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  • Writer's pictureAnna Davidson

Woman-owned Businesses IMA Loves

Since March 8th was International Women’s Day, our blog team wanted to take the full month to celebrate women’s contributions in our community and the business world at large. Led by Charlene Freeman, IMA understands the value of women in leadership and works to support women across the industry. There are many ways to do that, at many different levels. For those of us behind the blog, we decided we could use our platform to promote a variety of businesses owned by women that IMA employees know and like. 

While this list is not exhaustive, we tried to highlight every place our employees recommended based on their own experiences. We encourage you to support these businesses (many of which have online ordering options) as well as others owned by women in your own community. In fact, it can be a fun exercise to come up with a list of local businesses and determine which ones you frequent that are owned by women–or find somewhere you’ve never been and try it out! 


All of the recommendations on this list were submitted by IMA employees. IMA does not partner with any of the businesses and did not receive any sort of compensation for this promotion. 


Food

Four All Ice Cream (Waterloo, ON)

Delicious ice cream made with local, natural ingredients. There are also plenty of dairy-free options. Four All is a staple for our Waterloo-residing employees!


Winnie’s Gluten-Free (Waterloo, ON) 

Gluten-free baked goods are hard to find and Winnie’s comes through in a big way. The brownies come highly recommended, but the highlight is Winnie’s carrot cake which is arguably the best carrot cake out there, gluten-free or not.


Press Market (Collingwood, ON)

Primarily plant-based, Press Market is a great place to stop for a meal or a quick drink if you’re in the Collingwood area. 


Aura-La Pastries + Provisions (Kitchener, ON)

Delicious baked goods, ice cream, and chocolates made in house–plus a variety of foods and gifts sourced from local vendors. Aura-La has a great selection of sweet and savoury treats!


Roux Bakehouse (Waterloo, ON)

A bakery, café, and grocer, Roux is a great source for pastries, breads, and locally sourced grocery products. They also routinely sell out, so going early is encouraged!

Crushed Almond Bakery Café (Kitchener, ON)

The place to go for Turkish coffee and baked goods. The baklava is great, but don’t skip out on the açma either (available on its own or as a delicious sandwich).

Healthy food made by women owned businesses

Apparel

Stay Home Club (Montreal, QB) 

Stay Home Club offers beautiful and whimsical designs. While we placed them in the apparel section, they have more than just clothes! You can find all sorts of home goods and accessories, like blankets, drinkware, stickers, art prints, and more.


White Dog Vintage (Buffalo, NY, USA)

A vintage store with a really fun (and affordable) selection of clothing and home goods. Check out their Instagram for occasional online sales.


Le Prix Clothing (Waterloo, ON)

Find a curated selection of thrifted and sustainable clothing via Le Prix’s online store. Le Prix also offers personal styling services if you’re looking for help figuring out what your style is and how to pick pieces for your wardrobe.


Printfresh (New York, NY, USA)

Luxury sleepwear and loungewear that feature gorgeous designs. Printfresh is also focused on using sustainable organic materials and reducing waste, so you can rest easy in your new pajamas.


Erban Corner (Waterloo, ON)

A high quality boutique with locations in both Waterloo and Cambridge Ontario. 


Apparel made by women owned businesses

Home Goods/Gifts 

Gifted (Waterloo, ON)

Gift shop with a wide selection of items (many of which were created in Ontario). Whether you’re looking for beauty products, art prints, or kids’ toys, you can find it at Gifted.


Little Salmon (Buffalo, NY, USA)

Little Salmon is an exciting zero-waste, refill shop that promotes reducing, reusing, recycling, and rotting (compost). Their high-quality products are focused on helping you reduce your own environmental impact. Plus, many of the products they stock are from small and woman-owned businesses!


MINI TIPI (Quebec based)

If you’re looking for high quality, authentic Indigenous designs, MINI TIPI has you covered. They sell gorgeous blankets, ponchos, mittens, and more, all designed by Indigenous artists. Plus, all of their products are made in Quebec. You can find their products at different local retailers or through their website.


