The 2nd Woman-Owned Business Day

Woman-Owned Business Day

Tomorrow, May 1, 2015, is the second Woman-Owned Business Day.  UrbanGirl Office Supply founded this day last year to celebrate female entrepreneurs.  We decided to create a day to recognize female business owners for several reasons.  I had interviewed many business owners for this blog, and I heard from so many women that obtaining funding for their business was a huge obstacle; many women funded their businesses themselves with second mortgages, credit cards, etc.  This anecdotal evidence I discovered reflects research and statistics that show women are less likely to receive funding than men.  We hope that this holiday will spread awareness about woman-owned businesses and additional obstacles woman-owned businesses may face.

Woman-Owned Business Day May 1

The Evidence that Woman-Owned Businesses Need Recognition

This study found that males, especially attractive males, were more likely to get investments for a business than women, even with the exact same sales pitch.  Investors chose the business pitch from a male 68% of the time. The study discovered that “individuals, both male and female, respond much more positively to pitches with male voices than a pitch with a female voice.”

A study by National Foundation for Women Business Owners and Wells Fargo & Co. found that women receive 2% of venture capital funding, while 38% of businesses are owned by women.  The survey also found that “most women entrepreneurs are relying on their own savings and loans to finance their firms’ growth instead of tapping into a rich vein of venture capital for cash infusions.”

What You Can Do in Honor of Woman-Owned Business Day

Spread the word about woman-owned businesses by using the hashtag #BuyFromWomen when you post on social media.  Celebrate your favorite woman-owned businesses by tweeting about them, posting pictures on Pinterest, telling your Facebook friends, etc.

Mother’s Day is May 10th.  Buy mom a gift from a woman-owned  business.  Make Mother’s Day even more special by telling her that you deliberately purchased a gift in support of woman-owned businesses!  Search the #buyfromwomen hashtag on social media to find business that are woman-owned.  Share what you purchased from them on social media using that hashtag.

Download free printable gift tags!

For more information, please check the following resources:

Video Explaining Woman-Owned Business Day

UrbanGirl’s #BuyFromWomen Page

Blog Post Founding Woman-Owned Business Day

Article in the Tulsa World about Woman-Owned Business Day

The Gender Gap in Business Funding

Facebook Page for Woman-Owned Business Day




Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

An office supply shop may not be the first place you think of when shopping for a Mother’s Day gift.  However, UrbanGirl’s selection of office supplies are not the same boring old supplies, we sell office fashion!  We have office supplies beautiful enough to give as gifts, plus other items mom will love.  Here are some of our favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas.

1.  Personalized Acrylic Lilly Pulitzer Tray

Featuring the distinct art style of Lilly Pulitzer, these colorful trays can be used as paper trays on a desk, or serving trays in the kitchen.  They can be personalized with a name or monogram.

Gift Ideas for Mom

2.  Kate Spade New York Acrylic Desk Set

Acrylic accented with gold-toned pieces featuring the typical Kate Spade New York witty sayings.  A gorgeous set that will give mom’s desk a stylish makeover.

Kate Spade Acrylic

3.  Poppin Desk Set

Simple, colorful, and fun this desk set is available in several colors, but shown here in the lovely aqua.  Includes stapler, tape dispenser, and pen cup.

Aqua desk set

4.  Petal Lane Jewelry Board

A magnetic board that includes 6 wooden magnetic pegs to hold necklaces, ID badges, etc.  Custom made in the USA!


5.  Kate Spade New York Tackle Box

A fun sampler of everything Kate Spade New York for the office.  Included in the cute acrylic case are push pins, binder clips, paper clips, sticky notes, and more in the signature Kate Spade New York Style.

Gift Idea for Mom

6.  Anna Griffin Triple Notepad

Set of three notepads featuring beautiful flowers and polka dots. A gift that is both pretty and practical!

Mother's Day Gift Idea

7.  Papaya Legal Pads, Folders, and more

Papaya’s paper goods are so beautiful and are such good quality that they are perfect for gift-giving.

papaya office supplies

8.  Decasso Pink Desk Set

Pink leatherette desk set is luxurious and elegant, but more feminine than the traditional brown or black.


9.  Kate Spade New York Pen

Beautiful boxed pen doesn’t even need to be wrapped!


10.  Anything by Russell + Hazel

You can’t go wrong with any of the stylishly simple desk accessories by Russell + Hazel.

