Happy National Women’s Month, y'all!
You may not be aware, but every day is International Women’s Day here on the Tako Agency core team, which consists of Founder, Z, and four badass, whip smart females: Grace, Jackie, Emma, and Cindy! 🙋🏻♀️
That’s a particularly big deal because…<drum roll>...Tako Agency is a tech company.
Why on earth does that matter?
Allow us to introduce these unsurprising -- but still very annoying -- statistics via TrustRadius:
The majority (72%) of women in tech are regularly outnumbered by men in meetings by at least a 2:1 ratio...[with] 26% reporting being outnumbered by 5:1 or more. Women in tech are nearly twice as likely as men to have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to the pandemic.
TL;DR, women in tech are in short supply; when we do manage to get into the room, we’re outnumbered...and often the first to go.
We’re sure it comes as no great shock that tech isn’t alone in committing this sin. Female entrepreneurs across industries are facing all kinds of challenges. Case in point: even though female-owned companies represented 40% of all U.S. businesses in 2018*, (yay!) the average loan size for female founders was 31% lower than for male founders (wut).
*That percentage hasn’t moved since 2018.
“OK, but tHaT’s BeCaUse women don’t like asking for money.”
First of all, that’s bologna.
Second of all, when we ask for business loans, we
a) are significantly less likely to get them than our male counterparts and
b) can expect to pay higher rates on those loans than men do. (Source)
That’s super frustrating, no? Nevermind the fact that securing capital is just the FUNDamental (sorry) entry point to opening the doors of a business. We could do a super depressing 30-part series on hurdles lobbed at the knees of female entrepreneurs throughout the business-building process. (But we won’t, because, according to Grace, “There isn’t enough tequila in the world for that shit.”)
Let’s make one thing real clear: we’re not anti-guy around here. We all have men in our lives and outside our orbit who we deeply admire, respect, and consider to be mentors (yep, even in business).
And, ya know...Z’s here.
The problem lies with a legacy system that is specifically designed to ensure their success, often to the detriment of ours--supported and exacerbated by the men who think and do absolutely f*ck all about it.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom.
The fact is, despite the intrinsically biased construction of our corporate ecosystem, there are women who are thriving in entrepreneurship--and that, my friends, is what we’re really here to talk about.
Here are 10 of our favorite female-owned Shopify businesses circumventing the patriarchal minefield, generating ideas and products that we genuinely love (and are sure you will too).
*All images belong to the brands.
Bright Box allows you to affordably and conveniently give the gift of happiness for any occasion, neatly packaged and sent with love.
A note from Tako Creative Director, Grace:
I love [Shea’s] (founder) mission: making it easy and affordable for people to show love to the people they care about. Plenty of similar services are out there, but nothing with this combination of affordability (read: accessibility!) and selection. I think I’ve sent 3 or 4 boxes so far and I check the site literally every day to see when new add-ons pop up...so I can order the other 3 boxes I’m planning to send. They are always received with utter delight.
(Full disclosure, BB is a client of ours but honestly, we’d be fans regardless.)
Crown + Crystal
Crown + Crystal is a luxury candle company fusing organic soy wax, high quality fragrance oils, crystals, and botanical elements to create a cosmic explosion of beauty for both the eyes and the nose.
We had the pleasure of meeting the founder, Anjha Thomas, during an interview for our Conversations with Black Creators series and we can confidently say that she is as magical as her products. ✨Most of us bought C + C candles as Christmas gifts last year, either for others or … well, they were intended for others but somehow never made it out the door. :D
Piaffe Shop is owned and operated by Tako Tech Director, Mallory. (Yep, she’s a double duty boss.) So, yeah, we’re biased but like --
As Grace put it, "Must you be an equestrian to wear these beauties?! No. No, you do not."
A note from Mallory:
I started Piaffe Shoppe as a way to cater to dressage riders in Ontario, as it’s really hard to find quality stuff that satisfies their unique needs from generic stores. A lot of the products I bring in are from Europe, and well-recognized as fashionable and high-quality. For some of the brands I carry, I’m the only distributor in Canada, and I have an exclusivity deal, which makes it even sweeter!
We travel to some of the biggest dressage shows (including international ones) every year and are well-known in the industry; we regularly work with Canadian Olympians and international riders, including Young/JR riders--outfitting them and their horses in the very best!
Bagatiba is an LA-based jewelry company--“It Girl”-approved and produced in small batches. Their timeless, unique pieces (that go with literally everything) make them an obvious choice for this list.
Our* favs include the 14K Emma Choker, the Ella Diamond Ring, Cara Clips, and the zodiac charm collection.
