These women-owned businesses in Metro Detroit make giving back part of their bottom line. Whether they’re making jewelry, hand bags or scarves, they’re changing the world one product at a time.
By Amy Gill
For many, running a business is solely about making a profit and hitting that bottom line. For these four inspiring women, business is a way to take their passion, creativity and profits, to make a difference in the world. Their products serve a purpose for consumers while funding bipolar and cancer research and providing living wages to underserved populations.
Come meet the women behind these businesses, shop their products before Mother’s Day and help them change the world at Women SEEN: Making an Impact on Friday, May 11.
Ella Designs Jewelry
Liz Guz and her daughter Lauren create beautiful custom-made jewelry. This mother-daughter duo turned their grief into passion and launched Ella Designs in 2013 with the purpose of donating 50 percent of all proceeds to the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund in memory of son and brother Michael who passed away in 2009 at age 17.
The Prechter Bipolar Research Fund provides research on the causes, prevention and treatment of bipolar disorder. The goal is to be able to personalize treatment and prevent recurrences to enable those with bipolar disorder to lead healthy and productive lives.
Through jewelry parties, trunk shows, pop-ups and online sales, Ella Designs has contributed more than $183,000 to the cause and counting.
See more of Ella Designs’ beautiful jewelry at elladesignsjewelry.com.
Better Life Bags
Rebecca Smith started her business after sewing her own diaper bag to match her first child’s nursery. Friends began to ask for custom bags of their own, and a business was born. She initially donated 10 percent of proceeds to women in other countries to help them start their own businesses until demand for her bags exploded, and she couldn’t make them fast enough. She realized, rather than donating proceeds to women in other countries, she could provide a living wage to the many diverse women in Hamtramck who had various barriers to getting traditional jobs — be it a language or cultural barrier, or the need to work from home. Now she employs dozen of women to make the bags. As the card with each bag shipped says, “Because of your purchase, she is able to have work, provide for her family and have honor.”
Shop for your own custom or ready-made bag at betterlifebags.com
Better Life Bags
9405 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck
Wrapped in Love
Karen MacDonald was inspired by her motherbto launch Wrapped in Love. When her mother was in the hospital battling cancer, she wanted to make her feel special and beautiful during that challenging time. She brought her a gorgeous wrap to dress up her hospital gown, and the joy her mother experienced was priceless.
Now she makes lightweight and fashionable cover-up wraps, matching head wraps and scarves, which make perfect gifts for women battling cancer. They are port-accessible, easy to clean and comfortable to the touch. A percentage of sales helps fund cancer research organizations while also making women feel special and loved.
View the entire line of Wrapped in Love gifts at wrappedinlove.com.
Contact Wrapped in Love
Buy The Change
Kari Hughes has worked with women and children for years in public health and as a psychotherapist, witnessing firsthand the effects of poverty. This inspired her to launch a social enterprise with her friend Shanan Bunzendahl Snyder, which would empower women living in poverty by providing them with a living wage. Buy the Change sources and sells beautiful blankets, jewelry, accessories and home goods made by women artisans around the world, enabling those women to make enough money to support their families.
Every time a customer buys a blanket, bag or piece of jewelry from the website, the proceeds support talented, hardworking women around the globe.
Shop Buy the Change products at buythechangeusa.org.
Contact Buy the Change