Meet Our Neighbors

VANTRANG MANGES

FOUNDER, GREEN MUSTACHE

The story of Green Mustache began as a story shared by millions of moms—one about a child and her very particular eating habits (including her strong aversion to greens). But what we found is that this story stretches far beyond the narrative of the picky eater, and simply became the... Read More

VANTRANG MANGES

FOUNDER, GREEN MUSTACHE

The story of Green Mustache began as a story shared by millions of moms—one about a child and her very particular eating habits (including her strong aversion to greens). But what we found is that this story stretches far beyond the narrative of the picky eater, and simply became the story of every person trying to find convenient and tasty ways to be healthy.At Green Mustache, we’re channeling our passion for delicious and healthy foods into creating super-snacks that are super-tasty, approachable and fun for all.  Nutrient-dense, leafy greens are the base of every awesome thing we make. Inspired by a classic childhood snack, Mustache Munchies, are baked "cheese" crackers but updated to appeal to a broader demographic as they are also organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and made with clean, healthy ingredients.  In keeping with our belief that healthy foods can be delicious and fun, these crunchy snack crackers are also in a whimsical handlebar mustache shape—it’ll be hard not to play with your food!But we’re not done yet—we’ll keep creating new products to help everyone find a fairy tale ending to their healthy living story.  We’ve got you covered. Greens for all, big and small! (TM)

Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Co-Founder & CEO, Golde

At the heart of it, Trinity believes that being well should feel good. That means products that look good, taste good, and help you feel like your best self. She co-founded Golde with her partner Issey Kobori in 2017 with the mission of bringing good vibes to the wellness industry.... Read More

Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Co-Founder & CEO, Golde

At the heart of it, Trinity believes that being well should feel good. That means products that look good, taste good, and help you feel like your best self. She co-founded Golde with her partner Issey Kobori in 2017 with the mission of bringing good vibes to the wellness industry. They are an independent, Brooklyn-born brand centered in making superfood-boosted essentials for health and beauty. Their products are always natural, easy, and (most importantly) fun.

LAURA SHAFFERMAN

FOUNDER, LEGALLY ADDICTIVE

After spending over a decade in NYC real estate marketing, Legally Addictive founder Laura Shafferman was suddenly laid off and bound by a non-compete clause that prohibited her from working with other firms. (Yes, you can get laid off and also held to such things!) Laura had lost her usual... Read More

LAURA SHAFFERMAN

FOUNDER, LEGALLY ADDICTIVE

After spending over a decade in NYC real estate marketing, Legally Addictive founder Laura Shafferman was suddenly laid off and bound by a non-compete clause that prohibited her from working with other firms. (Yes, you can get laid off and also held to such things!) Laura had lost her usual means to earn a living for a full year and was determined to take control over her future and not wait for that non-compete clause to expire. Fatefully, after making a batch of her favorite childhood cookies for a party, a friend suggested she come sell her amazing “cracker cookies” at a holiday market. After selling out in only a few hours, she knew they were a hit and a new business was born! She spent the next year learning the food business at night and during the day, worked as an in-house caterer. Eleven months later, a few stores in New York City agreed to carry Legally Addictive, including the flagship location of Dylan’s Candy Bar. At the time, Laura was making the cookies in the off-hours of a bakery in Brooklyn, often until well past midnight, and then delivering them around town on the subway and on foot. 

Tina Diep

Founder, Hungry Bird Eats

Hungry Bird Eats is a company on a mission to produce high-quality, delicious, healthy snack foods for kids and adults. Founded in Brooklyn in 2016 by Tina Diep, a Danish architect, designer and food blogger, Hungry Bird Eats takes inspiration from Scandinavian recipes and a philosophy of using only real... Read More

Tina Diep

Founder, Hungry Bird Eats

Hungry Bird Eats is a company on a mission to produce high-quality, delicious, healthy snack foods for kids and adults. Founded in Brooklyn in 2016 by Tina Diep, a Danish architect, designer and food blogger, Hungry Bird Eats takes inspiration from Scandinavian recipes and a philosophy of using only real ingredients. 

Tina began her quest for creating a better snack after learning that her 1-year old son Ike was allergic to nuts and soy. Finding that most snack foods on the market were heavily processed and contained these allergens, she pushed to make her own. Inspired by the traditional Knækbrød (rye crispbread) of her native Denmark, she created an on-the-go snack variation and began sharing her creations with neighbors and friends. The result was the launch of her first Nordic Crisp product, Rye + Sea Salt, an addictive slow-carb baked snack made of organic rye flour, lightly touched with olive oil, and filled with superfood ingredients such as organic chia seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Soon after, Hungry Bird Eats was launched commercially on the retail and wholesale market, followed by the addition of a second hand-made Nordic Crisp product, Multi-Seeds + Oregano, made entirely with gluten-free ingredients. 

