Advertiser Disclosure

Best of Indie Spotlight: Women-Run Small Businesses II

Oct. 31, 2012
Shopping, Shopping News
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Every week or so, we’ll be writing about our favorite handmade, vintage, and indie finds of the week. Check out our site to find Etsy discount codes for independent retailer stores like these. Want to share something with us? Please leave a comment below.

Wrapping up our tribute to women entrepreneurs in honor of National Women in Small Business month, here are more our favorite women-run small businesses and some of the great products that we discovered this week. These women retailers have built these small businesses themselves and share about their experiences and learning from running a business.  We hope you find these women as inspiring as we do.

Small Talk Clutch in Cockatoo

By Rebagz

“At Rebagz we’re out to change the world with style. What makes our site unique is that we put up product videos long before other people were doing it. It’s so necessary with handbags because our customers want to see and feel the bags, and get a sense of how big they really are. Our videos accomplish that. Our best-selling bags include the Small Talk Clutch in ‘Cockatoo’ made using recycled paper and remnant faux leather. Our bags redefine fashion by pairing award-winning style with sustainability because they’re as human-friendly as they are eco-friendly since our bags are made under fair labor conditions. We carry Green America’s Seal of Approval and PETA’s ‘Vegan’ badge.”

Marty Stevens-Heebner
President, Rebagz Handbags

Taking eco-friendly to the next level, Rebagz Handbags creates quality ingenuously-designed bags, touts, pouches, and wallets out of recycled materials that are kind to people, animals, and the entire planet. Make a statement and encourage reuse and sustainability with your new Rebagz handbag!

Large Letter Initial Necklace

By Peggy Li

“I’ve been in business for over 10 years and am a one-woman show based out of San Francisco, CA. My work has been in magazines like Lucky and on TV shows like Private Practice. I think my business is unique in that I love simple, classic designs and run it myself from marketing to web updates and the creation of product.”

Peggy Li
Creator, Peggy Li Creations 

Graceful, sophisticated, and simple, Peggy Li creates handmade jewelry with exceptional craftsmanship mixing contemporary aesthetics with vintage findings, charms, and gemstones. This beautiful necklace is hand-stamped by Peggy in a crisp Arial font personalized with the initial of you and your loved ones. You can choose up to five letter initial charms for your custom necklace!

Black Bat Glass Wine Bottle Stopper

By Blue Sky Collection

“My best seller is the glass wine bottle stoppers. What makes my online store unique: I give excellent customer service and have an eclectic selection of unique gifts from various vendors, many of which are hand-made, eco friendly or fair trade.”

Heather Westbrook
Owner, Blue Sky Collection

Full of wonderful eclectic finds, Blue Sky Collection offers many wonderful unique gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. You’ll find everything from handbags and home décor to wedding and baby gifts for any special occasion. Blue Sky Collection also caries a wide selection of eco-friendly and Earth friendly gifts so you’ll feel good that your gift won’t be hurting the environment.

Victorian Earrings with Choice of Gemstone

By Calico Juno Designs

“I’ve had my handcrafted gemstone jewelry business now for 10 years, with 5 employees, and have stayed very busy and have been successful despite the economy. I have a huge website with over 1,000 designs, as well as an actual brick-and-mortar retail store, an Etsy shop, numerous drop shippers, and over 350 wholesale accounts.

One of our most popular styles (too many to choose from, actually!) is one of the lesser-expensive designs, and has removable stones for a variety of looks. My website is unique as it has a specific look, very different from many other handcrafted jewelry websites, as well as having over 1,000 designs, many of them proven best sellers, and having many styles that you can pick and choose your stone colors, so there’s more variety and ‘bang for your buck’ if you will.”

Bonnie Riconda
Creator, Calico Juno Designs

Calico Juno Designs creates beautiful customizable earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more in glamourous styles like Bohemian, Cleopatra, Siren, Princess and more! With over a thousand designs to choose from, you’ll find your perfect jewelry accessory to fit your personal style!

Luxury Deep Pocket Sheet and Pillowcases

Vero Linens

“I manufacture luxury linens in Italy and sell them exclusively online. These are some of the finest bed linens made in the world. A comparable set of my linens would retail for over $1,100 at Niemen Marcus or ABC Home NY. What makes my approach unique is, I do not have the typical 225% retail mark-up, I sell them direct to consumers for around $500 +/-. Moreover, current luxury linen manufacturers cannot take this approach. You see, they have evolved using retailers – literally 99% of their sales are made to consumers through independent retailers. The day they decide to go direct to consumers and undercut the retailer is the day the retailer kicks their merchandise to the curb, so to speak. “

Owner, Vero Linens

Get the best sleep of your life sleeping in luxury linens from Vero Linens. Crafted in Italy from 100% Egyptian cotton, these sheets and bed linens are made of the highest quality and incomparable prices.

Amethyst Tango to Three Earrings

By Rita Sunderland

“I’m Russian jewelry designer who is living and working in Seattle, WA. I start my business as a hobby in 2006. I’ve been selling with Etsy for a several years and in 2011 I open my own online retail store. For less then a year my jewelry has been given to celebrities (Tori Spelling, Tyra Banks, Paula Abdul, Jenny McCarthy) In my jewelry line I’m trying to use rare cut gemstones to let my customers be unique. My most popular line for the last couple month was Tango to Three”

Rita Sunderland
Creator, Rita Sunderland Designs

Beautiful jewelry by Rita Sunderland can be seen worn by celebrities at parties and award shows! Sunderland created a new line of affordable jewelry called “Symbol Jewelry” especially for the upcoming Country Music Awards. Gemstones have healing and magical powers like Lapis Lazuli brings the wearer luck, success and prosperity and Smoky Quartz transforms negative energy to the positive. Sunderland’s unique jewelry will make you look and feel beautiful inside and out.

Fearless Pillowcase Dream Kit

By A Pillow For Your Thoughts

“My most popular product is the “Dream Kit” which includes a pillowcase with an affirmation, an organic lavender sachet, a keepsake affirmation card, and a reusable storage sachet for it all. It is like a ‘pillowcase-gram’ of sorts. It is unique that way. It is a great gift to anyone.”

Jane Castillo
Founder, A Pillow For Your Thoughts

Inspire your loved one to be strong and fearless even when dreaming with this thoughtful Fearless Pillowcase and Dream Kit. It comes with an organic lavender sachet to soothe away nerves and encouraging restful slumber!

Personalize Tree Gift

By Trees for a Change

“I am the founder and owner of Trees for a Change, an organization that plants trees as gifts in U.S. National Forests that have been destroyed by wildfire. Our most popular item is our Personalized Tree Gift, which is $35 and includes a tree planted by the U.S. Forest Service in an area that is desperate for reforestation, a personalized certificate and card, the gift recipient’s name on our online name registry, and online access to information about and photos of our tree planting projects. Trees for a Change is unique because we offer personal, meaningful gifts that help heal the planet instead of creating more waste, and our gifts are perfect for people of all ages, especially for nature lovers and the hard to buy for.”

Kim Isley
Founder & Treehugger-in-Chief, Trees for a Change

Make a difference in this world by gifting a tree planted in a U.S. National Forest in someone’s honor. Your tree gift will replace trees destroyed by wildfire, insects or disease and over a million acres of National Forest is in desperate need of reforestation. Be generous and earth-friendly this holiday season and plant a tree that will benefit everyone on earth for years to come.


By Foxgloves

“Please visit our website to view our selection of products for gardeners everywhere. Our best selling products are the gloves I designed. They are worn in the garden and around town. They are the gloves you love to wear!”

Harriet Zbikowski
Owner, Foxgloves

Designed just for gardeners and outdoors enthusiasts, these Foxgloves are comfy, water-resistant, and breathable for all your outdoor lifestyle needs. Never worry about dirty hands and discomfort while gardening again!

Organic Carrot Cake

By World’s Best Carrot Cake

“I own a Company called World’s Best Carrot Cake in Asheville, N.C. Among the different parts of my business is our website World’s Best Carrot Our most popular product is our 100% Organic Carrot Cake and a close 2nd is our Gluten Free Carrot Cake. My online store is unique because we ship freshly made carrot cakes in all varieties of healthy, made from scratch, all natural ingredients especially Gluten Free.”

Avi Sommerville
President, World’s Best Carrot Cake

Annalise Duffle Bag

By Gigi Hill

“The two women, Gabrielle DeSantis-Cummings and Monica Hillman, started their company by literally sitting on Monica’s living room floor and piecing together cutouts they made from brown paper bags from Trader Joe’s. They used those papers and tape to design their bags, picked out the fabrics, and then took it to a seamstress to bring an actual bag to life. Now, Gigi Hill has nearly 50 different bags in fabulous patterns and bold prints. What makes them so innovative is the Gigi Hill Signature Pocket Design that ensures there is a pocket for everything. Designed for items like your cell phone or other electronics, bags also include pockets for water bottles, sunglasses, pens and other essentials like your favorite lipstick! Pockets are also transparent so you can find what you need in an instant. It’s the perfect bag for busy women! The line now includes a men’s and teen’s collection as well so there’s something for every family member!”

Gigi Hill

Dinosaur Myself Belt

By Myself Belts

“Myself Belts help make a child’s (and parent’s!) day a little easier and provide children with an “I did it by myself!” moment. Myself Belts was inspired by my son’s sagging pants many years ago. Myself Belts are sold online as well as in boutiques across the country. My sister and I (both inspired by motherhood) invented a must-have fashionable and functional children’s accessory for kids ages 2-12. FINALLY, a belt designed specifically for young children! Myself Belts promote independence and boost self-esteem by allowing children to easily fasten and unfasten their belt on their own. No more droopy drawers, and a frustrating problem is solved for both parent and child! Myself Belts have been on the market for 8 years and are a true mom invention success story! A simple invention for a common parenting frustration. Great for potty training, preschoolers, school uniforms, and kids who just love to accessorize. Even the littlest of hands can master Myself Belts! Myself Belts come in adorable designs like airplanes, hearts, trucks, and even traditional leather. They can even be monogrammed for a gift!”

Talia Bahr Goldfarb
Creator, Myself Belts

Rock Candy Bracelet

By Objets d’Envy

“My Rock Candy Bracelet is super popular with stylish women and even celebs like Gayle King and Stacy London! And on the lower pricepoint, the Bouton earring is a runaway bestseller.”

Kirsten Goede
Owner, Objets d’Envy

Need more bling in your life? Objets d’Envy has created the most sparkly bracelet just for bling lovers like you! Make of oversized authentic Swarovski crystals, this gorgeous bracelet is a true showstopper and comes in every color on the rainbow from Lavender to Petal and more!

Juppy Baby Walker

By Juppy

“I’m owner of The Juppy Baby Walker, the only baby walker that fits in a purse. This is a product that I sell online and has been doing great so far. One thing that makes our store unique is that our approach to getting our product recognized is having it reviewed by mom bloggers. We love working with mom bloggers because they will actually use our product on their own children and share their experience with their readers. Now that we have a new Juppy model coming out soon called The Juppy ‘Momentum,’ moms that have already used our current Juppy will be able to compare it with our new model and be able to share with their fans all of the cool new improvements. I don’t think anyone else does this at a large scale the way we do. We just feel that there is no better endorsement for a baby product than from a real mom.”

Mayra Sotelo
Owner, Juppy

Created for parents by parents, the Juppy Baby Walker is a dream come true for parents with babies learning how to walk. The Juppy Baby Walker helps babies gain confidence and strength as your baby takes his or her first steps until your baby strong enough to walk without support!

Snow White Medical Boot Accessories

By CastMedic Designs

“Our entire product line is revolutionary and unique. CastMedic Designs sells MediFashions which are fashion accessories for medical boots. We have found a way to help the injured look and heal their best and experience, The Healing Power of Fashion® by providing a way to make their medical boots fashion-forward.”

Christina Daves
Owner, CastMedic Designs

It’s sad enough that you broke your foot but now you have to wear an ugly cast boot until your foot heals. Now your foot can heal in style with CastMedic Designs medical boot accessories! Find faux fur wraps, lovely cast socks, and flower clip ons in a wide variety of colors to turn your broken foot cast into a seamless part of your wardrobe.

Thank you to each of these women entrepreneurs for sharing about their passion and business tips to encourage more women to start businesses while following their passions.