Why Supporting Women-Owned Business Matters: Vermont Female Founders Share Their Wisdom
With a worldwide supply chain shortage that’s making online shopping a risky venture at best, there are more reasons to shop local in Vermont than ever.
From holiday decorations to kitchen appliances, Vermont — like the rest of the country — is facing supply-chain problems and rising costs caused by outbreaks of coronavirus in Asian factories, bottlenecks in West Coast ports, and shortages of containers and workers.
Here, we talk to five female founders about how COVID-19 has impacted long-term shopping trends, ongoing economic gender disparities and why supporting women-owned businesses matters.
Shop Local, Shop Organic
Annika McCann, Primal Botanical
Primal Botanical CBD products are certified organic and handcrafted from start to finish by clinical herbalist, health coach and RN, Annika McCann.
“The past couple of years have been tough on small businesses. Female business owners have been hit especially hard. Women have always been responsible for the majority of family caregiving tasks. Juggling work and childcare is challenging under the best of circumstances, and the disruptions to school, daycare, and family support systems caused by COVID have made life for working mothers much more difficult.”
“When you shop small, you are directly helping real people and real families.”
“Instead of giving your holiday shopping money to Amazon or Walmart this year, please try to shop small, shop local, and/or buy from women-owned businesses. When you shop small, you are directly helping real people and real families. You could help a neighbor keep her business open and afford to pay her car payment, fuel bill, or college tuition. On behalf of working moms and struggling small businesses everywhere, thank you!”
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Jessilyn Dolan, NurseGrown Organics
Jessilyn Dolan founded Vermont Cannabis Nurse Association, establishing a gifting program for Vermonters in need of medicinal cannabis.
Dolan co-founded NurseGrown Organics and Vermont Hemp and CBD because she wants to work toward an economy transitioning toward local cannabis products that meet the in-depth lab testing and formulation standards necessary to ensure consumer safety. NurseGrown is Vermont’s first Clean Green Certified hemp farm.
“Actively supporting a woman-owned business is a direct way to address gendered economic disparity.”
“Women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – particularly financially,” states Dolan. “Actively supporting a woman-owned business is a direct way to address gendered economic disparity.”
Dolan also advocates for gifts that teach people how to grow and make their own medicine. “By purchasing DIY products, you keep money in the local economy and give people the opportunity to learn how to make and grow their own cannabis products, offering them greater control over so many aspects of their own wellness. It’s sort of a version of handing someone a fish versus teaching them how to fish!”
An Opportunity to Educate the Gift Recipient
Emma Rose, Rosie’s Confections
Emma Rose owns Rosie’s Confections in Winooski, along with her sister, mother and grandmother – three generations of women. This shop specializes in ethically-sourced artisan chocolates and candies, including vegan and CBD products.
“I think how we spend our money matters a lot, and the future is shaped by the things we buy.”
“Finding something special, unique and meaningful is what we are all striving for when shopping for gifts, explained Emma. “One thing that jumps to mind when I think of women-owned businesses is mission-oriented. There is often a deliberate reason why our products are created. I think how we spend our money matters a lot, and the future is shaped by the things we buy. Supporting businesses that also work towards a better future while educating the gift recipient? That’s a win-win!”
“When you support a woman-owned business, you will often find a very cool mission attached to the item you are buying. This is an opportunity to create a better world AND add joy to the holidays.”
Striving to Be Positive
Meredith Mann, Magic Mann
Mann’s deep-seeded roots within the Vermont cannabis community first started with the founding of BTV Local 420 by Meredith and her brother, Brian Drourr. They are involved in every aspect of the production process, from cannabis flowers to oil, from cooking to packaging.
“Supporting women in the workforce supports everyone,” Mann states. “My community is important to me, and I strive to be a positive, inclusive, innovative and personable business owner, providing a place and a product that you can feel confident in. Feel free to ask questions and find the self-care you are looking for.”
“As a mother and female entrepreneur, I believe women can be successful in many roles. There is no limit to the strength and fortitude that a woman business owner can exude. With the challenges that exist for females in the workplace, I feel blessed to create an atmosphere where women are fierce, valued, and respected.”
“There is no limit to the strength and fortitude that a woman business owner can exude.”
“The strong network of support and collaboration we women show each other in this industry is beautiful and sacred. Together we can work towards a more inclusive cannabis industry that is not male dominated and has equal opportunities for all. I am honored to be a part of this process.”
“Supporting female-owned local small businesses in Vermont, you will help to build a sustainable cannabis industry for our community with the trust and quality we expect from Vermont women.”
Helping Women Gain Financial Independence
Allyson Sprinkel, Pepper Lee CBD
Allyson Sprinkel is the founder and owner of Pepper Lee CBD. She handcrafts CBD hemp care products in small batches using Vermont-grown certified-organic cannabis flowers, carefully infused with organic, cold-pressed carrier oils and legally tested. Her recipes are simple, consistent and effective.
“By supporting Pepper Lee you are helping one woman and her daughter gain financial independence over their own lives,” explained Sprinkel. “When you shop at Pepper Lee, you know that everything from the extraction to the labels are all done by one woman (me). With every sale I am showing my daughter that anything is possible if you put in the work and maintain your integrity.”
“I believe our children are always watching and absorbing the lessons in our actions no matter how small. It’s important to lead by example and if we want our kids to have a thriving economy where they feel like they can achieve anything. It is up to all of us to build that world brick by brick doing the things that light us up!”
“With every sale I am showing my daughter that anything is possible if you put in the work and maintain your integrity.”
“The love that comes out of my hands into my products is felt and quite tangible, I believe. The entire Pepper Lee collection is wonderful for any human who needs to feel rested, beautiful, healed or relaxed.”
- CBD Salt & Flower Body Scrub
- Rest Well CBD & Kava Elixir
- Holy Hair & Everywhere Oil Wash
- Honey & Rosemary Hemp Hair Mask
Find the entire collection at Pepper Lee CBD.