Stephanie Williams

Founder, Oh-Mazing!

Stephanie Williams, has always believed in providing “from-scratch”, all natural meals for her family to promote a healthier lifestyle. Over time, she developed her own granola recipe to provide an alternative to some of the unhealthy snacks found on grocery store shelves and it instantly became a hit.

At Oh-Mazing,... Read More

Stephanie Williams

Founder, Oh-Mazing!

Stephanie Williams, has always believed in providing “from-scratch”, all natural meals for her family to promote a healthier lifestyle. Over time, she developed her own granola recipe to provide an alternative to some of the unhealthy snacks found on grocery store shelves and it instantly became a hit.

At Oh-Mazing, we truly believe that every person has a purpose. We want to help you explore new ways of living every moment of your beautiful lives and not go hungry—hike a mountain, take your dream trip, start a blog, play in the park with your children, or simply add a little more flavor to your commute.

Yes, we sell granola (it's quite tasty), but more importantly, we want to inspire you to live your life with purpose, passion, and to follow your dreams. Our products are here to bring the adventure back to snacking, and better yet, celebrate YOU when those dreams are achieved. Take us on your journey, and let’s be great together.

EMMA ROS

FOUNDER, RAW BLISS BALLS

We love feeling healthy and even more we love to snack! It’s why we’ve created a range of delicious bliss balls that are packed with wholesome raw ingredients and never any hidden nasties like artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.Even better, these hand-rolled bliss balls are the perfect snack for everybody,... Read More

EMMA ROS

FOUNDER, RAW BLISS BALLS

We love feeling healthy and even more we love to snack! It’s why we’ve created a range of delicious bliss balls that are packed with wholesome raw ingredients and never any hidden nasties like artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.Even better, these hand-rolled bliss balls are the perfect snack for everybody, being gluten and dairy free, vegan and paleo friendly and we promise you’ll never find any added sugar. Ever!

Mai Warshafsky

Founder, Café Warshafsky

The Warshafsky in Café Warshafsky

Café Warshafsky is a woman owned business and a wonderful team of bakers. Established in New York, NY in 2014 and recently relocated to Richmond, VA in 2020! Cafe Warshafsky is very much of a mom and pop operation--small and independent grinding it out in the... Read More

Mai Warshafsky

Founder, Café Warshafsky

The Warshafsky in Café Warshafsky

Café Warshafsky is a woman owned business and a wonderful team of bakers. Established in New York, NY in 2014 and recently relocated to Richmond, VA in 2020! Cafe Warshafsky is very much of a mom and pop operation--small and independent grinding it out in the vibrant food community of RVA. We’re excited to share Café Warshafsky with you and hope you keep spreading the buttery love amongst friends and family.

Cyrilla Suwarsa

Co-Founder, Nuts Plus Nuts

Nuts+Nuts is a woman-owned company started by my sister, Cecielia, and I. We grew up in Indonesia where we enjoyed snacking on some of the world's best cashews. Inspired by our grandma's recipes which always won raves from everyone who tried them, we decided to launch a business that combined... Read More

Cyrilla Suwarsa

Co-Founder, Nuts Plus Nuts

Nuts+Nuts is a woman-owned company started by my sister, Cecielia, and I. We grew up in Indonesia where we enjoyed snacking on some of the world's best cashews. Inspired by our grandma's recipes which always won raves from everyone who tried them, we decided to launch a business that combined these wonderful native cashews with the same local ingredients and roasting methods that grandma used to make her nuts so yummy and addictive.
 
What makes Nuts + Nuts special is the care we put in selecting the nuts and staying true to our grandma's recipes. We source our cashews directly from small farms in Indonesia without middlemen or brokers and then roast them in small batches for a satisfying crunch. All our ingredients are fresh, all natural, and without preservatives. Since cashews cannot grow in North America, my sister and I personally travel to build relationships with cashew farmers and artisans around Indonesia. Currently we work with several small farms in Central Java and Bali. We also work with local artisans to produce handmade gift boxes to present our cashews as unique gifts reflecting the culture of where the cashews grow.

Ashley Rouse

Founder, Trade Street Jam Co.