Russell + Hazel


Buy from Women for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Gift Guide featuring Woman-Owned Businesses

Woman-Owned Business Day is May 1, just in time for Mother’s Day which is May 10.  Make your Mother’s Day gift more meaningful by purchasing it from a woman-owned business.  Let your mother know that you supported a woman-owned business with her gift!  Here are some gift ideas from woman-owned businesses.  Feel free to leave other gifts from woman-owned businesses in the comments.  Don’t forget to #buyfromwomen on May 1, and every day!

More information: Woman-Owned Business Day

Mariwear Cross Comfy Top

Mariwear is designed and owned by Melanie Berger who wanted to make comfortable loungewear that was stylish and supportive enough to wear out of the house.  The tops feature a built in support that is similar to a bra, but comfortable enough to sleep in.

Mother's Day Gift Idea--MariWear

DeeDeeDeesigns Handmade Pottery Coffee Mug and Spoon Rest

Owner Dawn Whitehand has been a ceramic artist for 18 years and  creates jewelry, tableware, and more.  Each piece is a unique, handmade item and would make a special gift.

deedeedesigns handmade mug

Shop Ten 25 Agate Vase

Owner Abbe Fenimore, a successful interior designer, opened the online shop in 2008 to bring the pieces and styles she uses in her design work to everyone.  The store features home decor items, furniture, and more.

Agate Vase for Mother's Day

Ari’s Superstar Nail Lacquer in Uptown Girl

Founder and CEO Ariana Pierce created Superstar Nail Lacquer so her customers could “experience rich girl beauty on a real girl’s budget.”  Make mom feel like a superstar with this luxury nail lacquer.  We like this pink/coppery color called Uptown Girl (too bad it isn’t called UrbanGirl!)

Nail Lacquer #buyfromwomen

Mabel’s Labels Scan and Store Labels

Started by four moms, Mabel’s Labels have been used by moms everywhere, including many celebrities.  Not just for moms and kids, they make a variety of labels for the home and office.  We love the store and scan because they are a great way to store and organize.

Scan and store barcode labels

 ACL Handweaver Blue Handwoven Scarf

The artist, Amy C Lund, hand weaves each piece using only traditional hand and foot powered looms.  Her creations are one-of-a-kind pieces that will make a gift that will become a family treasure.

Handwoven Scarf

Hooking You Up by Berry Butterfly Bracelet

Handmade, one-of-a-kind bracelet.  Bracelet is genuine leather and adjustable in size.


BKInspired Flower Press

Handmade beautiful wooden flower press will surely delight any serious botanist or plant lover just starting out.  A unique gift idea for mom!


Argyle Cosmetics Bath Tea

Works just like the tea you drink, but for your bath!  Toss a bag in your warm bath to enjoy the relaxing fragrances.  Handmade.


UrbanGirl Office Supply Petal Lane Custom Magnet Board

Get mom a gorgeous magnet board that is custom-made in the USA.  Choose a design, or create one with your own text.  Choose background, text, and frame color to make a special gift just for mom!


Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Urbangirl

Go Behind-the-Scenes with UrbanGirl!

We thought it would be fun to share some of the things that go on at the UrbanGirl headquarters that most people probably don’t know about.  If you ever wondered what it was like to work at UrbanGirl, the place to buy the most stylish colorful office supplies, here is a rare behind-the-scenes look at what we do.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About UrbanGirl

Tucker and Dyan

Tucker helps Dyan write thank you cards to customers.

1.  The owner of UrbanGirl, Dyan, really does write the thank you notes sent to customers.  She literally has the bruises to prove it!  Yes, poor Dyan had a bruise on her hand this week after writing so many notes.  However, as you can see from our Trustpilot reviews, our customers really do appreciate her funny handwritten letters.

2.  It will come as no surprise that our offices are really cute and colorful.  The walls are brightly painted in a variety of colors, and rainbow-colored tiles cover the hallway.  We all have stylish desk accessories.  However, we have a secret fashion fail going on in our break room.  Our coffee mugs are hideous.  Really, they are fantastically awful.

Ugly Mugs Behind the Scenes of UrbanGirl

Actual cabinet in the UrbanGirl kitchen showing off our “designer” mugs.

3.  We talk to the office dog Tucker like he is a person.  He is here every day and everyone enjoys conversing with him.  However, he does spend the majority of his shift sleeping on his mom’s desk!

