Featuring Small Businesses Around the United States

Hello, world!

Lately, I’ve felt very inspired by my friends who have started their own businesses! They've showcased fearlessness and so much passion. This post is dedicated to those small-business owners around the United States who I really admire. While some were not just created by women, I still want this post's intent to foster women’s communities around North America, while inspiring and empowering women to realize their dreams, and keep planting seeds for a better world!

*all photos are courtesy of the artists*

Creators: Veronica & Juan
Founded: Weston, FL in 2016
Website: soycietycandles.com
Instagram: soycietycandles

Starting with a simple question: when was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing through tree limbs, or a flickering candle in your favorite room of your home? The reason I love having candles around my home is that scents have the power of triggering happy memories - maybe of a special place or even a person you care about. Soyciety candles are beautiful hand-poured soy wax candles made with all natural, chemical free and sustainable products. The maker behind these beauties is my good friend, Veronica. A go-getter who that pursues what she loves. Her love are candles and creating something for our spaces that'll make us happy. The fragrance and essential oils used to fragrance their candles are all non-toxic and phthalate free thus safe to use around those with asthma, children, and pets. Thus, her candles were created to actively participate in sustainability. My favorite part about Soyciety candles are the amazing and long-lasting scent combinations they create. Sometimes, I don’t even light the candle; I just remove the lid and the scent fills the air. Aside from the amazing scents and beautiful aesthetic of the candles, Soyciety candles are safe to use on skin, allowing them to be used as a natural moisturizer once melted. My top three favorite scents: Get Cozy (white birch & pine), Raindrop (sea salt & orchids), and Shirtless (oakmoss, musk, and amber). If you’re in the South Florida area, be sure to visit them at the next Miami Flea on January 21st.

Creator: Agostina
Founded: Columbus, OH in 2015
Website: valientegoods.com
Instagram: valientegoods

The woman behind Valiente Goods is my amazingly talented friend of 16 years; a fierce Argentine who currently lives in the mid-west. Her love of fashion and textiles started from a very young age, so when she started her business, it all really started to make sense.  Agostina loves to travel, meet new people and learn from different cultures. She continues to draw from her experience to create a beautiful outcome. She created Valiente Goods in 2015 from her passion for art, textile, and travel. Most recently, Agostina opened the Valiente Goods shop in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus selling hand-made items from different parts of the world. She designed her brand for the curious explorer and traveler searching for new adventures.  She sources her products directly from the artisans all over the world, making it possible for families all over the world to build a sustainable income for themselves and their families. 

Creator: Luis
Founded: Miami, FL in 2015
Website: luisaguilera.me
Instagram: lgaguilera

“In terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t know what might happen.” This quote by photographer Harry Callahan comes to mind when I think of Luis Aguilera’s photography. A couple of years ago, when a friend of mine showed me her fiancé’s drone photographs, I was amazed!  Luis is an award-winning Creative, and he has always been intrigued by the innovative ways that photography can capture a different moment. With his drone photography, Luis has been able to capture beautiful photos of the oceans in different parts of the world. His series, “Thalassophile”, lover of the oceans, has explored the beaches of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale in Florida as well as Ocho Rios, Jamaica. He’s also captured the exotic beaches in Waipo’o Valley, Waimea Beach, and Two Step in Hawaii.The Thalassophile series focuses on the immensity and power of the ocean while juxtaposing how small people. His photographs truly are works of art and his pieces will be featured at SCOPE in New York city from Marc 8-11, 2018 as well at the Tokyo International Art Fair from May 25-26, 2018. Make sure you check out DEFI art collective to see his work as well as other artists showcasing a variety of mediums including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, typography and installations.

Creators: Becca & Kyle
Founded: Lander, WY in 2016
Website: windriverclimbing.com
Instagram: windriverclimbing

Becca is probably one of the bravest people I’ve ever met. She's full of energy and optimism. She dreams big and makes her dreams happen. She started Wind River Climbing with her best friend and husband, Kyle in 2017. Their rock-climbing company that provides guided rock climbing and instructional courses at the base of the beautiful Wind River Range in Lander, Wyoming.  Becca and Kyle funny, approachable, and so friendly who make every feel comfortable. Whether you are excited about your first rock climbing trip or are an experienced climber looking to improve, they can customize any course to fit your expectations and goals. Both Becca and Kyle experienced guides with certified through the American Mountain Guides Association and in wilderness medicine to ensure that you have the highest possible standard of safety when you're climbing or rappelling.  

Creator: Maria Fernanda
Founded: Davie, FL in 2014
Instagram: twolilbees

One of my favorite memories of being little and growing up with three older sisters was spending time at the dining room table with magazines, scrap paper, markers, stickers, and our planners. We would spend HOURS decorating our planners (or, “las agendas”). It’s no wonder my oldest sister, Fernanda, founded Two Lil’ Bees. Fernanda is fierce and incredibly smart. She loves creating a product her audience just love. I think that’s what makes the biggest difference. She is devoted to her public, and designs and layouts for them. Fernanda designs and creates beautiful sticker sheet kits for planners. Two Lil Bees stickers have something for every occasion and season – a sticker to remind you to buy milk, pay bills, go shopping, coffee dates, or just decorating the pages of your planner to make them beautiful. Her layouts are very girly, with lots of pink and blush colors. You can even choose what kind of finish the stickers will have, glossy or matte. I am so proud of my sister for pursuing her passion and creating such an amazing and high-quality product!

Creator: Laurie Anne
Founded: Phoenix, AZ in 2016
Website: laurieanneart.com
Instagram: laurieanneart

Laurie Anne is a southern artist and designer, born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She earned her degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in painting. She’s a freelancer for Dixie Designs Collective and runs her own design and painting business. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2014 with her husband, and now she is a full-time painter and also a freelance designer for several different stationery companies. The reason why I love Laurie Anne’s work is because of how effortless and earthy her work is. I love the colors she uses in her paintings and drawings. It makes for a wonderful gift and I love how her art displays on gallery walls.  

Creators: Belinda & Tony
Founded: Salt Lake City, UT in 2010
Website: taylorcraftsengraved.com
Instagram: taylorcrafts_engraved

When it comes to finding special gifts (especially around wedding season) I always think of the beautiful work Belinda and Tony create at Taylor Crafts Engraved.  I purchased the first cutting board from them and gave it to my dad for Father’s Day. He loves it and uses it almost every weekend. Rather than use overseas produced, cheaply made cutting boards, Belinda and Tony decided to partner with a local wood mill to make them. The quality of their product is phenomenal and long-lasting. The boards they make are not only practical, they’re also elegant.  When you're looking for a special gift for someone you know they'll love, be sure to check Taylor Crafts. 

I will continue to feature small businesses every month. If you know of someone who you love and support, please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!

*all photos are courtesy of the artists*