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There’s Cyber Monday, Small-Business Saturday, and Giving Tuesday, but there is another buying day in the mix. November 24, 2021 is the third-annual Women-Led Wednesday—a nationwide initiative to promote holiday shopping from female-led and founded brands.
WLW was established by Cassie Abel, co-founder of the women’s outdoor apparel brand Wild Rye while trying to find a way for her brand to be involved in more meaningful ways. This purpose-driven holiday is intended to highlight the importance of women-owned businesses to create a more gender-balanced economy. And not just within the outdoor space. “Women, in general, don’t fit into a single box,” says Abel. “It was important for the platform to be a resource to discover brands across different categories and products aimed at not only women but men and kids.”
This year the Women-Led Wednesday’s site includes a business directory with more than 500 women-led companies across active apparel, beauty, travel, home, fashion, and even virtual fitness. Head to the website on November 24th and you’ll also find discount codes for participating brands. Or check out 25 of our favorite WLW brands (some part of the directory, others not) and get your holiday shopping off to a more meaningful start.
For all the runners or fitness-focused women (or men) in your life, this woman-owned lifestyle brand will supply you with the perfect gift every time. There will be no need to include a gift receipt for this comfy and soft sweatshirt with a message we can all relate to.
Puzzled out? Never! Instead of the typical florals or mountainscapes, this brand offers some fun, cheeky designs like this one, covered with the it animal of the moment: Llamas. Your bestie will appreciate a winter activity for when she is stuck indoors.
In search of something to spoil or celebrate someone who has been a positive light during a tough year? Why not give them a bolt of lightning? New York-based jewelry designer Alex Woo has been creating timeless pieces for over 20 years. Once this necklace goes on, it will rarely be removed.
Did last year’s quarantine draw you back to embracing snail mail? Then some fresh notecards are a stellar gift idea for writing to all of your loved ones. Lucky Dog Designs was founded by Kayla and cofounded by Odin, her sweet dog who likes to sniff mail. Thick cardstock, a felty feel, and sweet outside messages will make the recipient feel warm and special. Pick up some holiday cards to send out for yourself while you are shopping.
We are all embracing more comfort and coziness these days. What began as a surf company started by two friends, Carve now offers lifestyle options for cute casual looks. This sherpa pullover is perfect for any holiday gatherings or winter Zoom calls. The varsity stripes at the cuff give this a very sporty vibe.
Like it or not, it looks like masks are here to stay. So might as well embrace them and start to accessorize. These beaded mask chains from jewelry brand Libby & Smee come in fun colors that will add an accent to any outfit. They are lighter than a thick chain option, so no need to worry about neck aches. Grab a mask, beaded hoops, or tile bracelets while browsing. You’ll quickly fall in love with her cool, simple, and very wearable pieces, and you will most likely be able to cross off many gifts from your list.
For those in your life who have a green thumb or just lucky enough to be able to keep an indoor plant alive, why not give them a functional yet decorative basket? Handwoven with ethically sourced materials by artisans in Morocco, the bold design will be a happy accent in anyone’s new home office.
Pins are a classic way to accent denim jackets, blazer lapels, or cotton totes. This still young brand creates products specifically for artists and crafters, so you will find pins and magnets catering to creative types. Any coffee enthusiast will appreciate and agree with this sentiment.
A proud financial supporter for Women-Led Wednesday is Title Nine, aptly named for the civil rights law that requires gender equality in publicly-funded education. Title Nine offers activewear from swimsuits to outwear, keeping you covered all 12 months of the year. This racerback is one of the brand’s highest-rated sports bras. The pullover style will keep you supported the entire length of your run.
A gift that will encourage those busy women in your life like your mother-in-law, aunt, or sister, to take a moment to themselves and find some creative inspiration and calm. This set includes a journal, mindfulness cards, lotion, bath salts, and essential oil roller. Permission to unwind, granted.