Trade St. Jam Co. is a chef, woman and minority-owned and certified business that started in a tiny apartment in North Carolina on Trade Street. Our passion for all things food grew into something more: a company built on the foundation of culinary innovation. We strive to share our 10+... Read More

Ashley Rouse

Founder, Trade Street Jam Co.

Trade St. Jam Co. is a chef, woman and minority-owned and certified business that started in a tiny apartment in North Carolina on Trade Street. Our passion for all things food grew into something more: a company built on the foundation of culinary innovation. We strive to share our 10+ years of culinary knowledge in the form of a small batch jar that can be used in cocktails, salad dressings, BBQ sauces, marinades, pan sauces & more. Cooking should be fun and reflective of the person at hand, but what it shouldn't be, is complicated.

KATHERINE SPRUNG

FOUNDER, SQUISH MARSHMALLOWS

Katherine started Squish Marshmallows completely by accident (as many fun ideas start). As a former DJ, tech startup-er, and current voice over artist, she never really saw "marshmallow maker" in her future. But, she always had a passion for cooking, baking, an even more serious passion for sweets, and an... Read More

KATHERINE SPRUNG

FOUNDER, SQUISH MARSHMALLOWS

Katherine started Squish Marshmallows completely by accident (as many fun ideas start). As a former DJ, tech startup-er, and current voice over artist, she never really saw "marshmallow maker" in her future. But, she always had a passion for cooking, baking, an even more serious passion for sweets, and an entrepreneurial spirit (her first venture was at 8 years old, selling handmade, beaded jewelry at a local gift store).

As soon as she started making marshmallows, she was hooked. They were fun for her to make, and it was exciting to come up with new and unique flavors and textures that people usually don't equate with the marshmallow.

The most important thing to her, is to make a quality product that people enjoy. For Katherine, there is nothing more satisfying than being able to bring a smile to someone's face with something that you have put your heart and love into.

LAUREN & ALI

FOUNDERS, FATTY SUNDAYS

It all started with 3 sisters, 2 amazing parents, and 1 shared love for Sundays. Growing up, Sundays were a family day for us to kick back, relax and indulge. Lucky for us, our mom, Karen, was a seriously good baker (and still is to this day!) Rainbow sprinkle chocolate... Read More

LAUREN & ALI

FOUNDERS, FATTY SUNDAYS

It all started with 3 sisters, 2 amazing parents, and 1 shared love for Sundays. Growing up, Sundays were a family day for us to kick back, relax and indulge. Lucky for us, our mom, Karen, was a seriously good baker (and still is to this day!) Rainbow sprinkle chocolate covered pretzels were her thing, along with her famous brownies! She was the queen of making drool-worthy treats and putting together the ultimate gift packages for any occasion, big or small!

In 2010, we had that *aha* moment when we decided it was time to share our most-favorite sweet + salty treats with the world. We set out to give our Mom’s famous rainbow sprinkle pretzels a refresh and create a line of gourmet pretzels in never-been-done-before-flavors. We were reinventing and modernizing chocolate covered pretzels as the world knew them!

Fast forward to 2012 and Fatty Sundays was officially born!

Denetrias Charlemagne

Co-Founder, Avec

Denetrias “Dee” Charlemagne and Alex Doman knew that they and their fellow consumers deserved a healthier, tastier mixer alternative and set out to develop one. They both saw how people would try to hack their way to a healthier drink by switching out sour mix for citrus, adding herbs, or... Read More

Denetrias Charlemagne

Co-Founder, Avec

Denetrias “Dee” Charlemagne and Alex Doman knew that they and their fellow consumers deserved a healthier, tastier mixer alternative and set out to develop one. They both saw how people would try to hack their way to a healthier drink by switching out sour mix for citrus, adding herbs, or even nut milks.

After seeing these trends toward less processed and more indulgent food and drink with more natural, healthy, and interesting ingredients—and after rejecting some other less fun, less lucrative entrepreneurial ideas while still at Columbia Business School, both class of 2020—Charlemagne and Doman also recognized the relative void in the premium mixer marketplace. They eventually agreed to collaborate to create AVEC, named after the French word for “with.” With the examples of successful premium natural beverages like Seedlip and Fever-Tree mixers, they established their line of premium all-natural carbonated mixers featuring low sugar and exotic flavors.

