Women entrepreneurs in business are leading a blooming movement in American manufacturing.
Taking a holistic approach, these women entrepreneurs are incorporating social responsibility and sustainability into the standard business equation. With an understanding that women make the majority of consumer choices, these entrepreneurs are creating opportunities for all of us to be more conscious consumers.
Here’s a look at some of the leading ladies of the “Made in America Movement ” that inspire me.
Rachel Weeks, School House
School House is a collection of trendy, high quality collegiate apparel made in America. Rachel Week, founder and CEO, is a Fulbright Scholar who conceptualized the idea of fair wage factories in Sri Lanka. She took the critical leap and moved all their production back to the U.S., while leaving the functioning factory active for use by local companies. Now based in North Carolina near Duke University, School House’s business has provided over 2,000 local jobs. Aligned with their core values, they maintain strict ethical standards, paying all workers a fair living wage.
Sharon Lebon, Three Dots
Three Dots is a line of casual apparel with a simple, classic look. Sharon Lebon began the business with just three shirts available in three sizes. The signature “three dots” evolved into a unique sizing system that eliminates the need for tags. The collection has since grown, but the line is still exclusively made in America. All her garments are made in their California factory, where the entire manufacturing process from design to shipment is completed.
Kimberly Murray, Decaf Plush
Decaf Plush is a line of colorful clothing and decor fashioned from eco-friendly felt. Kimberly Murray began out creating her handmade products for friends and family. She started selling at arts and craft fairs, and has grown into a popular line sold around the globe. Every item is still handcrafted in the USA.
Lacey Lybecker, A Greener Kitchen
A Greener Kitchen provides sustainable, eco-friendly kitchen and dining products made in America. Eco-conscious chef Lacey Lybecker was motivated to start the company by her passion for local food and protecting the environment. Using organic cotton in their aprons and reusable produce bags, manufacturing takes place at a family-owned factory in the USA.
Victoria Staples, It’s Great to Be
It’s Great To Be is a collection of unique magnetic notepads made in America. Victoria Staples was inspired by her work with children of all abilities to create products featuring positive attributes. Her vision is to create a line of products available world-wide that will inspire others, give back to charitable organizations, and help grow our economy. that help you celebrate the things that help you remind those you care about what they are great at being.
Amanda McAtee, Simply Rustic
Simply Rustic is a collection of all-natural skin products made from scratch. A mother of four, Amanda McAtee began making all natural body products after her oldest daughter was diagnosed with chronic leukemia and her research uncovered the truth about toxins in conventional products. Combining simple formulations (seven ingredients or less) with rustic ingredients (raw and unrefined), Amanda makes body butters, lip balms and body scrubs using only fair trade and organic ingredients that are free of toxins or additives.
Melinda O’Keefe, Melindesign
Melindesign is a jewelry assembly studio run by Melinda O’Keefe in Westchester, NY. Melinda has transformed a small kitchen table activity into a full studio employing local stay at home moms and students. Dubbed the “Jewelry Assembly Chicks,” this group of ladies provide all of the skilled artistry of jewelry making for designers looking to keep their manufacturing in the United States. She has been a powerhouse in the “Made in America” movement.
Sandy Martin, Green 3 Apparel
Green 3 Apparel is a company producing eco-friendly fiber clothing, accessories and home goods designed with original hand-drawn art work and made in America. Sandy Martin created the line after leaving the corporate world to raise her family. Sandy saw the need for more sustainable apparel options for women who value fit and fashion as well as ethics. Her business, Green 3 Apparel has grown and their manufacturing plan includes many up-cycled designs created from excess materials from US factories.
What entrepreneurs inspire you? Are you familiar with any women leading social change ?