Serendipity Soy Candles (Collingwood, ON)

Canadian-made candles that are eco-friendly and natural. 


Home goods made by women owned businesses

Beauty/Skincare/Haircare

Cocoon Apothecary (Kitchener, ON) 

Cocoon makes high quality skincare and bath products that use natural, organic, and sustainable ingredients. They also have an on-site eco spa, with a wide variety of luxurious treatments. 


Pamperme Day Spa (Collingwood, ON)

A relaxing day spa that offers many different treatments and packages.


The Body Bar Apothecary & Wellness Shop (Collingwood, ON)

Focused on natural skincare, body care, and aromatherapy, The Body Bar does the work of creating natural and sustainable products to make it easy for you to get the best products for your body. They also offer a variety of spa treatments.


The Truth Beauty Company (Waterloo, ON) 

A boutique that curates a wide selection of natural skincare, makeup, and hair care products. They also offer different services, such as skin consults and spa treatments.


Curve Hair Studio (Kitchener, ON) 

If you have curly hair and aren’t going to a curly hair salon, it’s time you try one. Curve Hair Studio is among the best with treatments for all types of hair, but a focus on curly hair. Their stylists know just how to teach you about your hair type while bringing a new life to your curls or waves.


Beauty, haircare, and skin care made by women owned businesses

Bookstores

Cliffside Village Books (Toronto, ON)

A small, secondhand bookstore with a focus on community for readers and writers. The owner, Genevieve Clovis, also runs writer’s groups through the shop. 


Old Goat Books (Waterloo, ON) 

A secondhand bookstore packed with books and community events.


Epic Books (Hamilton, ON) 

A community-focused independent bookstore with two locations in Hamilton, ON to peruse for your favourites and new releases.


Type Books (Toronto, ON) 

This independent bookstore has three locations in Toronto to check out. They have a great selection and lots of events like book launches.


Another Story (Toronto, ON)

Another Story is committed to diversity and promotes a wide range of books for adults and children. 


Book stores owned and operated by women

Art

Secret Planet (Toronto, ON) 

Unique, fun art. Secret Planet sells everything from prints to cards to apparel. They also offer screen printing workshops from time to time.


Morningstar Designs (Kitchener, ON) 

An Indigenous artist with gorgeous work (prints, paintings, and more) you can buy online or at a local market. She also creates murals, including some you can see around Kitchener!


Beam Paints (ON) 

If you’re a watercolour painter or looking to become one, Beam Paint sells plastic-free, non-toxic watercolour paint sets. They have a beautiful range of colours, all made with high quality materials.


Janet Hill Studio (based in Ontario)

A Canadian artist with a whimsical style. You can buy her prints, cards, original paintings, and more online or in local retailers. 


Springtide Press (Tacoma, WA, USA) 

Jessica Spring creates unique prints that clearly highlight her interest in typography. She also co-created the Dead Feminists series, prints of inspirational feminists, with the late Chandler O’Leary.


Art made by women owned businesses

Fitness

The Branches Yoga (Kitchener, ON)

Yoga studio rooted in movement and mindfulness. Branches is focused on community and provides a welcoming environment for all types of students.


Fitness companies owned by women

Women-Focused Charities 

Domestic Violence Victim’s Alliance (Kitchener, ON) 

An organization focused on helping victims of domestic violence by providing resources and donations. The Alliance raises funds by selling donated materials in their super affordable thrift shop, Retail Therapy.


Organizations addressing menstrual poverty

People who menstruate, often women, aren’t always able to afford or access menstrual products. That can limit where they’re able to go (keeping them home from school or work) and take a toll on their mental health and dignity. That’s why a number of organizations have popped up to fill the gap and help provide free menstrual products (and advocate for systemic changes). 


These are just a few organizations; we recommend searching for local ones that you can support as well!

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