Today, we spotlight five women-led crowdfunding efforts — for books, pants, restaurants, sewing kits and internship opportunities — that encourage us all to think about the world, its people and the products they offer differently.
Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:
The Business: Joy Lindsay is the force behind Butterfly Dreamz, a nonprofit in Newark, N.J., that “helps girls develop the confidence and leadership skills needed to transform their dreams into their reality,” according to the campaign. She now aims to realize this vision by creating a paid internship opportunity for high school girls called Write to Lead. Participants would develop and execute programs that benefit the surrounding community and work together to co-author a book.
The Money: Lindsay has 11 days left to reach her goal amount of $12,500. Contributions will be used to hire program support staff and fund scholarships for interns.
The Business: Tougher is a women’s clothing company based in Oregon and run by its founder, Stacey Gose. She started up to give female construction workers, ranchers, foresters and other women who work with their hands the sort of high-quality clothing she herself wanted, but couldn’t find. Now, Gose is designing work pants that “allow tradeswomen and do-it-yourselfers … to knock out long hours in the field, backyard, or shop in comfort,” and that feature a waistband which “follows — instead of resisting — women’s curves.”
The Money: There are 22 days remaining in Gose’s campaign, but she has already surpassed her goal of raising $12,000. The initial amount will cover a first production run of the pants, and extra funds will go toward making the pants in additional colors and sizes.
The Business: In 2013, when Sailaja Joshi was expecting her first child, she went looking for kids books about Indian culture for her future daughter. But she found very few, and none were appropriate for young, developing children. So the following year, she founded Cambridge, Mass.-based venture Bharat Babies, “an independent publishing house that is committed to producing diverse kids lit for a diverse world.” Now, she and her team are hard at work on their latest creation, a board book that will feature the company’s first male Hindu character.
The Money: Joshi hopes to raise at least $25,000, and has 10 days left to achieve that goal. She will use the money from this crowdfunding effort to hire authors and illustrators. The more money she raises, the more versions of the book Bharat Babies can offer.
The Business: Emily Hundt doesn’t just want people to sew — she wants them to slow down and enjoy the process. Through her Sydney company, In the Folds, she offers a range of sewing patterns for shirts, skirts and more, each designed with details that require customers to take their time to craft them. Now, she wants to take her own business, building on digital patterns, in an old school direction. “Although PDF patterns have been a great entry point for my business, it does mean a lot of makers have not had an opportunity to use the patterns,” she says. Many of her would-be customers either prefer not to use digital patterns or have not yet discovered the online sewing world, and she would like to be able to cater to them.
The Money: Hundt has already met her campaign goal of $10,000 Australian dollars, and has 18 days left to raise more. The money will be used to turn her digital patterns into print offerings that speak to the more traditional members of the sewing community.
The Business: Five female friends came together more than 40 years ago to open the Sunlight Cafe, a Seattle eatery that has served creative vegetarian fare to locals ever since. Today, it is run by Cheryl Richards and Adrian Noone — the latter is the son of one of its founders — who say they “literally grew up” there. In March, the cafe will begin a new chapter in a new location, and its team needs financial help to prepare the new space.
The Money: A month remains for Richards to raise the $75,000 needed to pay for items like a new walk-in cooler, range hood system, countertops, sinks and more.
Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.