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A Nod to the 21st Century Girl Boss: Local Women-Run Businesses to Watch in 2021

 

International Women’s Day has come and gone, and as I reflect on all the love that was shown to women that day, I find myself wondering - why can’t women receive this much praise every day? So I scrolled through my social feeds and decided to take initiative and show a little love of my own by highlighting a few kick-ass women entrepreneurs who are doing some pretty amazing things. Here’s a handful of female-run businesses you need to watch this year, categorized neatly by niche.

For Quarantine-Style “Parties”

As we approach the one-year anniversary of our original “2-week lockdown,” it seems as though everyone has reluctantly come to terms with the fact that COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for a little while longer. That said, over the past year, many small businesses have found new ways to make distancing, lockdowns, and even curfews a little more bearable - and dare I say enjoyable?

One trend that has erupted in response to the pandemic is quarantine-style celebrations and drive-by events. Whether you’re celebrating indoors with those who live in your home, or are hosting a drive-by event, there’s a bevy of wonderfully talented women ready to help you make it perfect. 

Amanda at Event Prints, for instance, will bring your vision to life, decking your home with themed banners, placemats, confetti, water bottle labels, and much more. She will even supply stunning announcement backdrops and life-size cutouts of your child's favourite tv or movie characters (or yours - she won’t judge!) 

 

 

Of course, no decor is ever complete without balloons, and Lisa and Nina at OLINI BALLOON have truly turned balloon decor into an artform. Among their creations, the most noteworthy has to be their stunning, elaborate balloon garlands which range in style and size to reflect your vision.

For Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth 

Hosting a quarantine-style party or not, there’s no reason you can’t indulge in something sweet. And when it comes to female-owned dessert businesses, there are plenty of options to explore. Laura at YUM Creations makes desserts that can only be described as edible art - both beautiful and delicious. Her original cakesicle™️ is definitely a must-try, and if you’re not one for sharing, you need to get your hands on some YUMcakies! 

Brooke and Brittney, the sister duo at BBAKERY, truly have a talent for bringing your party's theme to life through their incredibly realistic (and delicious) cakes. And, if you’re looking for something sweet that’s also a lot of fun, Baking With Rach creates the prettiest candy-filled Piñata cakes - complete with an adorable wooden mallet!

For Delicious Food & Drink

After coming to terms with the fact that I can’t cook, I turned to Instagram for an easy dinnertime fix. That’s when I stumbled upon Pranzetto Pizza Mobile & Traiteur, and wow. Sabrina’s frozen pizzas are a true delight. Not only are they super quick to prepare, but they’re absolutely delicious - and toddler-approved! 

 

 

I think we can all agree that pizza pairs wonderfully with a glass of wine, but have you ever tried pizza and cocktails? MTL Craft Cocktails offers the most delectable cocktail kits. Ashley’s menu includes a wide and unique variety of handcrafted mixes - all you need to do is add the alcohol and enjoy.

If your littles will be joining your cocktail hour, they’ll definitely enjoy sipping on a yummy (non-alcoholic) hot chocolate bomb made by Maria Lina at Marilee’s Creation. With a range of tempting flavours to choose from, it’ll be hard to pick just one.

For Gifting and Giving Back

Gifting is definitely a trend that's on the rise right now. Since we're unable to celebrate important holidays and milestones with family and friends in-person, many of us have turned to sending gifts to our loved ones (either by delivery service, or by dropping it off at the recipients door yourself, ringing their doorbell, and sprinting away to reach that 6 ft. distance before they come to the door) Whatever the reason, there are so many female-owned gifting shops to help you put together the perfect present. Cadeaux Dolce Anna Inc. creates amazing bespoke gift baskets that are on-theme and perfect for any occasion. Another creative woman that will tend to all of your gifting and loot bag needs is Brittany aka The Loot Bag Lady.

Among the many women-owned small businesses that specialize in crafting beautiful personalized gifts, the amazing ladies at Atelier YCC are doing something that's a little different and is truly incredible. Not only do Caroline and Claudia create stunning handmade items, including forever frames, 3D lightboxes, and custom gift boxes (just to name a few) but they also donate 10% of their profits each month to a charity!

 

 

For Entertaining Your Kids

Let’s talk kids. Now more than ever, parents are searching for ways to keep their children entertained and busy while they’re home - and a handful of women have taken note, providing tips, tricks, and even developing products that your littles can enjoy for hours! 

Kim at Brilliant Little Binders creates “busy binders” that are both fun for children and educational (win-win, right?) While creative moms Mara and Laura at Big Minds.Little Hands run an Instagram page showcasing DIY educational activities and crafts for kids that you can replicate at home using household items you’re likely to have.

What child doesn’t love to colour? (even if it is on the wall, or floor, or table…) Jessica at Over The Rainbow Crayons has the sweetest collection of handmade non-toxic crayons. There are tons of themes to choose from, and you can even get them personalized with your child’s name! 

 

For Small Accessories

There’s no shortage of female-owned accessories businesses online, so you won’t have to look far to snag the perfect handmade hair bows for your girls, scrunchies and headbands for yourself, or jewelry for the entire family. In fact, hair bows and headbands can be found a lot closer than you think. Here at Lovely Knots Bowtique, we offer a wide range of unique, handmade hair bows and other small accessories you’ll love.

As for jewelry, Ash&Ari has got a gorgeous collection of custom handmade bracelets for your littles - and the best part? Angela also makes them for adults, offering a new way for the whole fam to match!

If you're a new mom, you'll love every adorable accessory created by Amanda at MI&LOO - a small shop specializing in non-toxic silicon beaded gifts like pacifier clips and teethers for your babies - and they can even be personalized!

I know this post barely scratches the surface where amazing women in business are concerned - and trust me, I can ramble on for hours about so many more boss babes that aren’t mentioned here. Instead, I’ll leave the task to you. If there’s a woman I left off of this list that you'd like to highlight, please use the comments box below to share her business for all to see!

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