The Stories Behind 10 Women-Owned Businesses Who #ChooseToChallenge

Officially, International Women's Day takes place on March 8th, but you can celebrate every day of the year! The theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, encouraging people around the world to fight for equality by challenging the status quo, raising awareness against bias, and honoring women’s achievements.

To celebrate, we've gathered here 10 of our favorite subscription boxes that are made by women for women. These entrepreneurs took a risk to launch their businesses and choose to keep challenging themselves –– and the status quo –– each and every day! Learn about these women, their businesses, and their stories, and support women’s achievements, below.

1. Authentic Books

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What’s in the Box: A new “five senses” experience every month, featuring an engrossing novel, a hand-poured soy candle, handmade bath and body products, a small-batch cocktail mixer or relaxing tea blend, self-care items, and a custom playlist to go along with that month’s book.

The Story: Natisha found inspiration in motherhood. “As a mother of three little girls, creating memories and experiences is very important to me,” she explains. “So I took my love for reading and need for self-care and created an immersive book box subscription service to help all of us slow down and take care of ourselves.”

How She #ChoosesToChallenge: In addition to supporting other small businesses through their product curation, Authentic Books gives back by donating 5% of profits to charitable causes. “Authentic Books believes in supporting helping others succeed,” Natisha says, “whether it's through shopping small, donating to The Malala Fund, or just simply letting our customers know their voices matter. Authentic Books wouldn't be where we are today without the feedback and overwhelming support from our subscribers.”

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2. Herbal Apprentice Box

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What’s in the Box: Simple herbalism DIYs with everything you need to learn traditional herbal medicine, from recipes to dried herbs, seeds, all-natural body care materials, herbal study guides, and more.

The Story: In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, founder Shannon –– a professional apprentice in herbal medicine –– found herself called to help others seeking alternative regimens and remedies for their health. “Traditional herbalism schools can be a huge time and financial commitment,” she explains, and there was growing interest in her community for herbal medicine. “I wanted to create an accessible way for folks to care for themselves and their loved ones from home… We're committed to making this knowledge accessible and affordable, and celebrating the medicine women and plant healers who came before us.” Since launching her business on Cratejoy in May, Apothecary at Home has sold out each month.

Her Advice for Other Female Founders: “So many people have million-dollar ideas, but they talk themselves out of it for one reason or another,” she says. “Just get started. You don't have to have your entire 5-year strategy figured out from the get-go. It's kind of like doing a Sudoku puzzle: just focus on solving one square at a time, and soon the whole thing will come together.”

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3. Club Rapunzel

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What’s in the Box: Luxe hair treatments for all hair types, from locs to curls, waves, and more, to repair and grow gorgeous tresses.

The Story: “When I moved to Miami,” founder Monique says, “the struggle with maintaining my hair in the humidity began.” When she dyed her hair, she found that the Florida sunshine and heat combined to cause serious damage. While “looking for a solution, I developed a program for chemical damage repair and healthy growth,” Monique explains. “Sensing an opportunity to help other women improve their own hair health, Club Rapunzel was born.”

How She #ChoosesToChallenge: “In Club Rapunzel, we #ChooseToChallenge the standards that women's hair needs to be straightened, colored, or in any way manipulated to look professional, acceptable, or normal.”

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4. Lit Kit Art Box

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What’s in the Box: All the materials you need to paint a masterpiece each month, plus access to an exclusive virtual class led by artist and founder Angelica to help you paint that month’s project.

The Story: Founder Angelica, an artist herself, works as an elementary school art teacher. In early 2020, “when COVID hit,” she says, “I knew that people needed a therapeutic outlet and needed to feel a sense of community during this time.” Thus, Lit Kit Art Box –– an art class in a box –– was born.

How She #ChoosesToChallenge: “A portion of the proceeds for Lit Kit Art Box go towards a scholarship for a minority art school student at Columbia College Chicago,” Angelica explains. “We aim to raise awareness against bias.”

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