*By “our” we mean “Emma’s” because--as Grace pointed out before immediately clicking out of Bagatiba’s homepage--this is “hipster cool girl jewelry” that she is "not cool enough to wear," just before asking wtf a body chain is.
Disclaimer: it’s a bit pricey, since many of the pieces are gold plated, but a little TLC will extend their life, and they’ll never go out of style! They also have a small 14K collection. ✨
Healthy Roots Dolls
Healthy Roots leverages the power of play to reinforce representation and educate young girls on self-exploration, confidence, and curl care! This quote from their website pretty much sums up why we love these ladies:
Toys impact how we think, act, and perceive ourselves. So when girls can’t find dolls that look like them, it negatively impacts their self-esteem...that’s why we created Zoe, the first Healthy Roots doll. We go beyond just painting a doll brown. We create an educational play experience with curl care.
The power of representation in the toy aisle can’t be refuted and we applaud Healthy Roots for their contribution to that mission. 💓
INH produces vegan, cruelty-free synthetic hair in the form of ponytails, clip-in bangs, and wigs, as well as semi-permanent hair dyes, heated tools, and more.
A note from Tako Ops Wizard, Emma:
I wish I had some profound thing to say about their mission or whatever but really, I just like them because they allow me to indulge my Leo tendency to be ridiculously extra--which lies dormant most of the time because I can’t be bothered to wear anything but oversized tees and some light mascara. Still, there’s a GIRLY girl in there, and I can’t wait for my peachy pink lob wig to arrive so I can bring her out of hiding.
Knix is an underwear company that is, as they put it, redefining intimates. And boy, howdy! From bras and panties (even period panties!), activewear, maternity, and postpartum to lounge and shapewear, Knix is cornering the market on high quality comfort.
Beyond their great products, we love Knix’s quiet diversity. Nowhere on their website will you find them shouting, LOOK HOW INCLUSIVE WE ARE. They simply make products for nearly every body (many panties come in sizes XS through XXXXL and bras in 32A through 44G) and feature a broad variety of models on their website. No performative diversity statements--just authentic inclusion.
Mallory’s not the only double-dipping horsey entrepreneur in the Tako bunch! Tech Lead Jackie has an equestrian venture of her own. (And the website is bea-u-ti-ful!)
A note from Jackie:
Entrepreneurship runs in my family. My great-grandfather founded ARIS Gloves, which later became Isotoner. My father has operated successful businesses in just about every industry you can imagine. I knew from day one I would want to follow in their footsteps. Living in the Winter equestrian capital of the world, I saw an opportunity to combine my love of horses and my frustration over the cheaply made “luxury” leather goods already on the market. Enter Ostler Equestrian: my personally designed line of equestrian belts & spur strap sets.
From its conception, Ostler was always about ethics. Creating something people would want to buy wasn’t enough for me — I wanted to do everything the right way. For me, this meant not only offering high-quality, durable, and beautiful products, but doing so providing domestic, living wage labor. Seeing the death of American manufacturing and the devaluation of our labor force breaks my heart. I’m hoping to do whatever small thing I can to support that industry before we lose it forever.
If your biology has ever manifested womanhood and you’re older than 12 years, you are likely keenly aware of the necessity of period products. What you may not know is that most of them are packed with toxins. (Ew.)
Enter LOLA: a company by women, for women, on a mission to make feminine care safer and more sustainable, while fighting for reproductive equity.
(They make...ahem...sexier stuff, too!)
House of Lashes
House of Lashes provides a crazy array of false lashes, kits, and lash-related accessories. This was another of Grace’s picks, so I’ll let her tell you why they’re awesome...
A note from Grace:
These legit feel like $60 lashes, but they’re affordable af and the packaging feels luxe. I like their mission too; their angle is “empowerment” and, personally, nothing makes me feel more glam than a GREAT pair of false lashes. They’re also cruelty free, which I dig -- I don’t need to be wearing actual mink hair or rabbit fur or whatever on my eyelids to feel pretty.
They also engage in a lot of community-oriented things--profit givebacks and such. Lastly, their eye shape guide is really handy for beginners. As a garden-variety almond-eyed person, I’d (shamefully) never considered that lashes wouldn’t always be one-size-fits-all. HOL specially created their lashes for ALL eye shapes--especially monolid and hooded eyes. Most lashes are not made to accommodate anything beyond the “usual”...which is, obviously, rubbish.
We’d love to know--what are some of your favorite femme-run shops? Sound off on Twitter and tag @takoagency!
Are you a female shop owner who needs a killer website? We’ve got your back.
(OK, OK...boys are welcome, too. 😋)