ULRIKA PETTERSSON

FOUNDER, UNNA BAKERY

My sweet grandmother Rut and her love of baking inspired me to start Unna Bakery. I have fond memories of baking cookies with Rut and riding on the back of her bike to share them with friends who lived by the lake in Östersund, in northwestern Sweden where I grew... Read More

ULRIKA PETTERSSON

FOUNDER, UNNA BAKERY

My sweet grandmother Rut and her love of baking inspired me to start Unna Bakery. I have fond memories of baking cookies with Rut and riding on the back of her bike to share them with friends who lived by the lake in Östersund, in northwestern Sweden where I grew up. Today I use these same recipes to bake with my two daughters, Emmy and Vera. Baking makes me feel at home, wherever I am.

Unna has seven gourmet cookie flavors, which is significant for us Swedes. In the mid-18th century, women gathered at kaffereps, to enjoy cookies, coffee and company. The homemade cookies were the centerpiece of a beautifully set table, with crocheted tablecloth, fresh flowers, and nice porcelain. For a hostess to serve less than seven cookies was considered stingy, and anything more was viewed as boastful. Seven was just right.

Some say the kafferep helped launch the Swedish women’s rights movement of the early 1900’s. It was also the precursor to the fika, a coffee break that thrives in Swedish homes, offices and cafés. According to custom, you should have coffee or tea, and a cookie, at least once a day. For many, like those in my family, it’s twice daily - at 11am and 3pm.

Genelle Drayton

Founder, Sweet Dames Bakery

Food and hospitality have always been a part of Genelle's life, it’s a natural talent that she nurtured over the years. She catered her first event when she was ten years old for a 100-guest holiday party, it was a shrimp with rice dish that people raved about for an... Read More

Genelle Drayton

Founder, Sweet Dames Bakery

Food and hospitality have always been a part of Genelle's life, it’s a natural talent that she nurtured over the years. She catered her first event when she was ten years old for a 100-guest holiday party, it was a shrimp with rice dish that people raved about for an entire year. Since that moment, she fell in love with entertaining and decided to pursue it as a career.Her appreciation for cooking and entertaining came naturally from my Bahamian born grandparents Henry & Daisy Dames. She has fond memories of their home being the place where neighbors came for good food, laughter, drink and party. Her hope is to create a product through Sweet Dames Artisan Confections that brings a similar level of joy and fun to people's lives.

LOTTA ANDONIAN

FOUNDER, EAT CHIC CHOCOLATES

Eat Chic Chocolates is a woman-owned, Brooklyn-based confection brand that handcrafts chocolates filled with our own freshly ground organic nut butters. Our vegan, gluten-free, palm oil-free, soy-free chocolates come in dozens of flavors, from our signature dark chocolate peanut butter cups with sea salt to our innovative matcha cashew butter... Read More

LOTTA ANDONIAN

FOUNDER, EAT CHIC CHOCOLATES

Eat Chic Chocolates is a woman-owned, Brooklyn-based confection brand that handcrafts chocolates filled with our own freshly ground organic nut butters. Our vegan, gluten-free, palm oil-free, soy-free chocolates come in dozens of flavors, from our signature dark chocolate peanut butter cups with sea salt to our innovative matcha cashew butter cups, and cater to numerous dietary restrictions while delivering exquisite taste. We launched in the fall of 2016, and currently our chocolates are sold at over 100 independent stores and cafes, and on our online site. 

Eat Chic Chocolates has its roots in London, where founder Lotta Andonian started selling peanut butter cups as a side project to her job in fashion marketing under the brand Eat Chic while living abroad in 2014. Orders quickly grew from 100 at a time to 1000 at a time, and after many sleepless nights juggling both jobs, Andonian quit fashion marketing to make chocolates as her full-time career in 2015. Within months, the chocolates were stocked in some of the world’s most prestigious food halls, including Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason; won two Great Taste Awards; and were featured in publications such as Vogue.co.uk, Stylist, The Evening Standard, Grazia, BBC Good Food, and many more.

Homesick, Andonian moved back to the U.S. in the summer of 2016 to relaunch the business as Eat Chic Chocolates out of Brooklyn Food Works in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

Lisa Li

Founder, The Qi

As a child who grew up in a coastal town in Asia, Lisa drank a lot of herbal teas with my grandma. And those moments were some of the most nourishing and healing times of her life. Holistic wellness for her as a child was much like brunch… it was... Read More

Lisa Li

Founder, The Qi

As a child who grew up in a coastal town in Asia, Lisa drank a lot of herbal teas with my grandma. And those moments were some of the most nourishing and healing times of her life. Holistic wellness for her as a child was much like brunch… it was simply a way of a joyful life.

