As we celebrate International Women's Day this March 8, we want to honor some of the many guiding lights in the Goodee community — female entrepreneurs who are taking action every day to create sustainable change within their communities and beyond. Hear from five truly inspiring brand founders as they describe how their own personal experience of being a woman shapes their work.
Leigh Joseph (Styawat), Sḵwálwen founder
Being a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) woman means that I come from a long line of strong and powerful women. When I think about where I feel held in beauty it is on the land. Tending to and harvesting plants for health, wellness and beauty. The matriarchs in my family have done this for generations and held up knowledge and practice through great impacts to our knowledge, cultural roles and ways of life. I am honored to call myself a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh woman and I draw on the strength of the women in my life to share these teachings with my daughter.
Boo Louis, Ekobo co-founder
Being a woman shapes every aspect of my work. Soft lines, warm textures, objects that aim to please and care for the planet. While pure beauty and color are a guiding light, I feel empowered and inspired by my place - in my home. Above all, I design as a mother, to create products that are safe enough, thoughtful enough for actual life. I design for my own children, my own family, and everyone's family.
Sara Efia Reddin, GOLDEN Editions founder
It’s difficult to talk about womanly qualities without falling into cliches, but I try my best to have a nurturing approach to the business. That it is holistic and that everyone involved benefits. My designing also has a womanly touch, I love curves and delicateness, touches of fun colours and playful shapes. The effect is a contemporary craft with a homely natural feel.
Nani Marquina, Nanimarquina founder
I’ve always tried through my work to reflect my way of being, my passions and desires although at times I’ve had doubts if my way of doing things corresponded to the business and entrepreneurial standards that they were proper to men. Until I understood that women are different, and this is what gives us a special and different value. Our value lies in the feminine vision.
Through intuition I try to find out how people feel, which is what excites them and I try to understand what makes us happy. Through the creativity applied to the craft of designing carpets, I connect with people.
Treana Peake, Obakki founder
The artisan women who I work with are the backbones of their communities. They are the worker bees, the water carriers, the cooks, the maids, the farmers, the healers, the mothers, and the grandmothers. They are the artisans, the teachers, and the keepers of ancestral traditions and skills. I love connecting with these strong women and walking alongside them for this part of their journey. They truly inspire me.