4.  Everyone who works for UrbanGirl has a dog.  This is important because everyone knows that the real boss of UrbanGirl is Tucker, Dyan’s dog and UrbanGirl’s office mascot.  We post pictures of Tucker all the time, but here are some of the furchildren (and human children) of the UrbanGirl employees.

UrbanGirl Dogs

Some of the UrbanGirl family including dogs and humans.

5.  We come up with our best ideas for the company in the shower.  Now, not in the shower together, of course!  It is never surprising to get an email from someone with the subject line “Shower Thought” which means he or she came up with an interesting idea while showering before work.  I came up with the idea for Woman-Owned Business Day in the shower, for example.

6.  Everyone who works here prefers to write in pink ink–even the guys.  Plain black ink is boring, so even official office correspondence is written in colorful ink.  Here is one of our UrbanGuys modeling his favorite pink pen!

Pink Pen

Real men write with a pink pen.

7.  UrbanGirl has no customer service representatives.  Seriously.  Not one.  This is actually appreciated by our customers because if you call or write to us, the person who helps you will be Dyan herself or any of the rest of us who are responsible for running this small company.  We do not outsource to machines or to other companies or countries!

8.  We take most of our own photographs.  We like for our website to be unique; therefore, we take a lot of the product and “workspace inspiration” photos ourselves.  Dyan and I (Hannah) take the photographs in our “studio” which is really a corner of the warehouse with a backdrop.


Kate Spade New York products are ready for their closeup!

9.  We are located in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We really are “UrbanGirls” though because most of us actually live in Tulsa and commute to the suburb for work.  Our location is ideal for a retail website because it is easier to ship from the middle of the country.

10.  UrbanGirl is a family business.  Dyan, the owner, gets to work with her two sons, human Tyler and canine Tucker.  We are pretty sure that Tucker is her favorite son.

What other behind-the-scenes facts would you like to learn about UrbanGirl?

Woman-Owned Wednesday: Amy C. Lund

UrbanGirl continues to highlight our fellow woman-owned businesses.  Our Woman-Owned Wednesday subject today is Amy C. Lund, weaver of fine textiles. She combines “natural yarns and traditional weave structures to highlight form and function in classic fabrics for unique hand towels, table linens, scarves, blankets and rugs.” Lund is an entrepreneur who creates, markets, and sells her work. She believes that “art can be expressed in well-crafted everyday items, no matter how utilitarian. The materials and processes involved in making objects are just as important as the finished pieces. Many techniques have evolved through the history and traditions of each craft.”

Amy C. Lund Handweaver

Woman-Owned Wednesday: Amy C. Lund, Handweaver

Lund’s interest in textiles started at a young age.  “I learned to spin after fixing up an old wheel that was in the family summer cottage. I first learned to knit with the yarn I made. Then, I was given an opportunity to help with an exhibit on historic weaving patterns and use an old barn loom set up by a weaver with some of my homespun yarn. I was hooked!”  She took a class and continued to weave and pursue her interest in historical and cultural weaving.  An internship at Hancock Shaker Village Museum after college made her realize that she wanted to pursue this interest further.  She earned a master’s degree in Textiles and Related Art from the University of Rhode Island and worked in a museum.  She “missed actually making things” with her own hands and decided to create her own business.

Earning a living as an artist can be difficult, especially in a field that is seen as traditionally female.  When asked about this, Lund said, “I think many dismiss the traditional domestic textile arts and handcraft as women’s work, something that is done for free, or not necessarily for a living wage, that it has little value since modern technology has changed our understanding of consumer products and material goods. This makes it difficult to get the recognition the work deserves from others, and I must say I still see many women in the field who dismiss their efforts and don’t always think they can ask for the recognition they deserve for those talents and creativity.”

Amy winding warp

Amy winding warp


Furthermore, marketing and business often take up a greater percentage of an artist’s time.  Lund says, “at least ¾ of my time is spent on promoting my work and running the business, or at least it seems that way! While it takes a lot of skill and time to handweave textiles, much of the value of making is also in the finish work, fine tuning the details, and getting it into the hands of customers. Sometimes a lot of work goes in to the planning of new projects, too.”  Lund handles all aspects of the business herself, and says that someday she would love to have more help with office tasks, but for now, “It’s hard with a creative business to give up control, creative and otherwise, or find good help that operates the same way and is as committed to the core of the artistic vision.”