Fast forward 20 years later she was living in NYC burnt out, stressed and anxious. She wanted to go back to a time where wellness was simple, beautiful and authentic. She took a trip to Shangri-la and came across these one-of-a-kind Roses the locals enjoy - she had never experienced anything so beautiful and transformative. She quickly realized unless you’re from these small remote villages on the high mountains next to Tibet you would never have access to it. So she set out on a mission to bring these high-quality food-grade flowers to the world so you can easily reap their amazing health benefits.

After over a year of research, tens of thousands of miles traveled, and 100+ flowering herbs tasted The Qi was born. They work with small family-owned farms that only offer single-origin whole flower herbs as these flowers consistently yield the richest flavonoids, nutrients and aroma.

JEN, TERESA, & JEFF

FOUNDERS, PIPSNACKS

Pipcorn was born in 2012, when Jeff Martin was helping his sister, Jen move apartments. With everything packed up except a bag of tiny heirloom popcorn kernels that Jen found in the Chicago health food store where she worked, they popped batch after batch of the most delicious popcorn they’d... Read More

JEN, TERESA, & JEFF

FOUNDERS, PIPSNACKS

Pipcorn was born in 2012, when Jeff Martin was helping his sister, Jen move apartments. With everything packed up except a bag of tiny heirloom popcorn kernels that Jen found in the Chicago health food store where she worked, they popped batch after batch of the most delicious popcorn they’d ever had! They liked this one so much, they tracked down the Indiana farmer who grew it from his family’s heirloom seed stock. Together with Jeff’s wife, Teresa, they created a new company, Pipsnacks™.

From Smorgasborg to Oprah's Favorite Things, to Shark Tank, Jen, Jeff, and Teresa are on a mission to recreate the snacks they love. Which is fitting that they've recently expanded their product offerings to include Heirloom Cheese Balls, Heirloom Corn Dippers, and upcycled snack crackers.

CORTNEY RHODES

OWNER, WATERMELON ROAD

Watermelon Road was born out of love for wholesome food, fresh flavors, and providing family and friends with better snack options, that are as nutritious as they are delicious.

Starting a family of her own, clean eating has become a greater focus for Cortney. Whole, recognizable ingredients have become a... Read More

CORTNEY RHODES

OWNER, WATERMELON ROAD

Watermelon Road was born out of love for wholesome food, fresh flavors, and providing family and friends with better snack options, that are as nutritious as they are delicious.

Starting a family of her own, clean eating has become a greater focus for Cortney. Whole, recognizable ingredients have become a must. She wants to ensure that the snacks she's giving her family and friends are wholesome and nutritious, but also fun to eat…year round. Oh, and her stuff is pretty too. Each small batch is prepared by hand, from her family to yours.

NEELEY KOLSCH

FOUNDER, STAY WELL-KEPT

It all started back in 2009, when Neeley Kolsch, a former disaster recovery professional, set out to find a solution to the ongoing smudges on her laptop and cell phone. In a field of work that required being on call 24 hours a day, her technology rarely left her side.... Read More

NEELEY KOLSCH

FOUNDER, STAY WELL-KEPT

It all started back in 2009, when Neeley Kolsch, a former disaster recovery professional, set out to find a solution to the ongoing smudges on her laptop and cell phone. In a field of work that required being on call 24 hours a day, her technology rarely left her side. Transitioning from heels at a networking luncheon, to steel toe boots in a disaster-stricken community, Neeley knew firsthand how messy life could get on the go. Continually disgusted with smudges on her laptop screen and facial blemishes caused from a dirty phone, Neeley began her search for a sensible product to remove the grime. After some research, she realized there was a void in the market for a personal electronic device cleaner that embodied the charm she had in mind. Fast forward to January 2011, and Well-Kept was officially founded in Atlanta, GA.  After years of buying hundreds of wipes, searching for manufacturers, and even attending wipe conferences, (who knew?), Well-Kept changed the way we handle our technology forever. The first collection launched on Black Friday of November 2011, and the rest is wipe history!   

MARAGARET NYAMUMBO

FOUNDER, KAHAWA 1893

Founder and a third generation Kenyan coffee farmer Margaret Kemunto Nyamumbo saw how Kenyan women provided over 90% of labor in the African coffee industry. Sadly, these women farmers are largely uncompensated for their work and own just 1% of farmland in their country. She looks to consciously change this... Read More

MARAGARET NYAMUMBO

FOUNDER, KAHAWA 1893

Founder and a third generation Kenyan coffee farmer Margaret Kemunto Nyamumbo saw how Kenyan women provided over 90% of labor in the African coffee industry. Sadly, these women farmers are largely uncompensated for their work and own just 1% of farmland in their country. She looks to consciously change this for the women with Kahawa 1893.

