Sarah Guerrero is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She has a degree in international business from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and writes about sustainable business practices and ethical living.
When Michelle Simmons was on maternity leave with her oldest, she was worried about toxins in candles and other home products. The new mom began pouring her own candles, using natural essential oil scents.
Michelle started selling her candles at local fairs and shows and before long, she and her first assistant, Bekah, were pouring hundreds of candles right there in Michelle’s backyard garage!
That little candle company, of course, has become Slow North (Michelle has three kids now, and her husband, Jon, works with her!), but we’ve never lost our love of women-founded shops, and especially makers that prioritize the health and wellbeing of their entire communities.
We know you also love women makers who give back, so today we’re spilling the details on three of our favorites that you can find right here in our shop!
Madeline Ellis started her career as a landscape architect, but when her day job ended, she found herself handcrafting jewelry at night and on the weekends. Madeline’s husband encouraged her to start selling her work, and (like Michelle!) Madeline began selling her jewelry locally in Baton Rouge.
Madeline’s local Louisiana community inspires much of her design work with its strength, community, and traditions.
MIMOSA’s #GoodsforGood line features super wearable art that gives back to a cause. 10% of every ASL “I Love You” Necklace will go to Deaf Focus in Baton Rouge, LA, a non-profit agency that works with the deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing community.
Amsha was created by founder Laura Walker to provide slow fashion and environmentally friendly and fair trade goods to the western market, while also creating jobs, promoting education, and improving quality of life for artisans and communities in East Africa.
Amsha’s team members include weaving co-ops and artisans in Rwanda, Ghana, and Kenya. Artisans and weavers hand make every piece, from beautiful sweetgrass baskets and brass jewelry in traditional designs.
Are you ready to bee amazed (#punintended)? Tara Chapman started with a single beekeeping class and before long, she’d quit her government job to work with a beekeeper in East Texas.
Eventually, she branched out on her own and today, Tara runs a socially conscious business in Austin, Texas, that follows sustainable beekeeping practices and creates gorgeous, high quality honey products.
In addition to honey, Two Hives Honey also provides tons of education and support for its local beekeeping community. Truly buzz-worthy (ok, we’re done).