Many challenges have come with owning a business this last year, and women entrepreneurs typically face additional challenges. They can experience difficulties securing financial, social and human capital. A lack of role models and mentors can also become a major barrier for growth.
In women's fashion, you would think the majority of brands are made and operated by women, but unfortunately, we still see a male-dominated fashion industry. The good news is that women entrepreneurs in fashion are gaining traction with each passing year, taking women's fashion back.
What can we do to better support women-owned fashion brands, and begin buying with a purpose?
Shop Women-Owned Boutiques (Online or Brick & Mortar)
If you are looking to purchase new summer fashion pieces, it can be easy to go straight to a major retailer. But before you do, check out the local women-made, women-owned fashion. Usually, when you choose a smaller, locally-owned business they can offer you higher quality goods, uniqueness, and personalization - like us!
Supporting a local shop or brand is like voting. Every time you make a purchase and support a local shop it gains power and influence in your community. This doesn’t mean there will not always be massive chain retailers, but it means locally-made and -owned businesses can pull up a seat to the table.
Support Doesn’t Have to Cost a Thing
You don’t need to spend money to support women entrepreneurs.
Supporting women-owned businesses on social media can do wonders for engagement and awareness. Liking their posts and sharing with your friends and followers is free marketing. Commenting and saving also helps boost the posts on the social media platforms’ algorithms.
Women Supporting Women
If you know or hear about women-made clothing or a women-owned boutique, spread the word and write them a good online review. Other women in your life are usually just as eager to support women entrepreneurs like you. Word of mouth can do wonders for a local business.
Support & Promote Crowdfunding Campaigns
Businesses owned by men are more likely to receive angel funding, venture capital, or other forms of monetary support such as trade credit or capital leasing.
Women on the other hand have a harder time receiving financial support, particularly in their business’s early days. This is why crowdfunding can be so beneficial. Crowdfunding is when members of the public can securely donate and fund small businesses.
How Can I Find & Support Local Businesses?
Hashtags can be a great way to find local women-owned fashion brands on social media.
Hashtags like #BuyWomenOwned, #TorontoFashion, #MadeInCanada, #SustainableFashion are some great places to start. Usually, once you find one or two local women-owned businesses you will keep discovering more. This is because most women entrepreneurs are all about #WomenSupportingWomen.
A simple google or bing search will lead you to so many local women-owned businesses. You will be able to find articles and websites dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs and Canadian-owned fashion brands.
A Little Goes a Long Way
Any form of support means everything to a small business:
- Post a photo of you wearing their clothing and tag the business
- Leave them a 5-star review online
- Share their social media posts
- Word of mouth marketing to friends and family
Any of these things can generate sales and ignite a business’s fire. Supporting local businesses also helps stimulate our local economy in general - which after a global pandemic is nothing but positive.