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What Does It Mean to Shop Women-Owned?

What Does It Mean to Shop Women-Owned?

When you shop women-owned businesses, you make an impact that you probably had no idea of. How do we know this? Just read on for all the ways women-owned businesses are helping make our world a better place to live.

But first…

What is a “Women-Owned” Business?

To be considered “women-owned” according to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), a business has to be 51% owned by one or more women. That woman/those women have to be the one(s) who make the long-term business decisions, manage day-to-day operations and work full-time in the business while holding the highest positions.

On paper, we’ve been women-owned since 2014 when co-owner and CEO Teresa Fudenberg joined the company and became 51% partner. Then we were thrilled to get our WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) certification in 2021 to make it official.

WBENC has a very stringent process for certification and is highly respected in the corporate world. There are other ways to get certified, too, including self-certification through the SBA.

Women-owned businesses have some advantages to being certified, like being eligible to apply for certain contracts with the federal government, and being able to let their customers know about its women-owned status with an icon or seal in its marketing communications.

When you shop women-owned you’re supporting the growing number of women who dream of owning their own business—whether it’s as a solo entrepreneur or a company with employees.


Women-Owned Supports Diversity

Theres a good chance theres someone in your circle of family or friends who either works for or even owns a women-owned business. The US Census Bureau’s latest published numbers (from 2021) show us that about 20% of all US companies with employees are women-owned. And that number is growing. If we include those women who are self-employed the percentage jumps up to 42%.

When you shop women-owned, you contribute to supporting diversity in business ownership and success overall. This success helps increase what women earn and helps them better support themselves and their families.


Expands a Company’s Perspective

Especially when a company’s customer base has a high percentage of women, it’s so important to have women in decision-making roles.

Storm Creek co-owner and CEO Teresa Fudenberg says, “Studies show women owners tend to be more innovative and are excellent communicators and collaborators. They’re strong relationship builders and are often more emotionally intelligent and less ego-driven than men.”

Having a broader perspective than the traditionally male-dominated business model will only help the day-to-day work life of those in the business as well as the customers who buy from it. Beyond ownership, we love that we have women in several top roles in every department in our Eagan, Minnesota headquarters from Sales to Marketing to Design to IT.

When you shop women-owned, you’re supporting that type of broadened perspective within the companies you buy from. You’re showing with your dollars that you believe in the high-level contribution women are making and value it.


Gives Girls and Women Fantastic Role Models

Successful and visible women-owned companies help encourage more women to pursue their own dreams of owning a business. This can include girls in their high school and college years looking forward to building a career for themselves. And it can include older women looking for a career change or coming back into the workforce after an absence.  

When women see other women in leadership roles in an industry they’re interested in, it gives them hope that this can be their story too if that’s what they want. It inspires them to embrace their ambition and shoot for the stars.

When you shop women-owned you contribute to the success of these companies and help make them more visible. More visible to other prospective customers and to women looking for role models for their own career goals.


Promotes Local Communities 

One recent report found that (globally) half of women entrepreneurs actively try to maximize their social impact through their businesses. This very often means involvement with their local communities.

Women’s relationship-building skills help them excel in building partnerships through their businesses with local schools, foundations, churches, youth sports and non-profits of all kinds.

At Storm Creek, giving back is ingrained in our identity. As advocates for community engagement and support, we embody the spirit of shopping women-owned through our commitment to making a difference in many communities.

With a pledge to donate our 5 millionth dollar to charity by 2030, we've already made significant strides, contributing $2.1 million toward this noble goal. In 2023, we reached a milestone by supporting over 70 non-profit organizations (both local and national)—the most ever in a single year. 

This generosity extends beyond monetary donations; our team members volunteered 405 hours, and through our partnership with Feeding America, we provided 250,000 meals to those in need. Moreover, through the Storm Creek Community Fund, we empower our employees to champion causes close to their hearts, encouraging them to seek financial or in-kind clothing support for their chosen charities.

By aligning our values with the principles of social responsibility, we not only amplify the impact of shopping women-owned but also foster a culture of compassion and empowerment.

When you shop women-owned you’re helping strengthen those community partners and programs too. The more successful a company is, the more able it is to extend its reach beyond its own doors to any number of worthy community organizations.


Helps the Environment

Beyond community and social impact, that same report found that a whopping 80% of women entrepreneurs (worldwide) actively look for ways to minimize the impact of their businesses on the environment.

That can be as simple as using less energy, buying used and re-purposing items within their own business. And it can be as ambitious as what we’re doing—working with our partners to develop more and more ways to upcycle plastic water bottles into the best and most comfortable apparel on the market, while keeping those bottles out of our landfills and oceans.

Since October 2019, over 32 million recycled bottles have been repurposed into Storm Creek garments, reflecting our dedication to upcycling and waste reduction. Three years prior to this milestone, we made the commitment to sourcing eco-friendly materials and implementing sustainable production practices. As of 2023, 75% of all our fabrics are recycled, with additional materials including bamboo-based fabric and organic cotton, further reducing our ecological footprint.

With ambitious goals in mind, we're on track to upcycle 50 million plastic bottles by the end of 2024, demonstrating our unwavering dedication to environmental conservation and innovation. 

When you shop women-owned, you’re almost certainly helping improve the environment at the same time. It can be a little…it can be a lot—but you can feel great about your purchases making an impact for good on our planet for future generations.


Thank YOU for shopping Storm Creek and supporting this women-owned business!


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