Lund’s proudest moments occur when her work “is recognized and understood by customers, designers, or promoters,” because she knows she has “connected on a special level.”  She says, “the satisfaction that comes from those moments that can keep me going, whether it is from a note or a customer in my shop, to a blog mention or magazine feature. Every sale is a special moment to me, too.”  Her biggest challenge is finding a “strong and consistent market that understands the traditional textile arts as fine craft, understanding the skill and labor involved in making handmade decorative and utilitarian items with aesthetic value, as well as their long-term value.”  However, her perseverance and willingness to continually learn more about business and marketing strategies give her hope that “each new day will bring new sales and ideas.”

Red handwoven rug

Red Striped Handwoven rug by Amy C. Lund. “Attention to detail and commitment to traditional artistry separate my hand woven textiles from many others. I work entirely with traditional hand and foot powered looms, not using computers to guide my patterns or mechanics to power the loom.”

For anyone interested in turning his or her skill and talent into a business, Lund offers the following advice, “I would suggest that while one is learning their skill and refining it, to spend time also developing other areas of business, such as branding, marketing, promotion, and presentation, which is so important. None of these has to be perfect at the beginning, but should show development that can be built upon as skills and knowledge increase. Everything starts in some stage of development and change continually happens over time and with new perspectives. It is also important to keep plugging away at something! Sometimes when I’m working on one product, another will sell, or while I have to do paperwork, I need items available for customers.”

To learn more about Amy C. Lund and her work, visit her website.  To purchase her handmade items, visit her Etsy shop.

Handwoven Scarf

Autumn Zen Simplicity Scarf, Handwoven Sand and Stone Soothing Stripes for Mindful Moments by Amy C. Lund




Beka Doolittle “Mompreneur” of The Pink Store

Beka Doolittle turned her love of the color pink and her dream of being her own boss into The Pink Store, a store that sells everything pink.  The idea came to her while raising her three teenage boys.  “I found myself buying little pink things for my own personal space such as a pink hair dryer and pink straightening iron,” she says.


Beka Doolittle, mompreneur, lover of pink, and owner of The Pink Store.

Being a “mompreneur” is her biggest challenge.  While all children were still at home, she had trouble finding balance.  “Owning a business is like having another child.  It’s amazing and hard all at once.”   This is easier now, she says, because her sons have now graduated high school, leaving only her daughter at home.

A finance degree with fifteen years of experience, a love of leadership, and a happy-go-lucky attitude all contributed to her success.  She also credits her relationship-building skills.  This is key “in an online world.  There isn’t any face-to-face connection so I make sure my emails or phone calls come across with a smile. No matter what, the customer is always right and the end result is about loving others and treating everyone with a high level of respect.”

Doolittle radiates positivity.  She says her friends and family believed in her and thought a store dedicated to all things pink was a great idea.  She said that the positive feedback was motivating because she didn’t “want to let anyone down.”  She has definitely not let anyone down based on her achievements and future endeavors.  She won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 from her local SCORE office, and is now “focused on partnering with our local Komen Nebraska Foundation.”

The Pink Store

Scarves, one of the many pink items to be found at The Pink Store

The Pink Store faces a legal battle with lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret, but even that hasn’t harmed her positive outlook.  Victoria’s Secret carries a line called “Pink” and in 2013 filed a petition to cancel Doolittle’s trademark on “The Pink Store.”  Doolittle is fighting to keep her trademark, and has received nothing but support from the public.  “Not one single person has negatively affected us,” she says, “we have received a numerous amount of positive supporters!”  She says the situation has forced her to learn “an extreme amount of patience,” but she “doesn’t hold any hatred” in her heart and understands that it is a “business situation,” although she calls a comparison between her store and Victoria’s Secret an “apples to oranges” situation because her store does not sell anything similar to the retail giant.

Doolittle is realizing her dream of owning her own business, being her own boss, and painting the world pink!  She advises any entrepreneurs who are just starting out to “give yourself time to learn your business.  There are so many ways to do things, and a lot of trial and error.  Patience will be the best virtue in this instance!  But, the rewards and the journey are amazing!”

Visit The Pink Store to find just about anything pink you can imagine, and to read Beka Doolittle’s ongoing story, check out her blog, Living the Pink Life.  

UrbanGirl hopes to inspire the spirit of entrepreneurship in women and girls.  We love to help support and promote woman-owned businesses.  Please see our directory of woman-owned businesses, and read our other profiles of successful female entrepreneurs.



