The holiday season is in full swing, and as of today, winter has officially begun. So we decided to end the year by spotlighting campaigns that bring warmth and light to the lives of others. Happy Holidays!

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. A Modern Take on a Holiday Classic (via Kickstarter)

The Business: The Daurden Dance Company, based in Hollywood and run by artistic director and choreographer Cassandra Daurden, is staging a production of “A Contemporary Nutcracker.” This take on the Christmas classic will feature young dancers of color. “The dance community is open, beautiful and accepting of talented dancers, but often doesn’t consider artists of color for principal roles,” she says. Through this performance, she hopes to inspire change.
The Money: Daurden’s campaign will be live until Christmas Day. By or before then, she hopes to raise $1,800 to cover venue costs, artists’ pay, costumes, props and more. If she does not succeed, she will not receive any of the money generated by the campaign.

2. Candles for a Beloved Camper (via Indiegogo)


The Business: Stephanie Warner runs Sussex, N.J.-based company Stay Wild Candle Co., which makes small batches of hand-poured candles, sold in reusable camping mugs. Since launching last year — with the help of an earlier crowdfunding campaign — her business has grown, requiring her to order more mugs and shift to a new, Polish provider. She says these changes “will launch Stay Wild to a whole new level.”
The Money: Warner is trying to raise $2,500, which will pay for the production and shipment of 200 new mugs (though, her’s is a flexible funding campaign, so she will receive money no matter what). She has 6 days remaining in her campaign.

3. Mixes to Warm Your Heart and Belly (via Kickstarter)


The Business: Made from the Heart, a business that sells pre-made spice and recipe mixes, began as a hobby for founder Kathleen Lowe. “I am self-taught with everything that I make,” the Winter Springs, Fla., entrepreneur says. “Every product is tested to be the best that it can be.” Now, her original creations — including hot cocoas, chicken rubs and brownie mixes — are starting to sell, and she needs help taking her venture to new heights.
The Money: Through this campaign, Lowe hopes to raise money to register the business, purchase packaging supplies, and get her into local farmers markets. She’s aiming to raise $550 by Jan. 5.

4. A Minimalist Piece to Give Your Home a Glow (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Brooklyn artist Nataliia Omelchenko wants to share the warmth and fragrance of cedar wood with others through her Cedar Aroma Pyramids. Using a small votive candle, the piece heats the natural oils in the wood, filling the room with their scent. “Perfect as a minimalist decorative element, smart as a source of gentle aromatherapy, the Cedar Aroma Pyramid is simply beautiful,” she says of her work.
The Money: Omelchenko is trying to reach her goal of $1,500 within the next 7 days (though her campaign is also flexible). She will use the money to produce the pyramid and bring it to market.

5. Real Cards for Lasting Sentiments (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Tatianna Alpert and Steven Gilbert, a wife-and-husband team in Australia, are launching a new app called Real.Cards. Using the app, people can set reminders for important dates or milestones, and coordinate sending a physical card when those moments arrive. Every month, Real.Cards will feature a different artist’s work, and donate some proceeds to a charity of the artist’s choosing. Users can also opt to upload images.
The Money: Alpert and Gilbert set a goal of $7,253 (in USD), that they are trying to reach before Jan. 10. With those funds, the duo will produce and send their high-quality cards.

Want to be featured in The Story Exchange’s Crowdfunding column? Drop us a line and tell us about your campaign at [email protected].