Supporting Women Business Owners and Artisans
At Acrisure, we’re passionate about empowering entrepreneurs and trailblazers. That’s why we’re celebrating Women’s History Month with our community partner, The Arts Marketplace.
Founded in 2020, The Arts Marketplace showcases local artisans and helps them sell their goods and services via their premiere retail space in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. In honor of Women’s History Month, the Arts Marketplace is spotlighting women business owners and makers across Michigan. Check out this year’s line-up below and make sure to support woman-owned businesses this month and all year round.
APPAREL & TEXTILES
SHANNON COHEN: Author, podcast creator and Mental Health Therapist, Shannon’s inspirational product line and wellness brand is a movement designed to uplift difference makers by breaking stigmas and create conversations. She wants people to know that seeking help IS OKAY. Especially in communities of color.
PUBLIC THREAD: Janay launched this textile up-cycling company to put her values into action and use community-level systems to make sewn goods that support creative change work. Co-led with COO Lisa, Public Thread pays living wages and keeps thousands of pounds of textiles out of landfills every year.
SPERA FOODS: With a passion for health and wellness, and inspiration from abroad, Hannah, owner of Spera Foods, began baking with the tiger nut – a nutrition-packed root eaten popularly as a snack in West Africa and Asia that is delicious and safe for nut allergies!
CELLAR DOOR PRESERVES: After a year in Lebanon, Zenobia moved back to Grand Rapids to recreate the preserves business she once had. Using local fruit from the West Coast of Michigan, Cellar Door was launched in the spring of 2017 and offers small-batch, artisan, local preserves.
REFUTEA: Autumn, founder of Refutea, started with a mission to help refugee resettlement in West Michigan. Ten percent of sales go to refugee resettlement agencies in greater Grand Rapids. All tea leaves and spices are sourced responsibly via fair trade.
INBOOZE: Ashleigh Evans, a mother of 4 and cocktail lover launched her brand in 2018. She wanted an easier (and healthier!) way for everyone to enjoy drinks at home. By infusing with simple fruits, spices, and herbs, you know exactly what is in your cocktail!
KATE LEWIS CERAMIC: With a fine arts background in ceramics and sculpture, Kate is known for the natural beauty of her functional pottery forms. At her home studio in the Creston neighborhood of GR, she creates beautiful pottery for individuals and businesses to enjoy. She also offers fun, casual pottery wheel lessons.
BEB GLASS: Artist Brianna Barron makes glass more accessible by creating work that is stylish, functional and affordable. She has been working with glass since 2010 and her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
KNOWN GOODS: Paige Leyh is the woman behind this handmade concrete. KNOWN Goods Co is based in Grand Rapids and works with concrete material that is partly recycled and generates 95% less air pollution and 97% less water pollution than the concrete produced by other leading manufacturers.
GRACEWOOD CANDLES: Inspired by Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world, Founder, Alisha, spreads light with her handmade soy candles using inspiring messages and beautiful fragrances. Everything is made in Grand Rapids with non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials.
LIT SOY CANDLE CO: Tiawanna (Tia) Ezell began making candles to keep busy during Covid layoff. Due to a past cancer diagnosis, Tia wanted to make a product free from harmful chemicals and toxins and created 100% all-natural soy wax candles using clean fragrances.
COSMETICS & SKINCARE
CINDY SUDS: Physician Assistant turned small business owner, Cindy started creating natural lotions and balms for her sons who suffered from sensitive skin. Her brand has since grown to include a variety of products for the body and home, and all offer natural solutions to common items we use everyday.
ELLA’S EVE COSMETICS: Ellas Eve Cosmetics is a makeup brand founded by two sisters who wanted to share their love for makeup and promote self-love and self-confidence with the beauty community. We create high-quality, cruelty-free products.
KOKI: KOKI is a fully handcrafted non-toxic, all vegan, eco-conscious skincare small business in Michigan. Founder Ivana wanted to prove that organic, vegan, high-quality products can be economical.
HICKORY TREE FARM APIARIES: Nicole and her husband teach sustainable beekeeping classes on their veteran-owned farm, and their proceeds from their food and skincare products help protect and save the European Honeybee.
MAGGIE ANN SOAP CO: Initially inspired by the holiday soap-making she did with her mom, Maggie started her own company, dedicated to hand-making each product with beautiful, sustainable, imaginative ingredients. Maggie Ann Soap Co. is 100% sustainable and almost 100% vegan.
THE COLOR FOREST: We’re so done with boring jewelry. That’s why Beth Usadel founded The Color Forest, a unique brand of ultra-colorful, polymer-clay jewelry and accessories, handcrafted sustainably in Grand Rapids, MI.
ROSE ARTISAN: Inspired by the many artistic techniques in her home country of Guatemala, Rossy Hughes started Rose Artisan in 2018 to showcase this artistic heritage through jewelry and handbags. Rose Artisan is committed to empowering indigenous female artisans from Guatemala.
PAISCLAYCO: Paisclayco is a Latina-owned small business based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their jewelry is thoughtfully handmade in small batches and each pair is one of a kind. They use zero plastic in their packaging and keep all scrap clay to be reworked.
HATTIE DARLING: Heather Duffy sat down to create a handmade personalized thank you gift for her mother. A few sketches of dogwood, magnolias, and camellias were organized into an L. This grew into a full series of floral monogram illustrations, and Hattie Darling was born!
LIEF DESIGN: Emilies line of paper goods is rooted in natural and simple aesthetics, with an emphasis in hand lettering and illustration. The word LIEF (said leaf) comes from the Dutch language, meaning sweet, as an endearment, and each design is meant to celebrate and delight in the everyday.
GAIAVOX: Through art, conversation, and celebration of pleasure, Monica Vergara seeks to empower and remind women that by staying grounded and connected to their bodies–especially their vulvas–and the earth, they can find, trust, and honor their voices.
SWEET SHIT: After never being able to find a card that suited what Alexandria Moran really wanted to say, Sweet Shit was created to bring a kind of edgier, snarky humor to greeting cards to help people find the exact right way to say the things they want to say.
TREETOPS COLLECTIVES: This social enterprise believes that each of our new neighbors has gifts, skills, and dreams that make Grand Rapids better. They connect refugee women to meaningful work opportunities so they can flourish for generations to come.
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