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Starting and growing a business successfully requires a great deal of creativity, regardless of a venture’s focus. But these female entrepreneurs are applying creativity to everything they do. Their businesses are crafty — in every sense of the word — and their products, unique. Learn more about the innovative women behind these fashion, shoe and show businesses.

Check out five women-led crowdfunding campaigns:

1. A Late-Blooming Entrepreneur’s Take on Traditional Irish Costume Photography (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Far from The Story Exchange’s New York City home is the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. There, Gyongyi Karasz is toiling to build a client base for her photography business, Paddy Portrait. Tourists who visit the scenic idyll can don traditional Irish dress and sit for photos with Karasz that will preserve their travel memories for years to come. Karasz, who also works as an orthopedic massage therapist, is hoping to grow Paddy Portrait into a required stop for summer tourists.
The Money: There are only four days left to contribute to Karasz’s crowdfunding campaign, which hopes to raise $10,000, but will receive a portion of any funds donated through the Flexible Funding option. The money will go to the purchase of costumes in varying sizes and themes.

2. A Team of Beauty Biz Owners Designs Africa-Inspired Shoes (via Plum Alley)

The Business: Fashion can make a powerful statement. With their shoes, the founders of Buqisi-Ruux hope to convey their “love for Africa and appreciation to African women.” The company is run by a trio of female entrepreneurs, Lynn Bugari, Tetsi Bugari and Nuba Elamin, and is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Its shoes can also be found in Kampala, Uganda, and New York City, as well as online.
The Money: This campaign is also in its final stages — with just five days to go, the women of Buqisi-Ruux are hoping to raise $25,000 in all. The funds would mostly go toward marketing efforts and improving the overall quality of the product.

3. Feminine Street Wear from Across the Pond (via Kickstarter)

Agurk
Credit: Kickstarter

The Business: Camilla Kuus and Vibbe Nygaard, the Denmark-based duo behind fashion brand AGURK, are designing “feminine street wear for the urban woman.” Their clothing line will include everything from printed bags and scrunchies to shirts and dresses. Each item features bold, colorful prints — a nod to the company’s name, which translates loosely as “go bananas.”
The Money: Kuus and Nygaard are working with a Polish production company to manufacture their first collection, an effort they funded themselves. The money raised through the Kickstarter campaign would be used to fund their second collection. The team hopes to raise $7,499 by June 4.

4. Hand-Dyed Yarns in Bold Colors and Spooky Themes (via Kickstarter)

Yarn
Credit: Kickstarter

The Business: Those who prefer to create their own fashion might want to back the campaign of Delisa Carnegie and her Sandpoint, Idaho, business, Apocalypse Friday. Carnegie makes and sells hand-dyed yarns in color combinations inspired by everything from movie monsters (“Swamp Thing”) to more morbid fare (“Bluebonic Plague”).
The Money: Carnegie is hoping to raise $2,000 by June 18. With the money, she plans to purchase yarns, dyes and other tools she needs for production.

5. A Women-Run Theater Telling the Stories of Generations Past (via Indiegogo)

The Business: Storytelling is an art form for the folks at the Broken Leg Theatre in Brighton, England. Founded by three women, Anna Jefferson, Alice Trueman and Emily James-Farley, the theater is aiming to finish its newest play, “Three Generations of Women,” before taking it on tour. The work-in-progress is “inspired by real-life stories researched with women who have grown up in the UK during the last 100 years,” the campaign says.
The Money: There is just under a month remaining on the team’s Indiegogo campaign. By or before the deadline, they hope to raise approximately $8,500. The funds would be used to develop the play for touring and to grow an accompanying online archive of women’s stories.

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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. 
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"There was never a doubt in my mind, I always knew I wanted to run my own business."

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