Feel good with a flavorful cup of coffee in the morning and feel better knowing that Kahawa coffee beans positively impact the women farmers picking them.

MELISSA BARTOW

FOUNDER, WANNA DATE?

The idea for Wanna Date? took hold during Bartow’s junior year, when she began working in foodservice. The shop’s best seller was an acai bowl with Nutella. Bartow liked the idea of combining something healthy with something sweet to create a decadent, nutritious treat. Dates seemed like the perfect ingredient.

Though... Read More

MELISSA BARTOW

FOUNDER, WANNA DATE?

The idea for Wanna Date? took hold during Bartow’s junior year, when she began working in foodservice. The shop’s best seller was an acai bowl with Nutella. Bartow liked the idea of combining something healthy with something sweet to create a decadent, nutritious treat. Dates seemed like the perfect ingredient.

Though avocado bowls and cauliflower rice were the big food trends at the time, Bartow had a feeling that dates were going to be the next big thing. “I knew that someone was going to do this one day, and if it wasn’t me, I would be kicking myself,” she says.

From her dorm room, Bartow started blending dates to create sweet spreads that could be slathered on bread, added to ice cream, or eaten straight out of the jar. From there, she experimented blending the dates with other ingredients to create flavors like chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin spice.

ABIGAIL WALD

FOUNDER, YES BAR

Abigail started the Yes Bar out of love for her family. Her son was born with so many food sensitivities, she was always having to say “no” to the foods he wanted to try. In frustration and out of love, she went to her kitchen and took out all the... Read More

ABIGAIL WALD

FOUNDER, YES BAR

Abigail started the Yes Bar out of love for her family. Her son was born with so many food sensitivities, she was always having to say “no” to the foods he wanted to try. In frustration and out of love, she went to her kitchen and took out all the ingredients that I could say “yes” to, and made a snack that he could eat.

He loved them because they looked and tasted like a cookie. She loved them because of their nutritious, premium quality organic ingredients. From that day on the Yes Bar was born.

Yes Bars are fully plant-based, paleo, & vegan and free of GMO’s, gluten, grains, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, & peanuts. They’re perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

CHRISSY FICHTL

FOUNDER, APOTHEKE

Chrissy and her husband started out selling soap at farmers markets. They were imperfect, they weren't packaged, and they were oddly shaped. But they made them fall in love with ingredients, manufacturing, and scent.

Years later they were still hustling, working multiple jobs, and selling their soaps and candles at flea... Read More

CHRISSY FICHTL

FOUNDER, APOTHEKE

Chrissy and her husband started out selling soap at farmers markets. They were imperfect, they weren't packaged, and they were oddly shaped. But they made them fall in love with ingredients, manufacturing, and scent.

Years later they were still hustling, working multiple jobs, and selling their soaps and candles at flea markets in Brooklyn when a miracle happened. An unassuming man dropped his card at our booth and told them he wanted to place a wholesale order.

Little did they know they would be introduced to the world overnight in West Elm's across the country. Since then they have grown their expertise, their scents, and their love for making beautiful products for everyone they possibly can.

CASSANDRA THURSWELL

FOUNDER, KITSCH

After graduating from college Cassandra Thurswell moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles with dreams of owning a jewelry company. Like many entrepreneurs she failed and she failed again only to realize she had much more to learn. Cassandra went back to school as a full-time grad student at FIDM. With... Read More

CASSANDRA THURSWELL

FOUNDER, KITSCH

After graduating from college Cassandra Thurswell moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles with dreams of owning a jewelry company. Like many entrepreneurs she failed and she failed again only to realize she had much more to learn. Cassandra went back to school as a full-time grad student at FIDM. With a one-track mind she spent over 60 hours a week working odd jobs and had a strict diet of frozen burritos in order to save as much money as possible before conquering her dream!

Cassandra founded KITSCH at the age of 25 when she took a leap of faith and left her other jobs to focus solely on making KITSCH a reality. She was ready to take the fashion world by storm, armed with 2 maxed out credit cards, endless Tupperware containers of jewelry and thousands of hair ties cut and tied herself. Cassandra’s dream was to create a company filled with inspiration and positivity in its products as well as within the company culture. She far exceeded that goal and continues creating inspirational products and messages in the most beautiful way possible.

From a single girl in a tiny apartment to a woman-owned, self-financed, world-wide company, Cassandra is just getting started!

SHARDAE LAYFIELD

FOUNDER, CANDY X PAINTS

Shardae Layfield is the creator behind, CANDY x PAINTS. As a lover of all things self-care and beauty, nail care has always been her thing!

