Company: Stacy’s Pita Chips
Introduced: November 2020
Suggested Retail Price: $3.99
Product Snapshot: One of the biggest challenges for female founders? Being found. According to the Rise of the Female Founder survey conducted earlier this year by Stacy’s Pita Chips, 67 percent of consumers wish it was easier to find products and services from female-founded businesses and 79 percent want to see more female-founded businesses in their communities. That’s why Stacy’s is launching its newest packaging innovation to feature a QR code that, once scanned with a mobile phone, will direct consumers to nearby female-founded businesses—making it easier than ever to support female entrepreneurs.
The Stacy’s “Female Founder Finder” bags debut in stores nationwide this week, featuring artwork by illustrator Libby VanderPloeg. While QR codes are experiencing a resurgence in popularity thanks to their contactless nature, the Female Founder Finder directory is also searchable online at www.femalefounderfinder.com, offering direct access to more than 13,000 women-owned businesses.
Stacy’s developed the concept and site in partnership with Hello Alice, the free, multichannel platform for women and New Majority small business owners, inspired by this year’s Rise Project theme of #ShareForHer and also driven by the Rise of the Female Founder survey findings that the top two ways for consumers to find new products are via online search (50 percent) and word of mouth recommendations (45 percent).
“The Stacy’s Rise Project is a testament to harnessing resources and collaborating with like-minded allies for the benefit of female founders, which in this case was a matter of leveraging our Stacy’s national retail footprint and packaging with the digital expertise and community of Hello Alice to build a resource for consumers and business owners alike,” said Ciara Dilley, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay. “#ShareForHer is a reminder that we all have something to share that can help a female founder rise, whether it’s simply writing a positive review online or facilitating a business connection.”
Among the businesses featured in the directory are the 30 brands and companies founded by the women currently taking part in the 2020 Stacy’s Rise Project, the brand’s grant and mentorship program that this year includes mentorship sessions with international soccer stars, gender equality advocates and fellow entrepreneurs Tobin Heath and Christen Press. After receiving more than 1,600 applications, the Stacy’s Rise Project launched in July with 15 women being awarded a $10,000 grant, executive mentorship and professional advertising services to advance their businesses – and then expanded in September to include an additional 15 Black women, given that women of color annually receive only 0.2 percent of venture capitalist funding.
The 30 participants of the 2020 Stacy’s Rise Project span a number of different industries from across the country and, in addition to the $10,000 business grant, executive mentorship, and professional advertising services, their businesses are also spotlighted on the Stacy’s Amazon HerCommerce Hub at www.amazon.com/stacys. The program will culminate next month on Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, November 19.
- Callee Ackland, Rapid City, S.D., who built Bestowed Essentials. Bestowed Essentials is a social impact company determined to make a sustainable lifestyle more affordable and accessible to all. They are a handmade manufacturer of ecofriendly personal care and home products. Their certified vegan and cruelty-free products are made by hand in small batches with love by their all-female team.
- Thereasa Black, Arlington, Va., who started Amore Congelato LLC. The company's nutritious sorbets and gelatos are sweetened with dates. And each pint is printed with facts about social injustice.
- Sylvia Charles, San Francisco, who built Just Date. Just Date makes sweets from whole food plant sources that require no sacrifice in taste or nutrition. The doctor-led, women-owned team saw firsthand the power of food while treating patients from preventable chronic illness. Just Date's mission is to educate people about the harmful effects of artificial and unhealthy sugars, and also provide them with better options.
- Karneisha Christian, Compton, Calif., who founded Pucker Up Lemonade Company. The company's handcrafted lemonade brand offers over 40 flavors and supports local community organizations.
- Jasmine Coer, Atlanta, who founded Color My Story. Color My Story is an integrated platform dedicated to mental health online, in the workforce and in local communities. They teach art workshops as a healthy coping mechanism to fight life's daily stressors. They offer live and virtual classes, COLOR art kits for children, K-12 art curriculum for school districts, and a lifestyle apparel brand promoting COLOR.
- Zandra Cunningham, Buffalo, N.Y., who established Zandra. The eco-friendly, plant-based skincare company helps support nonprofits that inspire education for girls.
- Cassandre Davilmar, Brooklyn, N.Y., who founded Lakou Brands LLC. Lakou Brands LLC is a Haitian-American café and event space in Brooklyn where communities can gather to nourish their bodies and souls.
- Junita Flowers, Minneapolis, creator of Junita's Jar. Founded upon recipes that have been in the founder's family for decades, and inspired by a journey of overcoming relationship violence, Junita's Jar is a mission-driven cookie company, creating conversation to educate and eliminate relationships violence against women. Junita's Jar produces their signature, deliciously wholesome, satisfyingly crisp and bite-size cookies in three flavors.
- Jessica Gartenstein, Chicago, who started Frönen Foods. Frönen, German for "indulge," is a non-dairy ice cream made with only six ingredients or fewer. Coconut cream, fruit and a touch of organic honey create a rich, creamy base for a guilt-free indulgence. The founder has celiac disease and created Frönen as the only honey sweetened ice cream on the market made without allergens, gums or natural/artificial flavors.
- Anika Godwin Hilderbrand, Greensboro, N.C., who built OpulenceMD Beauty. The company's mission-driven line of beauty solutions puts the health of your eyes and vision at the forefront.
- Tiffany Griffin, Durham, N.C., who founded Bright Black. Bright Black uses scent as an artistic medium and candles as a platform to share positive narratives about Blackness. Their vision is a world where the complexity, beauty and brilliance of Blackness is widely known, recognized, embraced and celebrated.
