International Women’s Day is coming up, so it’s the perfect time to highlight and support exceptional women-owned businesses in San Diego. These amazing females have built successful careers based on their passions, and our community reaps the rewards of their daily determination, creativity and desire to make the world a better place. Read on to be inspired by their stories and to support their businesses.
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1. Native Poppy
Talk about flower power! Natalie Gill established Native Poppy in 2015 to create joy by making art with her friends. She started her flower-arranging business in her backyard alongside Meghan Blancato who became a partner in the business in 2018. Their business grew into a brick-and-mortar flower shop with two locations: South Park and Solana Beach. In their own words, they “believe in taking care of the environment and drinking champagne, in stopping to cuddle and befriending every animal we see. We believe in singing while flowering and in always challenging ourselves and our peers to be better, all the while affirming each other for where we are today.” What a great place to bloom and find the best blossoms.
Game of pickle, anyone? It’s no secret that Pickleball is America’s sport du jour right now. In the past two years, you’ve either talked to someone who is raving about how much they love the game, or you’ve caught the bug yourself. Aubri Steele, mother of five, not only saw how the sport united her family and their community but also an opportunity in the marketplace. The game was hot, but the apparel needed an upgrade. Civile launched in early 2021 offers luxury high-performance athletic apparel for the modern ‘Pickler’ that is versatile and stylish.
3. Gluten Free Baking Company
Roanna Canete has a diverse background as a consultant turned self-taught gluten-free baker to Netflix star to bakery owner. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and an MBA in entrepreneurship. Today, she owns and operates a dedicated gluten-free bakery in San Diego, California. In 2015, Roanna opened a Licensed Cottage Food Operation out of her home kitchen in Coronado, California. Word spread quickly and soon enough Roanna’s gluten-free baked goods were being sold to cafes, coffee shops and restaurants throughout San Diego. With wholesale business booming, Roanna moved the kitchen from her house to a production kitchen and in February 2020, she opened her first retail shop in North Park.
4. Puzzle Pieces Marketing
Owned by not one but two brilliant women, this San Diego-based marketing firm is dedicated to amplifying the social impact of non-profits doing good in the community by elevating their image and marketing. Angel Mason Broadus and Kristine Mason Broadus lead a diverse team that is strategically creating a ripple effect of good, positive change.
Azúcar is the fulfillment of a life-long dream for Vivian Hernandez-Jackson. She combines her classical French training with her Cuban roots to develop a unique product line of desserts and pastries that combines traditional favorites with new flavors and designs is her passion and it shows.
4820 Newport Avenue
6. Kathryn Cloward, a.k.a. “Kathryn the Grape”
What do you get when you mix passion, purpose and purple? Kathryn the Grape! Kathryn Cloward, aka “Kathryn the Grape” to children, is a native San Diegan who made her childhood nickname into an integrated media series to help children have social and emotional personal development tools for understanding and expressing their feelings, making kind and compassionate choices and being brave in new life experiences. To date, Kathryn’s earned over 60 awards for her inspirational and creative work. She is a Contributing Editor of motivational content for Guitar Girl Magazine and relishes her role as a speaker and mentor for women in business—drawing from over two decades as an entrepreneurial trailblazer. She’s also the founder of Kandon Unlimited, Inc., a heart-centered mindful media company intent on creating and publishing positive and empowering media.
7. Lovely Leaps
Lovely Leaps dance studio teaches love of movement and inclusion one leap at a time. Lovely Leaps owner Lisa McCabe, an African American engineer turned dance instructor, focuses on making dance fun and developing key motor skills for kids ages 10 months-10 years by growing their confidence and comfort in their own bodies. More than just a dance studio, Lovely Leaps is a movement of its own. Studio founders Lisa and Ricky McCabe started Lovely Leaps when their daughter was just five months old. Lisa's goal as a dance instructor is to offer a whole-child approach to help kids blossom. She believes dance should focus on fun instead of perfection and she stresses inclusion.
301 E Grand Ave.
8. Katie's Healing Kitchen
Katie Farina of Katie's Healing Kitchen offers award-winning vegan cooking classes in San Diego. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, Katie took a special interest in evoking the healing power in healthy foods and nutrition. She graduated from the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, a Professional Chef Training Institute in 2013 and she has been a proponent of "harnessing the power of food to heal disease." She teaches cooking classes and in her own words, her "lifelong goal is to inspire others to make the connection between the food they eat and its effect on their body, the environment and the world." Be sure to check out Katie's amazing cookbook, and sign up for her cooking classes.
9. Yoga Rascals
Sünje O’Clancy, MA, E-RYT, RCYT founded Yoga Rascals in 2007. She has been dedicated to enhancing children’s lives through yoga by creating a nurturing, fun environment while supporting development and learning so that they may realize their fullest potential. She shares, “I founded Yoga Rascals because of my love for children and my passion for yoga. Sharing the joy of movement, the calming effects of relaxation, and the many other benefits of yoga with children can have a big impact on how they develop their sense of self in a positive way." She adds, “I am very grateful to own my own business. It has allowed me to find balance between being a mom and raising my children while doing what I love professionally.”
10. Edens Garden
Grace Martin founded Edens Garden as part of her dream to share high-quality, affordable essential oils and make them easily accessible to everyone. Edens Garden’s story is rooted in natural and conscientious living. As a woman and family-owned company, Edens Garden is inspired by their loved ones to put safety, quality and sustainability at the forefront of their goals. With customers always at the core of what they do, Edens Garden has expanded product offerings to include synergy blends and hand-crafted body and home care products.
11. Rais Case
Julie Rais Ellis is the mother of two and the founder of Rais Case, which started as a bags and accessories collection and has since expanded and grown into a movement. She's passionate about designing the highest quality products that cultivate community and culture around locally handmade goods. Ellis offers, "Our relationship with our community is where magic happens. Our mission is simple but focused. It is to make quality goods that create community & support well-being." Made with the highest quality materials available, all bags are designed, manufactured, and shipped from San Diego, CA.
12. Maya's Cookies
Maya was looking for the perfect vegan cookie: crispy-on-the-outside and gooey-on-the-inside. Unable to find it, she created a cookie recipe herself. Soon, she was a local celebrity with moms and kids––which inspired her to open Maya’s Cookies. Voted San Diego's Best Vegan Baked Goods in 2017 and 2018, Maya's decadent cookie flavors range from chocolate chip and caramel pecan to funfetti and gluten-free s’ mores. You’ll love them all! Maya's Cookies is now America's #1 Black-owned vegan cookie company.
13. Dirt Don't Hurt
A trio of sisters, Martiza, Sativa, and Kaya founded Dirt Don't Hurt in 2017. These conscientious moms have six kids between them and during their pregnancies, they started to become more aware of what ingredients were in their personal care and cleaning products. Their line Dirt Don't Hurt was born when they decided to create the safe and natural beauty products they were looking for. Their plant-based products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free and include skincare and oral care. Try their popular All-Natural Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder.
14. Bitchin' Sauce
Starr Edwards, founder of the delicious Bitchin' Sauce, a vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO almond dip available in a variety of flavors, started her company in 2004 at the young age of 16! She started selling her "creamy concoction" at local farmer's markets and it was a huge hit. Bitchin' Sauce became so wildly popular that she needed to open a commercial kitchen. Costco discovered her brand and now it is distributed nationally and sold in supermarkets, at Costco and Target. Bitchin' Sauce is headquartered in Carlsbad and is family-owned and operated.