Ashley Judge, the creator of this site whose tagline is unique gifts for unusual and cool people, seems to have a knack for finding the best gag, silly, or of-the-moment presents. For those of you who binged Schitt’s Creek and became obsessed, there are some fun David, Alexis, and Moira-themed gifts. As well as other pop culture must-haves like a Golden Girls magnet set, a Mariah Carey ornament, or this Dolly Parton notepad.
Combining her innate creativity, fashion-savvy, and love of running, Erica Sara created her jewelry line in hopes to inspire women to dream big. Commemorate a return to racing or extra special PR with this personalized time-stamped sterling silver necklace. Each one is handcrafted in Sara’s North Carolina studio.
This Seattle-based women’s activewear company works with some of the best in the running world (Kara Goucher, Rebecca Mehra, etc.), but they’re more than just about helping women look good when they sweat. Oiselle’s mission: make a great product, improve the sport, and build the sisterhood. Just one of the items we love is from a collection inspired by Oiselle’s director of sports activism: Alison Mariella Désir. This cozy long-sleeve has a bold stand-out print that looks as good layered up as it does on its own.
Versatile activewear for all activity levels, Wild Rye was conceived to help women celebrate their love of the outdoors by keeping them protected and safe. Stay snug and warm with this cute floral-lined shacket.
Founder Kelli Jones was disappointed by the number of people using duct tape to fix holes in their outdoor gear. She was determined to find a solution that not only worked better but looked better. The patches have a tight hold and fun designs like animals, favorite foods, and pretty florals prints. Noso feels that by making it easy to restore your pieces with their patches, it will eliminate any unnecessary waste.
A community of Nice Girls that believes in some simple truths: supporting women is always the way to go, collaboration always wins over the competition, and kindness builds confidence and fosters self-love. Pick the words that will encourage you to be kind to yourself and others whenever you look down at your wrist.
Aesthetically pleasing and seasonally smelling, this candle is a mix of ginger, bergamot, and spiced yuzu. In a pretty box with matches included and a price under $40, buy one for a friend and one for yourself.
Have a list of people you’re looking to show some gratitude to this season? What a lovely and practical way to say thank you to a teacher, neighbor, or loved one. (It also makes an excellent secret gift, because really, who couldn’t use a reminder to be thankful.)
The swimwear-centric brand known for using eco-friendly materials, bright colors, and inclusive sizing has recently expanded into active and loungewear. With the same chic aesthetic as their bikinis and one-pieces, this windbreaker will be useful come rain or shine.
This women-owned biz has clothing, jewelry, and home goods, but its canvas pouches are our personal favorites. Find one with a saying that your BFF would most identify with, such as “on bad days there’s always mascara,” and fill it with fun things, like your favorite tube of mascara perhaps.
Founded in January 2017 by a 16-year-old whose curly, frizzy hair was a constant conflict with her love of the outdoors, Happi Headware offers soft thick headbands in fun prints. Alyssa, now 21, wanted to create comfortable headbands that were fashionable and functional and help you #tamethefrizz, no matter if you are hiking a mountain or running errands. All your long-haired runners or active friends will appreciate one of these.
High-performance tights that are quick-drying and moisture-wicking, wrapped in a super fun and sleek print. Hit a yoga class or pair black booties and an oversized sweater for a comfortable party look.
This tee has the perfect sentiment for the season or any time of the year. Simple tees with positive messages are the gift that will keep on giving. The neutral colors are so easy to dress up with a skirt or dress down with jeans and a hoody for a chill afternoon.
Created by two friends who had a simple concept: running clothes by runners, for runners. The result is a collection of functional and well-designed activewear for women and men. These joggers are equally comfortable in a stretchy fabric as they are flattering.
Founders of Maker Sarah, Kendra, and Zoe are on a mission to deliver the best wine from small oft-overlooked wineries. And they do that in the form of single-serve, beautifully crafted cans. Giving a new meaning to the old six-pack, this collection of best-sellers includes vegan-friendly Zinfandel, Rosé of Grenache, and Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers!