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WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES Learn how we support leadership programs for women and girls, women-owned businesses and local communities.


Grantees 2014-2015

The EILEEN FISHER Women-Owned Business Grant supports innovative, women-owned companies that are beyond the start-up phase and ready to expand their businesses and their potential for positive social and environmental impact.

Past Grantees

Kabira Stokes believes in second chances; both for electronics and for formerly incarcerated people. Isidore Electronics Recycling in Los Angeles repairs and recycles "pretty much anything with a cord." In the process, it provides job training for those who have come out of California's correctional system and face severe barriers to work. "Work," Kabira believes, " is a tool of healing and of rehabilitation; it is our most powerful crime-fighter."

When streetlights are upgraded for LED conversions, old fixtures are typically exported as scrap to countries with weak environmental regulations. Laurel Kleiber has a different solution. Her company, Laurel Environmental Group, works with US cities, municipalities and utilities to recycle streetlights locally. At its Oceanside, California, facility or at satellite locations, Laurel Environmental Group dismantles the discarded lights, separates all components and recycles them individually, an innovative, near-zero waste process.

The fermented foods movement has a local advocate in Olympia, Washington. In 2008 Sash Sunday cofounded OlyKraut to make organic sauerkrauts, pickles and sipping brines naturally filled with probiotics. "We believe in growing a healthy regional food system as well as thriving, happy gut microbes," she says. OlyKraut is committed to doing its part to provide good jobs to its employees, healing food to its customers and support for its local farmers.

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz grew up in the Philippines, where women in poor, urban communities scavenge dumpsites for scrap fabric to turn into handwoven rugs. In 2008 Reese founded Rags2Riches to create change by eliminating middlemen, providing fair wages and empowering the artisans through health and financial training. One of the keys to her success has been working with artisans not only as suppliers but as business partners.

In Bengali, "upohar" means gift. It's the name Srirupa Dasgupta chose for the catering company she founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2011. Now a restaurant as well, Upohar employs, trains and pays a living wage to newly resettled refugee and homeless women who would otherwise have significant barriers to employment. It specializes in vegan and vegetarian food from the employees' home countries, providing affordable food with a global spin.

With a series of Detroit juice bars called DROUGHT, Caitlin James and her three sisters are fighting a drought in modern nourishment. Their juices—raw, organic and cold pressed—are sold by the glass bottle or in sets that support cleanses. We're inspired by their dedication to healthy living—and to their hometown.

At Cook on Clay on Whidbey Island, Washington, ceramic artists Maryon Attwood and Robbie Lobell craft clay cookware that goes from oven to table. Their mission is to inspire home cooking with artful pieces that are safe and healthy, and also help save energy: their flameware clay stays hot longer than metal or glass.

Eskayel, founded by the Brooklyn-based designer Shanan Campanaro, creates luxurious home goods with the least environmental impact. Wallpaper starts with recycled content and textiles are dyed and processed according to the highest environmental standards. We admire Shanan's commitment to educating her industry peers and giving back through 1% for the Planet.

Cyndi Prince dreamed up LooHoo, which makes wool dryer balls, as a way to detox her family laundry and support Maine's local economy—domestic wool is wound into dryer balls by hand near her home in Camden. LooHoo's products are sturdy and long lasting and come in a beautiful range of environmentally responsible colors—including undyed versions.

Designer Lauren Lilly and her cofounder, Jody Rollins, started their Los Angeles–based company, Yellow 108, with an environmental mission: turning textile factory waste into limited edition hats and accessories. Lauren and Jody combine a strong fashion sensibility with a belief that workplaces should support healthy and happy lifestyles.

Aletha Thomas lives on Kauai and has a sweet business: creating artisanal jams and marmalades with locally sourced, seasonal fruit—lilikoi, papaya, limes and more. We admire Monkeypod Jam for the close relationships it has made with both farmers and the island community.