Woman-Owned Business Day is Today!

Today is the day to #buyfromwomen

The first-annual Woman-Owned Business Day is here.  We hope that you will browse through our directory of woman-owned businesses before doing your Mother’s Day shopping.

We would also like to thank all of the women (500+) who have participated in this event by promoting it on social media, listing their businesses in the directory, and organizing woman-owned business groups.  No businesses paid to be in our directory.  This is all about women helping women!

Buy From Women

As an added bonus, many of the stores are offering specials for Woman-Owned Business Day (May 1).  We could not list all 500 stores here, so we have just chosen a few special offers to share.  Please check the individual businesses’ websites, Facebook pages, etc. for additional offers.  This is a small percentage of the deals that are out there!  See below for everything from office supplies, to jewelry, to tattoos!  Please note that UrbanGirl is simply passing along information from these stores; the stores and offers are not affiliated with us in any way.  UrbanGirl is not responsible for any of these offers other than the offer for

UrbanGirl Office Supply

The founders of Woman-Owned Business Day are offering 7% off on your purchase when you enter the promotion code WOBD2014 before checkout.

UrbanGirl offers the most stylishUrbanGirl and colorful designer office supplies, plus all office basics from ink cartridges, to folders, to coffee cups!  Offer good May 1 only and cannot be combined with other offers.  Why 7%?  It is to emphasize that woman-owned businesses only receive 7% of venture capital; 93% goes to male-owned companies.  We want that to change!

Amy C. Lund, Handweaver

To Celebrate Woman-Owned Business Day, All Purchases made May 1st Online from my Etsy Shop or in Person at my Studio & Gallery at 3964 Main Road, Tiverton, RI will include a small Free Gift of Appreciation to Thank You for Your Support!

Blue Maestro

Blue Maestro introduces Pacifi, the world’s first smart pacifier that monitors a baby’s temperature and transmits the data to an app on a parent’s iOS or Android smartphone. Register your interest now!

Be an early adopter, buy Tempo, our Bluetooth Smart temperature monitor which tracks temperature over a 15 day period and displays the data via free apps for iOS and Android smartphones for $48 plus P&P

The Pink Store

15% Off your entire purchase on May 1st when you shop at! Use code BUYFROMWOMEN15 at checkout to apply the discount! Happy Buy From Women Day!

AH-YO! Industries

Celebrate Woman-Owned with 20% OFF your order using code WOBD20. Expires 5/31/14.


Use the code THANKYOU for 15% off anything in my VeraJayne shop in support of #buyfromwomen day for the whole month of April and May.

Made by Aiza

Get 15% off any order! Use the coupon code: WOBD15OFF when you checkout. I ship worldwide from the UK. (Please note: minimum purchase US$10)

Carved by Heart

Free decorative carved blocks when you spend $50 or more at our shop!


Promotion for May 1 Only! 10 % off any item in my shop.

KaeLily Boutique

15% off with code: 51BUYFROMWOMEN (Good till May 2nd)
*Free gift for purchases over $20

Cranky Pickle

May 1st ONLY! All record art work is $5 off and all bottle cap items are $2 off. Discounted price will be refunded after purchase.

Quilts by Elsie

In celebration of Woman-Owned Business Day, all items in my Craftstar shop are 10% off and shipping is free, starting April 27, and ending May 3.
coupon code WOBD10

Valley Primitives Stitches

Free shipping the month of May with coupon code BUYFROMWOMEN

BK Inspired

In honour of Women Owned Business Day please enjoy 15% OFF any hand pyrographed item in my shop! Enter code: WOBDAY14 at check out for 15% OFF from now until May 2, 2014.

Your Pretty Pages

FREE 5-Day Organizational Challenge – For anyone who could use some help managing the information in their lives with ease. Access it at Available until May 31.2014.

Wear Love Now

Use coupon code THANKS10 to receive 10% off your order of eco fashion during the month of May. Thanks for your support of women owned businesses.

Girlie Gals

Please join me and women from all over the country this May 1st, 2014 for Women Owned Business Day. My shop, Girlie Gals, will be participating by offering a coupon code BFW2014 to receive free shipping on any item in my shop on May 1st. Please stop by and remember to #buy from women.

The Texas Cowgirl

Free standard shipping for any order, to any address in the USA! No coupon code required.

