Posted August 19, 2019

6 of the Coolest Women-Led Businesses


Windshield wipers. Dishwashers. Caller ID. Most importantly, the Ice Cream Maker. What do these all have in common? Remarkable ladies were behind these inventions and that creative drive has never stopped. Stop by one of these women-led businesses to cheers to modern day ingenuity. Now in the form of storefronts supporting local makers, conflict-free beauty, and more.


Kari Gran – based in Seattle, WA

kari gran bath oil image credit adela lee

Soak away your every worry with Kari Gran’s eco-luxe bath oils. Image Credit: Adela Lee

Created by Kari Gran and Lisa Strain, their modern skincare line is free of scary ingredients and grounded in eco-conscious sensibility. After being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, Kari knew she needed high-quality products that she could feel good about. We love their lightly tinted lip whips (because one seriously can’t have enough lip products) and the exclusive bath oil created for Kimpton Alexis Hotel’s spa suites.


Bryr Clogs – based in San Francisco, CA

bryr clogs image credit annie martin

Made-to-order by hand, the team at Bryr Clogs brings a modern eye to classic craftsmanship. Image Credit: Annie Martin

When you think clogs, does it ring a fashion bell? For Isobel Schofield and her team, it’s the cherry on top of their creative expression. Every single pair of Bryr clogs are handmade to order with supple leathers that range from poppy summery shades to everyday neutrals. The bases are made from light, strong wood, all sourced in the U.S. It’s slow fashion at its finest, adorning the heels of countless fans, including brides on their big day.

The styles and colors are fun to peruse but it doesn’t hurt to start with their best-sellers. In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, swing by their San Francisco studio to meet the team and find your perfect pair.

White’s Mercantile – based in Nashville, TN

nashville clothing boutique white mercantile

Modern-day chic simplicity awaits at Nashville’s beloved White Mercantile boutique.

Holly Williams is a singer/songwriter who has released three critically-acclaimed albums, and also happens to own one of Nashville’s hottest retail spots: White’s Mercantile. The boutique carries expertly curated items, from snakeskin booties to chic and ultra-soft throw blankets to the coolest selection of coffee table books you’ll ever find. Holly describes White’s as “a general store for the modern-day tastemaker” and we couldn’t think of more perfect words than that. Find them in the hip 12 South neighborhood and they’ll be opening a second location in Nashville in the bustling Green Hills area.

Project Objectbased in Portland, OR

Tucked into Portland’s eclectic NE neighborhood, Project Object is dedicated to representing the underrepresented. Owner T Ngu curates handmade goods from creative businesses owned by women, LGBTQ, or people of color – with products ranging from clothing and jewelry, to clever home & paper goods, natural self-care, zines and ceramics. Basically, it’s the gift shop of all gift shops.

It started small with Ngu’s jewelry line, Upper Metal Class, and evolved into a thriving online boutique, event space and community-minded enterprise. Fitting with the shop’s mission, she donates 10 percent of all profits toward good causes, like the ACLU. And if that wasn’t enough, Project Object is also home to pop-up events, like trunk shows and workshops, and acts as a rotating gallery to give up-and-coming artists a platform.

Shop Made in DC

stacey of shop made

Empower local artisans when you shop at Price’s boutique, which was born from DC’s maker community.

Stacey Price is the co-founder and mastermind behind Shop Made in DC and in just under two years, she’s shined a well-deserved light on Washington’s local makers and artisans. It’s part retail shop, part incubator (and a non-profit to boot). She has worked with over 200 makers, helping them grow their businesses, gain exposure for their craft and find their way as profitable artisans.

With multiple locations around Washington DC, a Shop Made in DC store is in close reach and you’ll be supporting local makers on the rise. If you stay at any of our hotels in DC, you may see the direct impact of Shop Made in DC – across welcome amenities, hotel packages, and cool maker-led workshops and team building experiences.


BFF Bikes – based in Chicago, IL


Go local next time you’re in Chicago—the women-owned BFF Bikes fosters an inclusive community for every level of cyclist.

Annie Byrne and Vanessa Buccella launched BFF Bikes in 2014, becoming the only women-specific bike shop in the Midwest. Both avid cyclists and everyday commuters, they wanted to spread their love of biking to the local community and beyond. Now, this beloved woman-owned neighborhood bike shop offers bikes and gear for women, men, and kids alike. BFF Bikes also has a full service shop for all bike repairs, holds many classes, clinics, and rides, as well as training camps and an indoor winter training program. Fun fact: They also host the largest women’s racing team in Chicago with BFF Bikes Racing.

-Faith Yi


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