5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Made With Love

In this Valentine’s Day edition of our crowdfunding column, we’re featuring female founders seeking funds for projects that are close to their hearts.

Candice Helfand-Rogers By Candice Helfand-Rogers

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting five women-led crowdfunding campaigns for products, projects and services that demonstrate these female founders’ love of food, family, community, health and fellow women.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. A Growing Family Food Business (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Becky Bil is the co-founder of Bilberry Jams and Jellies, a family-run venture making small-batch spreadables since 2012. She has managed the Kalamazoo, Mich., business from home and sold Bilberry products at area farmers markets. But recently, the family seized the opportunity to acquire a local gourmet popcorn venture. “By purchasing this business, we will have our own licensed kitchen to produce both our jam and the gourmet popcorn,” Bil says in the campaign. For years, customers throughout the United States have asked Bilberry to ship its products. “Now we will be able to do just that!”
The Money: Bil has 11 days left to reach her $4,800 goal. If she succeeds, the money will go toward the first month’s rent at the business’ new building, a new point-of-sale system and more.

2. Creating Opportunities with Cookies (via iFundWomen)

The Business: Collettey’s, a Boston-based cookie business, was started by 27-year-old female founder Collette Divitto. She launched in 2011 with two cookie recipes, and built Collettey’s into a popular brand that now sells treats in bulk to individuals and event planners alike. Divitto, who has Down Syndrome, is also a frequent speaker at area business events. Beyond her short-term plans for expansion and increased production, Divitto aims to one day see Collettey’s become a national venture, “so I can offer employment to thousands of people with (dis)abilities.”
The Money: Within the next 46 days, Divitto hopes to raise at least $10,000. The money will help her move the business into a new kitchen space and ramp up cookie production.

3. Activist Art from South Asian Women (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Five years ago, Shilo Shiv Suleman started her art collective, Fearless, in the wake of a gang rape in Delhi, India. The Bangalore artist initially sought a creative way to speak out against gender violence. Since then, she has expanded the effort, bringing Nida Mushtaq and other artists and activists on board. Together, the collective has created public murals in eight countries around the world — and she wants to create many more.
The Money: This crowdfunding effort, if successful, will enable Suleman create a digital toolkit for other philanthropically minded artists and host events to teach interested parties how to start their own collectives. She is hoping to raise $30,000 within the next 40 days.

4. Chemical-Free Skin and Hair Products (via iFundWomen)

The Business: Through Fancy Free, founder Iyonna Woods makes a range of all-in-one hair and skincare products that are free of chemicals. Woods whips up her serums, pomades, deodorants and more using shea butter and organic oils. The Baltimore business owner, who is also a medical laboratory scientist with a cosmetology background, is “dedicated to creating excitement about STEM in inner city communities by offering employment opportunities, laboratory technique training, and education on how science relates to the beauty industry.”
The Money: Woods has already met her $8,000 goal, and 46 days still remain in her campaign. The money she raises will allow her to invest in a larger manufacturing facility and step up her marketing efforts.

5. A Home for a Community Grocery (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Erin Byrd is working with her neighbors — all of them volunteers — to create a grocery store and communal gathering space in southeast Raleigh, N.C. The Fertile Ground Food Cooperative has been in the works since late 2012. Its primary goal is to “provide access to healthy food and pathways to living wage jobs,” Byrd says in the campaign. The organizers have now narrowed the location of the cooperative to three potential spots, but need help funding a survey to make the final decision.
The Money: There are 24 days left on Byrd’s campaign. Before it concludes, she aims to raise $5,500. The money will be put toward conducting a market study to choose a site for the store. Every dollar raised will be matched by the Food Cooperative Initiative.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at info@thestoryexchange.org.

Posted: February 14, 2018

Candice Helfand-Rogers5 Crowdfunders to Watch – Made With Love