Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2018 by featuring female founders who aim to take their businesses to the next level. Read on to learn how these entrepreneurs are using crowdfunding to elevate their delicious, calming and inspirational work.

Check out these 5 women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. A Place to Make a Grandfather’s Recipe (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Casey and Vanessa White are the sister co-founders of Jaju Pierogi, a Massachusetts-based venture selling Polish dumplings to fans across New England. Currently, their pierogi can be found in over 40 stores — and they want to go much further in the coming years. That’s why the White sisters are renovating their kitchen, “complete with walk-in freezers, new ventilation, blast chillers and lots of other exciting pierogi-making equipment,” they say in the campaign.
The Money: Within the next 4 days, the pair hopes to raise at least $25,000. With that money, they would begin the build-out of their current kitchen space by installing the freezers, updating plumbing fixtures, redoing ceilings and more.

2. A Space for Sports-Loving Girls (via iFundWomen)

(Credit: iFundWomen crowdfunding campaign for Major League Girls.)
(Credit: iFundWomen crowdfunding campaign for Major League Girls.)

The Business: Major League Girls, a website launched by former professional golfer Anya Alvarez, aims to inspire and encourage a new generation of female athletes and fans. Alvarez launched the site to fill a gap she saw in women-focused sports coverage from larger media outlets. She says in her crowdfunding campaign that her ultimate vision is to create a “community for girls who love sports, giving them direct access to the stories of the top women in sports.”
The Money: Alvarez is raising money to refine the website and fund the production of new video and written content. She aims to generate at least $20,000 in the next 57 days.

3. A Brick-and-Mortar Home for a Thriving Internet Business (via WeFunder)

The Business: Vanessa Braxton is the entrepreneurial force behind several online ventures that sell teas, vodka, mixers and more, all under the Black Momma name. Her products are popular with customers — she raked in $2.5 million in sales in 2016. Now, she aims to open two physical locations for her wares in New York state. Her Black Momma Tea & Cafe spots will, she hopes, spark further growth. “This growth will create jobs, collaboration with new small businesses and help expand small manufacturers within the food and beverage industry,” she says in the campaign.
The Money: Braxton is running an equity crowdfunding campaign to build her stores, which gives investors stakes in the company, rather than perks. She has pulled in just under $75,000 so far, and hopes to exceed $1 million.

4. A Next Chapter for a Helena Bakery (via Kickstarter)

The Business: Holly Weist, a fourth-generation Montanan and the founder of Cotton-Top Pastries, began her entrepreneurial journey by traveling the world. Along the way, she gained a great deal of baking experience — but never lost her taste for home. She returned and launched a bakery in 2014, so that fellow Montanans could experience the international treats she came to love. Now, she wants to have consistent retail hours at her shop, but needs help to make that step up happen.
The Money: Weist has already met her fundraising goal of $7,500, and 8 days still remain in her campaign. The money raised will help her make improvements to her kitchen, such as updating wiring and cabinets, so she can serve more people.

5. A Spot for Finding Your Center (via iFundWomen)

The Business: BuddhaBooth is a New York City business that makes and sells small alcoves for home installation that are designed to provide owners a quiet place where they can rest and recharge. The company was started by Francine Steadman Krulak, who used to suffer from “massive sensory overload, coupled with nowhere to privately breathe or make a phone call,” a combination of factors that inspired her to develop a solution. She found one in BuddhaBooth, and now wants to share it with as many people as possible.
The Money: As of today, 87 days remain on Krulak‘s campaign, which seeks to raise $15,000. That money will be used to refine the design of BuddhaBooth and make the finished product more sustainable and affordable.

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