I'm Elana, and I'm passionate about small businesses and women/womxn entrepreneurs. I've been following as many as I can on Instagram for as long as I can remember, but it's been increasingly frustrating that there hasn't been an easy place to find new ones without spending hours searching through hashtags.
I created this directory as a way to document and share my love of the hard workers who are paving the way for others. And hey, maybe you'll find a creative gift or two in the process.
A little about me: I'm a 20-something (hence the millennial pink throughout the site) from Southern California. I grew up with my dad as a small business owner (he owns a restaurant called Arthur's in Orange County - check it out if you're in the area), and my brother followed in his footsteps by creating his own business, an eCommerce agency, where I've worked as an eCommerce project and product manager for the past few years. Besides that, I have a personal style blog called Room 334, and between my family, my work in eCommerce, and my blog, I've spent a lot of time connecting with small businesses and trying to support and share as many as I can. Given my background in eComm, I've offered my knowledge to many small business owning friends, and I want to keep helping.
I've always found that friends have been grateful to find new shops to support that they've never heard of or haven't had the time to look for, so I wanted to keep doing that on a larger scale and create a site that I've been looking for. Whenever I've searched for small, female-run businesses, I've never found ones like those I follow Instagram or any that are my style. So, I decided to change that.
My hope that this not only will be a space for consumers like myself to get exposed to more independent businesses, but that it also can grow into a resource and tool for the business owners mentioned as well. Let's all work together to support the women running the show.
Oh, and if you want to gush over the newest line from a shop or quote Parks and Rec (yes, that's where the site's name comes from), feel free to reach out to me on Instagram (@room334) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Things you should know
Inclusivity is the goal
While the quick and easy tagline is "women-owned small businesses," please be aware this includes trans and non-binary folk. I also want to make sure that Plus Sized, POC, and LGBTQA+ owned businesses are represented as well, but I can't deny that I live in a bubble, even when I try not to. If you know of a business owned by someone in one of these groups that you think should be included, please send them my way!
I'm trying my best, okay?
Look, the full directory isn't going to be completed overnight. Actually, it's probably never going to be fully completed. Everyone runs in their own circles, which means that while I'll start off compiling the shops I know and have found, there are going to be approximately one million others that I haven't heard of. After starting with the ones I know, I'm opening up to suggestions and will constantly be adding new stores. You can always submit your suggestions here.
Keep it positive, yo
The whole point of this project is to be supportive. No negative comments toward stores or shaming anyone for shopping at Target in addition to Etsy will be tolerated.