Fast forwarding, as she traveled on her journey to become vegan, she began her research on ingredients in foods and products in her daily life,... Read More

SHARDAE LAYFIELD

FOUNDER, CANDY X PAINTS

Shardae Layfield is the creator behind, CANDY x PAINTS. As a lover of all things self-care and beauty, nail care has always been her thing!

Fast forwarding, as she traveled on her journey to become vegan, she began her research on ingredients in foods and products in her daily life, which ended up being more shocking and devastating than she could have imagined!

After discovering how harmful and unhealthy nail polish and other self-care products can be, she was determined to create cleaner, safer, and effective products for herself and her community with diverse representation at the forefront.

Being an Atlanta-native has played a huge roll in the creation of CANDY x PAINTS. It has always been a priority to make sure CANDY x PAINTS represents culture, wellness, and self-expression for everyone!

BRITTA COX

FOUNDER, AQUIS

Britta founded Aquis because she had a problem and a spark of curiosity. Growing up on a ranch meant she was used to using my hands and doing things on her own.

She wanted to spend less time doing my hair and more time doing the things she loved. The haircare... Read More

BRITTA COX

FOUNDER, AQUIS

Britta founded Aquis because she had a problem and a spark of curiosity. Growing up on a ranch meant she was used to using my hands and doing things on her own.

She wanted to spend less time doing my hair and more time doing the things she loved. The haircare routine was holding her back. She was inspired by moisture-wicking sportswear, and she had a problem to solve.

Thanks to that curiosity she pioneered the Aquis hair towel. Her belief is, you have better things to do than your hair.

Through all of this, she learned about hair and how it works, and about herself. She learned she could push herself to go the extra mile and then another. She learned she could really do anything if she put her mind to it. She learned we all have things holding us back, but we all are capable of whatever it is we want to do if we never stop learning.

She believes there is a better way to care for your hair. Combining science and technology, they are innovating products that protect the natural integrity of your hair and strengthen it from the inside out, core to cuticle.

KATHERINE FRANKSTONE

FOUNDER, GREY GHOST BAKERY

When Katherine Frankstone was the tender age of five, all she longed for was her very own Easy Bake oven. Her parents had other plans, though- and chose to steer her from the toy shop, back home to the warmth of their own kitchen. It was there she climbed up... Read More

KATHERINE FRANKSTONE

FOUNDER, GREY GHOST BAKERY

When Katherine Frankstone was the tender age of five, all she longed for was her very own Easy Bake oven. Her parents had other plans, though- and chose to steer her from the toy shop, back home to the warmth of their own kitchen. It was there she climbed up on a stool alongside her father and learned to bake in the real thing. For decades, she has been satisfying the sweet teeth of her husband, sons, and flocks of friends with her perfectly balanced, crisp- yet chewy cookies.

Coming from a family of driven entrepreneurs – her grandparents founded an insurance company in the middle of the Great Depression – Katherine was inspired to transform her hobby into her own specialty food company. With Grey Ghost Bakery, Katherine is serving up a taste of her childhood with a good old fashioned dose of Lowcountry ghost lore.

ANNE SMITH

FOUNDER, OREGON BARK

For 12 years, Anne owned and operated a popular cooking school in Los Angeles. In what was perhaps our most popular class, her students gathered several times a year to make candy. In 2011, after falling in love with a Portlander, she sold her business and moved to the Pacific... Read More

ANNE SMITH

FOUNDER, OREGON BARK

For 12 years, Anne owned and operated a popular cooking school in Los Angeles. In what was perhaps our most popular class, her students gathered several times a year to make candy. In 2011, after falling in love with a Portlander, she sold her business and moved to the Pacific Northwest.

It’s serendipity that brought a food-focused entrepreneur, still consumed by candy making, to a city that embraces culinary artisans. With only a basic understanding of tempering chocolate and cooking with sugar, she had an idea to make a chocolate bark with toffee running through it. In 2015, she decided that as an environmentalist, she wanted to try to make something just as special without using animal products. She started playing around with peanut butter and an organic cane sugar syrup and dreamed Tom Bumble into existence.

They have now added new flavors and textures to their confection line, and all of their candies are vegan, gluten free and made with as many organic ingredients as possible.

