Poise® Brand has awarded individual grants of $15,000 to 10 women-owned businesses that are making a difference by challenging the status quo and uplifting women with their business models. Keep reading to find out more about some of these businesses.
Society expects women to take care of everyone else before taking care of themselves. But Alexandra Elle, a DC-based author and wellness consultant who’s on a mission to build community and foster self-care through literature and language, is changing that. Her business encourages women from all walks of life to take care of themselves first so they can show up as their best selves. Through her published works and workshops, she helps individuals use storytelling, poetry and narrative writing to find their inner voice that's rooted in truth without shame.
For most of their lives, She'Neil Johnson and Nicolette Graves resorted to tedious self-education when it came to finding skincare tips and solutions for people of color. In a move shattering norms and fostering inclusivity within the skincare industry, the pair teamed up to support women of color by launching their own formulated skincare line called Base Butter. The company features crowdsourced skincare products designed for black women with easy-to-use formulas. Their inspiring mission is to help make skincare easy for black women, empowering them to love their skin so much, they'll do anything to protect it.
Like many people of color, Shontay Lundy didn’t hear the word sunscreen often growing up and was taught that her dark complexion protected her from the sun. Lundy realized the importance of sunscreen as she got older, but was turned off by the white residue most brands left behind on her dark skin. Armed with an MBA and a personal vendetta against this unappealing residue, she created Black Girl Sunscreen, the ultimate UV protection for skin of color. In addition to making the skincare industry more inclusive, Black Girl Sunscreen is proud to help empower and educate people of color on the importance of sun protection so they can live healthier lives.
Like many women when walking alone at night, Kate Davis always carried keys between her fingers as a safety precaution. Frustrated by their clumsiness and inaccessibility, Davis decided to take matters into her own hands by creating Knockout, a jewelry company that features an elegant line of rings designed to help women protect themselves. Not only are the rings stylish, they help make women feel safer, which enables them to feel more confident. Davis currently empowers the women in her community by donating 5% of all profits to a program that helps survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
After working in a conservative office environment, Dorie Smith realized her clothing looked very similar to what many of the men in her office were wearing—outfits lacking personal style or comfort. So she created Of Mercer, a brand of fashionable business attire for working women, by working women, where every hemline is office appropriate. Most fashion brands focus on women outside of the work environment, despite the fact that millions of women spend the majority of their time in an office. Of Mercer continues to empower women in and outside the workplace with modern professional clothing solutions that helps them feel more comfortable and confident.
After being diagnosed with a chronic illness and becoming plus-sized, Camille Newman still wanted to find clothes that made her feel confident and beautiful. When Newman realized the fashion industry wasn’t catering to women like her, she changed the status quo herself by founding Pop Up Plus, a brand offering trendy, contemporary and indie pieces for plus-sized women sizes 14 and up. Ultimately, Pop Up Plus aims to help women embrace their personal style, no matter their size, so they can feel like their best selves every day. To further its commitment to female empowerment, the company also offers community classes on confidence building, personal styling and dating.
Military families relocate about every three years on average, which made it difficult for military spouses Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse to find reliable work, despite being educated and exceptionally motivated. That inspired the founders to start R. Riveter, a handbag company that provides jobs for spouses just like them, where each bag is dedicated to a noteworthy female hero. Named after World War II icon Rosie the Riveter, the company gives back to its community by putting a portion of its sales right back into the pockets of military spouses, supporting more than 100 military families since 2019.
Despite what society would lead us to believe, founders Miriam Williams and Tara Elwell Henning knew that pregnancy isn’t all “sunshine and rainbows,” so the duo set out to create a clothing brand that truly understood the mothers of today. Enter Superkin, fashionable maternity wear that's designed for the woman, not just their baby bumps. Superkin believes that when mothers create the generations of tomorrow, they should be well dressed and well respected today, and empowers them to feel like their best selves no matter what stage of life they’re in.
Founded by a former musician who wanted to make a difference in her community, The Giving Keys defines itself not as a boutique jewelry brand, but as a social impact company. What's so special about The Giving Keys is each piece of custom jewelry is assembled from downtown Los Angeles by people transitioning out of homelessness. Crosby's company has provided more than 130 jobs to these incredible individuals so far. As a result, her employees have secured and maintained housing along with a renewed sense of purpose.
Owner Lindsay White was tired of breastfeeding in tears while hiding in dirty bathroom stalls and parked cars. She was determined to shatter stigmas for moms who breastfeed and The Little Milk Bar does just that. Through fun apparel items like “milk maker” t-shirts, White’s company aims to uplift and encourage breastfeeding mothers to feed their babies anywhere, without shame, even going so far as petitioning for breastfeeding to be allowed in advertisements. White wants fellow mothers to know that, even if their voice shakes a little, The Little Milk Bar always has their back.