – Worcester, MA
Books make a great holiday gift, especially when your purchase supports local booksellers. In Worcester, Bedlam Book Cafe has a curated collection of used books, “from academic to esoteric” and a small number of new books.
“We aim to be an intellectual, cultural and community center encouraging diversity and access to information, as well as a healthy lifestyle through our offerings of homemade organic smoothies, raw bites, coffees and teas, âsays Bedlam’s website.
Bedlam is owned by Nicole DiCello, who spent 20 years in the corporate world before leaving to create a business mix of two of her favorite things: books and healthy foods, especially juices.
If you have a really crazy delivery guy in your life, consider offering them a Bedlam CSB (Community Supported Bookstore) share, where people can purchase a monthly subscription with varying levels of benefits.
Attrezzi – Portsmouth, NH
Lovers of cheese, wine, spices, specialty olive oils, pasta sauces and all the kitchen gadgets won’t be disappointed with a gift from Attrezzi, a kitchen accessory store refined in downtown Portsmouth.
Owner Corradina Arangio’s grandmother ran a grocery store in Sicily during WWII, her influence today for her wide array of offerings in Attrezzi.
Attrezzi’s large selection includes aged balsamic vinegars, apple and maple jam with bacon, passion fruit jalapeÃ±o jelly, collectible wine glasses, wooden cutting boards, aprons and tea towels.
On the second floor of the two-story boutique is a whole tasting section, with all of Attrezzi’s sauces, dips and more. Did we also mention the wine tastings?
Cerulean – Warren, RI
Owned by Kate Simpson, Cerulean is a Warren gift shop featuring products from over 70 small businesses.
Cerulean’s inventory includes photographic prints, jewelry, vintage finds, humorous coasters, herbal soaps, straws and reusable tea towels.
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Simpson herself is creative, making jewelry under the name Kate Simpson Designs, which she sells at Cerulean. The Cerulean store also offers free gift wrapping and advice on interior design.