- Anika Hobbs, Baltimore, who founded Nubian Hueman. Nubian Hueman is a social enterprise that sources and curates unique goods, fashion and art representing the global diaspora.
- Mimi Johnson, Atlanta, who founded The Glamatory. The beauty boutique offers cruelty-free makeup and posh services that give makeup artists a platform to grow.
- Lisa S. Jones, Atlanta, who established EyeMail Inc. EyeMail Inc. is a patent-pending marketing tech company that brings email to life by embedding videos.
- Deborah Koenigsberger, New York, who started Noir Et Blanc NYC. The French-themed women's clothing boutique helps support homeless mothers and children during the pandemic.
- Keira Kotler, San Anselmo, Calif., who started Everviolet. Everviolet creates beautiful, comfortable and adaptive lingerie and loungewear for women whose bodies have changed due to cancer and many other physical challenges. The collection of bras, panties, camisoles and kimonos was born out of the founder's personal experience with breast cancer and her struggle to find well-fitting, attractive garments following a double mastectomy.
- Arion Long, Baltimore, who founded Femly. The average feminine product takes over 120 years to break down. Femly's biodegradable and eco-friendly feminine care products have a breakdown average of just six months. They're also increasing access to healthier products for women around the country. They offer disposable feminine hygiene pads, panty liners and menstrual cups.
- Arielle Loren, Miami, who founded 100K Incubator. 100K Incubator is a small-business funding app created for women to help scale their business through live coaching and classes.
- Sophia Maroon, Bethesda, Md., founder of SoFine Food, LLC. SoFine Foods/Dress It Up Dressings offers a dressing that is as healthy as the salad. Salad dressing has notoriously been the least healthy part of the salad, and it doesn't have to be. Dress It Up is a line of simply crafted dressing made to elevate every meal.
- Joy McBrien, Saint Paul, Minn., founder of Fair Anita. Fair Anita is a social enterprise on a mission to create equitable economic opportunity for women, especially survivors of sexual/domestic violence. They partner with more than 8,000 women in nine countries, producing fair trade jewelry and accessories made from recycled materials.
- Claudia McMullin, Park City, Utah, who established Hugo Coffee Roasters. Hugo Coffee Roasters is a coffee roasting company whose mission is to save dogs by roasting and selling coffee made with fair-trade and organic beans. They donate 10 percent of profits quarterly to animal rescues including Best Friends, Nuzzles & Co. and Paws for Life.
- Chi Nguyen, Dallas, who started Purpose Tea. Purpose Tea is a mission-driven beverage company innovating a high growth category with the newest innovation in tea – the purple tea leaf – while lifting from poverty the most exploited in the business of tea, female tea workers. They feature bottled teas brewed with this new super tea and are gaining distribution in Texas and California.
- Logan Niles, Seattle, who established Pot Pie Factory Inc. The company's comfort food brings families together by fusing an American classic with the flavors of our modern American melting pot.
- Maria Palacio, Palo Alto, Calif., founder of Progeny Coffee. Progeny Coffee was founded by a fifth-generation coffee farmer with a set mission to take Colombian farmers out of poverty. They've taken on the challenge to design their own coffee chain by providing undeniable coffee transparency and unprecedented support to these growers stuck in a poverty loop. With their unique perspective on the coffee industry and heart-driven innovations, they're looking to make a change that will rebalance the scale from coffee growers to consumers.
- Stevonne Ratliff, Oakland, Calif., who founded Beija-Flor Naturals. Beija-Flor Naturals is a natural beauty brand encouraging women of color to embrace their natural hair and stop chemical straightening.
- Xiomara Rosa-Tedla, Oakland, Calif., who founded UnoEth, Inc. The company designs leather bags and accessories in partnership with Ethiopian artisans while helping them launch their own businesses.
- Kim Roxie, Houston, who established LAMIK Beauty. LAMIK Beauty is a beauty-tech company designed for multicultural women with products made with natural and organic ingredients.
- Nina Tickaradze, Marietta, Ga., who established NADI. NADI produces the first and only USDA certified organic Wild Rosehip Juices in the USA in three flavors: Wild Rosehip Original, Wild Rosehip Grape and Wild Rosehip Pomegranate. All juices are made with organic fruits, are gluten free with no added sugar, packed with natural Vitamin C and antioxidants, and have no preservatives or anything artificial.
- Kemi Tignor, Washington D.C., who founded Little Likes Kids. Little Like Kids is a boutique toy company that is "here for" a new generation of kids aged six and under. They make puzzles, games, tabletop accessories and holiday items with decidedly diverse imagery. Most American toddlers are now minorities. Finding toys that reflect this demographic change is like finding a needle in a haystack.
- Latricia Wright, Detroit, who started Olive Seed. Olive Seed is a holistic wellness company offering integrative services like nutritional counseling, wellness workshops and wholesome products.
“We’re excited to bring this partnership to life,” said Elizabeth Gore, co-founder and president of Hello Alice. “Small businesses are a valuable part of everyday life, and this is an incredible opportunity to bring more awareness to female founders, some of whom may be right in your neighborhood.”
The specially-marked Stacy’s Female Founder Finder bags will be available at retailers nationwide while supplies last. Fans everywhere are encouraged to join the conversation by following #StacysRiseProject and #ShareForHer across social media and by checking out Stacy’s Pita Chips on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For more information on the Stacy’s Rise Project, visit https://www.stacyssnacks.com/riseproject.