March is set aside as the month to celebrate all things, women. For a total of 31 days, pay homage to the trailblazers and women who made waves so other women would not be stopped in their blocks. What better way to honor women who have contributed to American history than by supporting women-owned businesses?
Why buy women-owned? Investing in women entrepreneurs means investing in a community of equality and economic empowerment. Women reinvest up to 90% of their income towards their families and communities while men reinvest up to 40% according to Forbes.com.
No matter your distance you can support women-owned businesses. As an Iowa girl myself, these are my go-to, must-shop women-owned boutiques and brands in the Midwest.
The Midwest Girl
This sisterly-founded brand honors their Midwest story through goods and apparel. You can find them in Dubuque, Iowa, small shops or shipped to your doorstep. As they say for themselves their goods are inspired by memories of growing up in the heartland and a reflection of their midwestern values. The Midwest Girl provides everything from graphic tees, hats and socks, jewelry and drinkware. This authentic small shop reminds you of your roots with two powerful sisters paving the way.
Eloise Raye formerly known as the Pink Pig is an exclusive women’s clothing boutique located in Cascade, Iowa. Angie Supple the owner and founder emulates boss energy to the T. This mother of five pursues her family life, passion for veterinarian medicine with a pig farm and boutique on the side. Talk about the female hustle. Eloise Raye presents trendy fashion and wearable style for the Midwest.
Wardrobe Social in three words is affordable, trendy and high quality. Shayna Siegert the owner of Wardrobe Social aspires to feed your wardrobe with clothing and accessories. She’s dedicated to her shoppers who want to dress boldly without breaking the bank. Siegert is a bustling gal who has a full-time career while living out her dream of owning a clothing store.
Boathouse Apparel is what it exactly sounds like, a lifestyle brand influenced by the lake waterfront views and living. You can find this hidden gem of a shop in Arnolds Park, Iowa. Owners and founders, Laura Bjornstad and Samantha Ring began this journey with a pop-up shop in 2014 selling graphic tees sparked by the lake life of Okoboji. This women brand drew notoriety and shifted venues from a stand to a retail shop. Boathouse Apparel strives for the empowerment of women-owned and operated.
Portobello Road, a fashion, gift and decor shop located in Ames, Iowa, is a one-woman show. Owner Talia Jenson offers a market full of trendsetter items: blue light glasses, fragrances, belts, gold chains and denim. Portobello Road caters to the college scene to bring the East Coast and West Coast to the Midwest. It’s a one-of-a-kind store with treasures that is quirky and vintage yet high fashion.
Check out @portobelloroadames on Instagram
made x madeline
Made x madeline is a handmade jewelry business by Madeline Swegle. All of her accessories from pom pom earrings to crystal earrings are handcrafted by Swegle. A newly Iowa State University alumna, who landed a career in sales hustles to create made x madeline a thriving small business. Not only is made x madeline a small business but it’s a woman-owned business. Kill two birds with one stone and set out to purchase your next accessory from made x madeline.
Check out @madexms on Instagram
Bob & Lou’s
Women run more than boutiques and side hustles, they own coffee shops. Sarah Knabel, the founder of Bob & Lou’s, aspired one day to own her own coffee shop and indeed she did. This local Dubuque woman set her sights on a 1960s camper and remodeled it to create a vintage camper as the home for her coffee creations. Inspired by her grandparents who are diehard coffee drinkers, Knabel hopes to offer unique coffee drinks that your Dunkin or Starbucks run would not. You can find Knabel and her tidy camper in Dubuque County and the Tri-State area.
Who runs this world? Girls. So, let’s keep it that way and continue to support woman as they fulfill their career goals.
Follow Julia on Instagram @JULIAAMEEHAN