RENEE DUNN

FOUNDER, AMAZI FOODS

Renee started Amazi Foods in late 2016 after studying abroad and doing research in Uganda. She was struck by the high unemployment and untapped agriculture in Uganda, and wanted to solve for the disconnects that existed in our supply chains. She quit her job, hopped on a plane with no... Read More

RENEE DUNN

FOUNDER, AMAZI FOODS

Renee started Amazi Foods in late 2016 after studying abroad and doing research in Uganda. She was struck by the high unemployment and untapped agriculture in Uganda, and wanted to solve for the disconnects that existed in our supply chains. She quit her job, hopped on a plane with no idea what she was doing, and slowly started building out products, supplier relations, and eventually, got the Amazi brand to where it is today!

Amazi Foods sells healthy, made-in-Uganda snacks. The Jackfruit Chews and Plantain Chips not only offer a bold tropical twist on your typical dried fruit, they are also made in partnership with small businesses in Uganda.

MARIE CASTIGLIONE

FOUNDER, SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS

Spaghetti & Meatballs are all "home-cooked" greeting cards and watercolor art made with love and a pinch of sass. The artist, Marie Castiglione, started this company two years ago and named it after her love of Italian food. Her hope is that you get the same kind of love and... Read More

MARIE CASTIGLIONE

FOUNDER, SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS

Spaghetti & Meatballs are all "home-cooked" greeting cards and watercolor art made with love and a pinch of sass. The artist, Marie Castiglione, started this company two years ago and named it after her love of Italian food. Her hope is that you get the same kind of love and comfort in her cards that she gets from eating pasta. She writes them with her sister and close circle of girlfriends who believe using humor is the best medicine in all of life's celebrations and tribulations.

Spaghetti & Meatballs speaks to the lovers, haters, and feelers in all of us. They are cards for (and against) the millennial generation. She believes in celebrating the big and small moments of life by writing it, not texting it. From birthdays to breakup cards, and everything in between.

MARGARET KALEJTA

FOUNDER, PARTY MOUNTAIN PAPER CO.

Founded in 2017 by Margaret Kalejta, Party Mountain Paper is a stationary brand merging pop culture, witty humour and illustration. They offer a range of greeting cards and gifts that help people connect through shared pop culture references because there's nothing that brings people together like loving the same, obscure... Read More

MARGARET KALEJTA

FOUNDER, PARTY MOUNTAIN PAPER CO.

Founded in 2017 by Margaret Kalejta, Party Mountain Paper is a stationary brand merging pop culture, witty humour and illustration. They offer a range of greeting cards and gifts that help people connect through shared pop culture references because there's nothing that brings people together like loving the same, obscure tv show or movie. All illustrations are thought up and created by Margaret.

BROOKE & ELAINE

PRINCIPLES, LARK FINE FOODS

Brooke specifically remembers the first time she tried Lark Fine Foods "cookies for grown-ups" on her family. The year was 2010, and she had struck a home run with these sophisticated shortbreads.

Suddenly, Brooke started seeing that little Lark logo everywhere. Small specialty foods stores carried their cookies, but strangely, it... Read More

BROOKE & ELAINE

PRINCIPLES, LARK FINE FOODS

Brooke specifically remembers the first time she tried Lark Fine Foods "cookies for grown-ups" on her family. The year was 2010, and she had struck a home run with these sophisticated shortbreads.

Suddenly, Brooke started seeing that little Lark logo everywhere. Small specialty foods stores carried their cookies, but strangely, it was often at her children's elementary school functions where she encountered them most. That's when she came in contact with Mary Ann McCormick and Nicole Nordensved, the mother-daughter duo behind the Essex, Massachusetts, company.

Fast-forward five years to 2015. Brooke was still a loyal customer, and Mary Ann and Nicole were looking to sell. With a background in finance, Brooke describes the purchase as almost spur of the moment, or "on a lark," if you will. Tapping her friend Elaine Peterson, who had a marketing background and a penchant for baking and recipe development, the new venture took flight, riding on the wings of the soaring flavor that happens when savory meets sweet. Lark's sophisticated products feature subtle, balanced flavors like their Pistachio Cherry Sablé, Salted Rosemary Shortbread and the uber-elegant Burnt Sugar and Fennel Shortbread. Their cookies have a cool sense of having more than meets the eye – they can be dessert, but also so much more. And they recently launched a line of savory crackers.

Handmade, all-natural and preservative-free, these cookies definitely aren't kids stuff, and they've been getting grown-up-level accolades: they've received two prestigious sofi Gold Awards and four sofi Silver Finalist Awards from Specialty Foods. For the kids, they've started a summer internship program, teaching teenagers the backend of the business as well as baking skills. Brooke and Elaine took the risk, and it paid off in spades.