Pure Barre Tulsa

The Pure Barre Technique is a total body workout that burns fat and produces lifted seats, toned arms, thin thighs, and flat abs by fusing elements of ballet, pilates, and weights in a 55 minute intense session.
Promotion: 15% off all pure barre class packages in store or online using code WOBD15
Valid for use at both studio locations: 3807 S Peoria Ave or 8921 S Yale Ave. Offer code valid on May 1st, 2014 only. Packages purchased will begin on date of client’s first class. Sign up for class online at Contact with any questions.

On the Farm

As a special treat here at On The Farm, I am including a special little something with every order from now until Mother’s Day. Enjoy your time shopping for mom.

Buju Tattoo San Diego, CA

In honor of Woman-Owned Business Day on May 1st, we are offering $50 off of your tattoo with our spectacular new lady tattooer Connie! But hurry! You must book your session and pay your deposit by May 1st to redeem the offer! Can’t wait to hear from you!


Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns makes unique handmade ceramic tableware, jewellery and more. Custom orders available. Use coupon code BUYFROMWOMEN at the checkout for 15% discount storewide.

Queen Bead Essentials

Queen Bead Essentials is offering a 20% off coupon on May 1st 2014
to promote Woman Owned Business Day.
Use coupon Code: WOMENRULE20
On your Minimum purchase of $15.00 or more, to receive the discount.
Beyond May 1st, enjoy a 10% off coupon code on purchases, using coupon code: INDULDGE10

Puppy Luv Glam

25% off entire purchase. Use online code PLG25.

Want more information about Woman-Owned Business Day?  Check out these links.

Tulsa World newspaper article about UrbanGirl founding Woman-Owned Business Day

Official Press Release

Official YouTube Video

Facebook Page for Woman-Owned Business Day

Blog Post: The Gender Gap

Blog Post: Woman-Owned Business Day

UrbanGirl’s WOBD Page


Woman-Owned Wednesday: Businesses who Give Back

I am so excited about our promotion of Woman-Owned Business Day because it has allowed me to meet some outstanding women who own businesses and give back to their communities and to the world.  One of these wonderful women is Laurie Benson, founder of 1% for Women, a business that gives back to women through microcredit loans for women around the world.  The other is Priya Mittlemark, owner of Puppy Luv Glam, a clothing company that donates to shelter animals.

First, meet Priya Mittelmark of Puppy Luv Glam


What inspired you to create your business?

The inspiration for Puppy Luv Glam is my loving daughter and my loyal shelter dogs.  I volunteered at a dog shelter rescue trying to deal with infertility challenges to fill the need to nurture and to forget about my own issues. Volunteering at the rescue shelter did more good for me than the dogs!  I know it sounds like a cliche.  When I finally conceived at the age of 40, I wanted my daughter in cute puppy clothes.  But all the puppy clothes were made for little boys. So, I decided to build my own brand and logo fashion clothing and to donate a portion of proceeds and bring awareness to animal advocacy.  The volunteer work I did at the shelter was such a help to my mental status at the time due to not being able to conceive.

What has been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge is for the public to believe in your brand and funds for marketing the brand.  It takes money to make money.  You believe in your product so much so it’s hard to see other folks aren’t running out and buying it!  Anything good is worth waiting for…persistence is the key.

What has been your proudest moment, related to your business?

My proudest moment is when the ASPCA took my little company as a licensed brand partner.  They have partners such as the Ralph Lauren brand, Suburu, Vans etc.  They had faith in my product to back up our clothing.  Also, when I received my official trademarked Spoiled and Fabulous puppy logo seal.  My logo was officially trademarked!

Spoiled and Fabulous Girls Double Ruffle Tee

Spoiled and Fabulous Girls Double Ruffle Tee


Meet Laurie Benson of 1% for Women

What inspired you to create your business?

I worked in the climate change world for years. My daughter grew up listening to conversations, Skype calls and being present in meetings. When she was 8 years old – she asked me if the world was going to die before she did. That was like being hit over the head with a hammer! At that moment I realized the heaviness that I was bringing to my family, my friends and my community. It was also in that moment that 1% For Women began to take shape. I realized that what I truly want is to bring joy to people today. Through microcredit loans we are uplifting and empowering women around the world on a daily basis, and breaking the cycle of oppression and poverty that still affects so many.

What has been your biggest challenge?

I would say the biggest challenge is staying focused on the task at hand where the business is involved. My true passion lies in the marketing and PR and the actual microcredit loans. So, some of the day to day business work can take more of  push to accomplish.

What has been your proudest moment, related to your business?

This business continues to provide proud moments for me. One was most certainly when I made my first microcredit loan and realized both how easy it is and how much it can change someone else’s life. Another was when I shared the power of 1% For Women with a local business owner and he looked me straight in the eyes and then started to cry. I look forward to so many more moments like these!


Laurie Benson
1% for Women



May 1 is Woman-Owned Business Day.  Show your support for woman-owned businesses by “going” to the Facebook event and posting on social media with #buyfromwomen.

Dyan and I explain more about the Buy from Women movement in this video:

Read more stories of woman-owned businesses here.

Woman-Owned Business Day

Did you know that while women own half of all new businesses, they only receive 7% of venture capital to start those businesses?  That women are denied business loans at a rate 15-20% higher than men?  These statistics were not a surprise to me.  I have interviewed several female business owners over the past few months, and I noticed a pattern.  The women had a hard time getting investors because their business concept was not taken seriously.  Many of the women ended up funding the business themselves.  Of course, both men and women have a hard time getting investors.  However, the unique problem encountered by some of the women I interviewed was that male investors didn’t understand their business concepts.  Often, it seems that woman-owned businesses are seen as hobbies and not serious businesses.  The goal Woman-Owned Business Day is to raise awareness of this issue, and celebrate female entrepreneurs.

Woman-Owned Business Day

Woman-Owned Business Day falls on May 1.  Mother’s Day is May 11.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to buy your Mother’s Day gifts from a woman-owned business?  Let your mother know that her present helped support another woman, perhaps another mother.  We will soon publish a directory of woman-owned businesses to help you, and we will also share with you some printable cards to go with your Mother’s Day gifts.  Celebrate Woman-Owned Business Day by using the hashtag #buyfromwomen on social media.

If you are a woman and you own a business, you can participate and be listed in our directory simply by filling out this form.  To keep up with events and promotions related to this day, “attend” our Facebook event and follow us on Twitter.  For more information, visit our website.

woman-owned business day

UrbanGirl Profile: MOCHA Butterfly Boutique

“Manifesting our creative hidden abilities” is what MOCHA stands for in the name of this unique business–which is definitely not a coffee shop!  Kim Grayson and Nikki Warren are high school friends who opened the MOCHA Butterfly Boutique in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I had the pleasure of interviewing co-owner Kim Grayson about the inspiration behind the business and its success.

“We wanted to support independent designers and help them find a voice in the community,” says Grayson of the inspiration for the boutique.  The majority of items for sale in the boutique are made locally.  They carry a range of items including clothing (some of which is created by co-owner Nikki Warren), jewelry, candles, body products, and children’s items.  Many of the products featured in the store are one-of-a-kind items that would be difficult to get into the bigger chain stores.  Grayson and Warren hoped that their store would allow these smaller businesses a place to sell their items without having to commit to making large quantities of products.

Small Business Owners

Nikki Warren and Kim Grayson, owners of MOCHA Butterfly

This concept of stocking the store mainly with locally-made items was hard to explain when pitching the idea to potential investors.  “They thought we were talking about a thrift shop, or a craft mall with booths,” says Grayson.  However, this did not stop the pair.  Grayson and Warren opened the shop without any loans, and the concept has been successful.   Grayson noted the biggest challenge has been the location of the shop.  Downtown Tulsa is known mostly for bars and restaurants, not shopping.

“I am happy all the time,” was Grayson’s response when asked what personality traits have led to her success, “and it is important to go with the flow and to be flexible.”  For example, they expected their customers to be women in their 40s and younger; however, their audience turned out to be mostly women 40 and over.  The owners had to be flexible to meet the needs of the customers who actually were shopping at the store, and seek out products that would appeal to the unexpected, yet appreciated, audience.  Grayson has a great rapport with customers, and the store has many regular customers who visit the store often, sometimes every day.

Grayson is proud to own a business that helps other businesses succeed.  When people shop at the boutique, they are “helping 40 other small businesses, helping the economy, and helping Tulsa.”  Her advice to other women who may want to start a business is “don’t think too hard, just do it.”

This is the sixth article in a series about woman-owned businesses.  If you enjoyed this article, please check out our other UrbanGirl Profiles here.  UrbanGirl is a woman-owned business, and we love celebrating successful women, especially small business owners.  We are looking for women to interview for this series.  Please email me at if you are interested in being featured.