April showers bring May flowers — as well as much-appreciated higher temperatures. After months of bitter cold (particularly for those of us in the north), it’s finally time to enjoy the unofficial start of the warm-weather season. In celebration, here are five crowdfunding efforts that focus on good food, lighter fashion and easier schedules — all the elements of a great summer!

Check out these five women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. Light, Fun, Adventurous Summer Meals (via Kickstarter)

Credit: Kickstarter

The Business: Farmers’ markets full of high-quality produce are opening up all over the country. While you’re whipping up a meal at home with those fresh fruits and vegetables, why not learn about the world at the same time? Author Feride Buyuran is raising money to publish a second edition of her cookbook, “Pomegranates & Saffron: A Culinary Journey to Azerbaijan,” that will incorporate even more recipes and photographs than the first version.
The Money: Buyuran has set a fundraising goal of $20,000, which she must meet on or before May 17. She plans to put the money toward printing and distribution costs for the book, due for release in September of this year.

2. An On-the-Go App for Busy Parents (via Plum Alley)

The Business: Moms and dads can always use help getting (and staying) organized, especially as the school year comes to a close and summer vacations begin. That’s where Little Peanut on the Go, a personal-assistance mobile app created by Karla Lemmon, comes into play. The app lets parents “create packing and to-do lists, build care schedules to share with caregivers, and check in on your child’s day while away,” according to the website.
The Money: Lemmon is hoping to raise $7,500 by May 18. With the money, she would fund outreach efforts to raise awareness about the app. She also plans to dedicate some money to improving her customer-support capabilities.

3. Wear White Whenever You Want (via Kickstarter)

Credit: Kickstarter

The Business: Old-fashioned etiquette rules set limits on when you can wear white. But the folks at Elizabeth & Clarke, led by cofounder Melanie Moore, are working on a collection of white shirts you’ll want to wear all year. Using nanotechnology, the company has designed a virtually “unstainable” shirt that wicks away spills and washes easily, while also flattering female figures.
The Money: The campaign ends on May 21, but it has already met and exceeded its goal of $30,000. With that money, the company can go ahead with its plans for development, testing and production. Now, the campaign is working toward a stretch goal of $250,000, which will allow Moore and her team to create their uniquely stain-proof shirts in petite and plus sizes.

4. A Smoother Way to Purchase Your Shaving Needs (via Indiegogo)

Credit: Indiegogo

The Business: Entrepreneur Emmalyn Smith’s online store is a must-visit for women who prefer smooth legs with their skirts and dresses. She’s the cofounder of Miss Emma’s Classic Shaving, a service that connects female clients with classic brushes, creams, razors, blades and other shaving needs. Her business is up and running, and now she wants to take things to the next level.
The Money: Smith is hoping to raise $14,250 by June 1, which she would use to launch a customer forum, stock more inventory and craft and execute advertising campaigns. Since she has opted for Flexible Funding, Smith will receive a portion of whatever amount is raised at the end of the campaign.

5. Funding a Summer Party Must-Have (via Indiegogo)

Credit: Indiegogo

The Business: Family-oriented carnivals and summer parties are made extra fun by creative makeup artists like entrepreneur Flo Atkinson of Flourishes Face Painting. Her unique, customized designs are a delight for kids of all ages. But unfortunately, her makeup kit went poof! on a bus late last year — a significant blow to the budding business. Now, she’s trying to get her venture going again in time for warm-weather occasions and community events near her Newcastle, United Kingdom home.
The Money: By or before June 7, Atkinson hopes to raise about $772 in all. The money would be used to purchase a new kit of colors, brushes and glitter so that she can grow her client base, network with other artists in the area, and above all else, indulge her artistic passion. “For me, there is no better feeling than transforming somebody into a work of art,” she says in her campaign.

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