For many of you, your customers are your customers because they know where you stand.
We know it takes a huge investment of time and energy to put your values on display in your stores and with your designs. That’s why IMC, owner of the community of brands that include Atlanta Market, Las Vegas Market and JuniperMarket, started 2022 by moving forward with initiatives designed to emphasize and support values-based commerce.
“Values-based suppliers are increasingly sought after in the gift, home and apparel industries,” explains Bob Maricich, IMC’s Chairman and CEO.
Whether you are visiting our onsite showrooms in Atlanta or Las Vegas, or browsing them online on JuniperMarket.com, you’ll be able to find brands and makers that align with your chosen values-based and mission-based intentions. Although this blog is hardly definitive in sharing all the possibilities, we’d love to start introducing you to some of the brands that might walk your talk.
In an industry (retail) where more than 1 million businesses are women-owned, it’s gratifying to showcase a few of the many that participate in our marketplaces. While statistics show 90% of women say they’d go out of their way to buy products made by women, many of these featured brands have added more to their values, missions, and aspirations than just their female founding. The range of products offered includes those provided by women and diversity-owned businesses, merchandise that is fair trade, handcrafted, made in the USA or having local economic impact, and even wares that are eco-friendly or sustainable.
We not only invite but facilitate our buyers to buy with their conscience, so – buyers, meet your fellow messengers!
Buying and supporting local is on the checklist for many of us. And while local is inherently subjective (no kidding!), we’ll use an Atlanta perspective to give you a couple of Georgia-based, women-owned examples.
Patrice Hull, the black, LGBTQ founder of Stuff We Wanna Say, is a fixture in her local community of Little Five Points, Atlanta, and the homegrown sass of her C2bN (Created To Be Noticed) line as well as her pedestrian-savvy bags reflect both her micro and the trending macro culture. And, in spite of their roots in any given community, the availability of brands like Stuff We Wanna Say on JuniperMarket transcends locality and extends your ability to buy exactly what suits your signature and customers.
Consider the mother/daughter Atlantans that formed Beaudin. Beaudin is an accessories brand featured at Atlanta Market (as well as on JuniperMarket like every brand in this blog) and they train and employ women to liberate them from difficult situations. A portion of the brand proceeds go to Out of Darkness, a front-line outreach nonprofit.
And Ziparoos, a mom-owned ecommerce business, was developed from Leslie Criden’s personal need for eco-friendly, reusable storage bags. If the Zipparoos mantra, “Helping the environment starts with small changes,” isn’t incentive enough, who could honestly resist having snacks and treats served up (and served again and again) in bags adorned with fat honeybees or glad beachy tidings?
For those times when Las Vegas Market buyers want to stay closer to home with their purchases, the value AND your values are happily still at hand. Humboldt Artisans Group, formed by Christina Swingdler, represents a collective of creatives from Humboldt County, California where every item from each brand is designed and finished by hand. Did you know that Humboldt County is home to more artists per capita than anywhere else in the United States? JuniperMarket does, and that’s why we’ve helped deliver these brands out from behind the Redwood Curtain, available to your customers all year round.
More California inspiration comes from Carmel Ceramica. Founder Elece Leverone decided to couple her previous business success with her passion for ceramics to bring a casually elegant line of tableware to market. Her artisan collection also offers a delightful line of treat bowls and jars for your pets – a must have for any of us pet owners! Do the scratch and sniff inspection (euphemistically, please!) in their respective showrooms at Las Vegas Market; order new products any time on JuniperMarket.
While Atlanta and Las Vegas are undeniable hubs of our creative industry, women turning their female perspective into unique commerce has no GPS limits. Back East we find Zandra in Buffalo, bringing youthful energy and chutzpah to skincare. Its barely-past-“teen-preneur” Zandra Cunningham goes beyond her self-described “plant-based social good company” to educate and empower girls and woman across the globe in STEAM and entrepreneurship.
Also in New York, Johana Gutierrez-Griffiths redirected her 7 years of corporate NYC experience into her Latina-owned company, JJ Paperie & Co, offering stationery and home goods with eco-friendly and charitable sensibilities. Her motivational products designed to bring joy to every day can be ordered every day – perfect merchandising symmetry!
In Texas, FarmHouse Fresh CEO and founder Shannon McLinden has had her women-owned Company Headquarters/Rescue Ranch praised by Oprah and featured in Southern Living and People magazines as well as on NBC with Mika Brzezinski. Everyone wants to know about FarmFresh’s “skincare that saves” mission, as will your customers. Their organic, cruelty-free skin care products, available on JuniperMarket, not only address their fanaticism for skincare and wellness, but fund and operate their nonprofit farm animal sanctuary.
Across the continent, Jordan Jones turned a Leaving Silicon Valley pity party for herself into Packed Party, a now $20+ million company designed to celebrate all of life’s experiences, “making everything from a half birthday to a Wednesday a big deal.” Creating happiness has long been the kind of California dreamin’ that many seek to bottle and sell, but few have succeeded as well as Packed Party and Ooly, another women-owned brand based in California. Owner and CEO Carol Tyner has overseen lots of sparkle, shine and excitement during the last 12 years, and her gifts and craft supplies will deliver that happiness right to your store.
Visit Ooly while you’re in Las Vegas, both brands at #AtlMkt, and shop them all on #JuniperMkt any time your shelves and happiness quotient are running low.
Being a force for happiness and being a force for good are often intertwined. A family business that’s also a proud B Corporation, Bee’s Wrap has partnered with South Carolina’s The Bee Cause Project to educate and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. Their line of sustainable and responsibly sourced beeswax wraps, including one that is 100% vegan, provides your business with products as stylishly whimsical as they are socially responsible. You can even do the touch test in their showroom in Atlanta.
A passion for bees, beekeeping, and honey are also the wings of another eco-mission-based brand, Root Candle. For five generations, the Root family of Medina, Ohio has produced handcrafted beeswax candles featuring custom-woven wicks and domestically harvested beeswax. Stop into their Las Vegas Market showroom to see why they claim to be “The Best Candles in America,” knowing you can continue to restock your shelves with Root Candle products as fast as they swarm out of your store.
As long as you’re on a roll towards meaningful merchandise, add Shuki to the sourcing list for the foodies among your customers. Their Artisan Cutlery Kits are Fair Trade certified and all their packaging is compostable, recyclable and repurposed. You can even purchase a wood merchandising display for their metal straws.
If Fair Trade and ethical commerce are part of your mission, traveling that path can bring you and your customers on a profitable exploration of far-flung places and unique products. A group of women co-owners are the power behind Ethic Goods, working primarily in Southeast Asia to provide business opportunities that create and maintain safe environments and economic viability for artisans. Their morse code bracelets are one of our favorite items.
Those travels continue into India with WorldFinds. Calling themselves a mostly-woman-powered brand, the artisans of WorldFinds produce handmade jewelry. The jewelry is creatively designed to use repurposed materials while supporting over 700 artisans in vulnerable communities. If the philosophy of your business aligns with their mantra – “people + planet + purpose” – then you’ve found your people.
These equal opportunity inspirations can both be explored in person in Atlanta. Travel Ho! But you can also quickly hop online to add to your artisanal and eco-effective product options with Aid to Artisans. This agency partners with at-risk artisan groups worldwide to create economic opportunities and infrastructure so they can provide an ongoing pipeline of to your shelves. Tibetan Silk Bag, anyone?
Whew! These are just some among many of the stories you might want to tell with your buying and selling. How can you not? They’re not only fascinating, they’re world changing.
And we’re here to help you do just that.