#PressForProgress On International Women’s Day
Did you know that the theme of 2018’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress? While March 8 officially kicks off the campaign for the year, the global conversation around women’s rights, equal pay, healthcare, and gender parity (oh, how we could go on…) has been gaining momentum and inspiring necessary shifts and shakeups everywhere we look. In the spirit of reflecting on the “#PressForProgress” theme, we’d like to share a few fast facts about how Knack celebrates women on International Women’s Day and beyond.
- Approximately 40% of our merchants are female entrepreneurs. These women-owned businesses range from a gourmet nut company to a line of hilariously quirky towels, and the women in charge lead with impeccable business acumen, creative chops, and philanthropic dedication. Many of the other companies we partner with, even those without female founders, directly benefit women’s rights and causes around the world, like Bloom & Give and Prosperity Candle Co.
- Women make up more than 80% of the Knack staff, including our founder and CEO Laura Jennings. Why is this worth noting? For one thing, we’re a startup, and while more women are joining the startup scene, we still have a very long way to go. In First Round’s State of Startups 2017 Survey Report, only 17.3% of the survey respondents identified as female, but 51.3% responded that their team was “mostly male.” Even more troublingly, nearly 60% of the respondents said their organization lacked a formal strategy for diversity and inclusion, though 46% have discussed the need for diversity and inclusion internally. We make an effort to showcase women in our own organization and our merchant community daily because we recognize the need to have these conversations loudly, and often–and then act on them!
Speaking of the women in our merchant community, read on to learn more about the vendors featured in these fabulously female-forward gift sets:
Gift set contains:
- Bloom & Give Haiku Organic Cotton Scarf, blue, 27″ w x 82″ h (approximate size)
- Olivine Atelier Amongst The Waves Lotion, 8 oz bottle
- Prosperity Candle Gratitude Candle, 3″ x 3″
Bloom & Give:
When traditional artisan crafts meet forward-thinking philanthropy, you have companies like Bloom & Give. Founded by longtime friends Partha Raghunathan and Madhu Rajendran, Bloom & Give sells textiles crafted with age-old weaving, dyeing, and embroidery techniques. 50% of profits from the gorgeous wares benefit grassroots education programs for girls across India, helping to break cycles of poverty and gender inequality.
Julie Wray knows what it’s like to be captivated by fragrance; she spent her childhood allowance on perfumes, and her passion lingered until she made blending fragrances her full-time career. Her handcrafted beauty products are designed to make her customers feel as sweet and lovely as they smell. 5% of sales go to Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit dedicated to making pregnancy and birth safe for mothers across the world.
The work of Prosperity Candle is craftsmanship with a cause. Women from Burma to Haiti join Prosperity Candle’s community to learn a trade that can help them establish a brighter future for themselves and their families. Many come to the US after fleeing refugee camps and begin as apprentice candle-makers, often earning their first ever paychecks and gaining work experience. The result is beautiful hand-poured candles with heart.
Gift set contains:
- The Oula Company Geo Serpentine Cotton Cocktail Coasters, set of 4, 7.75″ x 7.75″
- Brooklyn Slate Co. Slate Cheese Board, 7″ h x 14″ w
- Roost Mixed Metal Cheese Knives, set of 2, Spreader: 7.25″ h x 0.75″ w and Slicer: 5.75″ h x 1.5″w
The Oula Co:
The Oula Company creates women’s clothing, accessories, and homegoods in the USA with a focus on responsible sourcing and international design from Africa, Asia, India, and Latin America. Curator and CEO Erika Dalya Massaquoi sources and exports textiles from independent artisans and nonprofits to foster cultural exchange, education, and economic development around the globe.
Brooklyn Slate Co.:
Sean Tice and Kristy Hadeka live like rock stars–in a sense. The graphic designer and Parsons graduate student visited Kristy’s family’s slate quarry in 2009, and took a few pieces of slate to give to friends as rustic coasters and trivets. Their experiments were so well-received that they founded Brooklyn Slate Co. as a way to turn their efforts into a line of artful, unique slate products. Every piece of slate they use is hand-cut and cleaned to be food safe.
Gift set contains:
- Girl Meets Dirt Rhubarb Lavender Spoon Preserves, 7.75 oz jar
- Sisters Baking Co. Rain City Crunch Original Granola, 2 oz
- Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantain Chips, 2 oz
- BobbySue’s Original Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Cashews and Pecans), 2.5 oz
- jcoco Mini Chocolate Bar Assortment, 1 oz each, 8 flavors
- Hot Cakes Dark Chocolate Sauce, 7 oz jar
“Professional Confectioner” surely falls under the category of “dream job,” no? For Autumn Martin, it’s both a dream and a reality. Autumn has worked magic in the Seattle culinary scene for years, first as Pastry Chef at Canlis Restaurant, then as Head Chocolatier for Theo Chocolate. She developed the irresistible and innovative Hot Cakes brand around her signature Mason Jar Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cake starting in 2008.
Barb “Bobbysue” Kobren had a mission, a plan, and a secret family recipe. Inspired by her personal mission of helping homeless animals, Bobbysue wanted a way to increase animal rescue donations. She decided to sell her family’s generations-old recipe for roasted spiced nuts and soon, joined by her son Adam, she had a booming business. Today, Bobbysue’s Nuts works closely with the SPCA and has donated over $40,000 toward helping homeless animals.
Sisters Baking Co:
Some sisters share everything: clothes, makeup….a granola business? Jen Norton and Jamie Fender ran a tag-team pastry business until a bakery challenged them to come up with their own product and Rain City Crunch granola was born, perfectly sweet and toasty. Now they sell to over 100 stores in the Seattle area and beyond and continue to bake delicious granola that uses local ingredients and is naturally gluten free.
We never thought we’d see the day when we wouldn’t look twice at a bag of potato chips, but that was before we tasted Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains. Our friend Donna Moodie brings her Jamaican heritage to her Seattle restaurant-named after her mother Marjorie-with her signature plantain chips. They’re perfect dipped in guacamole or salsa, paired with cheeses, or enjoyed on their own.
Girl Meets Dirt:
Audra Lawlor left a 10-year Wall Street career for a sweeter, more inspired sort of toil close to the land in her native Pacific Northwest. She and her husband put down roots on Washington’s Orcas Island, then plunged their hands and hearts into a new existence making preserves and jams. Inspired by local fruit and traditional preserving techniques, Audra’s soulful confections are cooked in copper pots and lovingly perfected by hand.
A sister brand of Seattle Chocolates, jcoco creates culinarily-inspired chocolate with a mission. The jcoco team, along with owner Jean Thompson, cross the globe to find the finest chocolate and most unique, flavorful ingredients for small-batch chocolate bars made from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa. For every jcoco bar purchased, jcoco donates a serving of healthy food to someone in need through their partners, NorthwestHarvest.Org, the New York City Food Bank, and SF-Marin Food Bank.
We can’t help but admire a woman who starts each day with a glass of chocolate milk. When Jean Thompson became Seattle Chocolates’ CEO in 2002, she based her business on the idea that chocolate should be an everyday indulgence. Seattle Chocolates’ premium chocolates are made with all-natural ingredients and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa. Through the annual #chocolategives campaign, they donate a portion of their sales to national food banks.