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Supporting Amazing Women-Led Small Businesses in the North East on International Women's Day 2024

Supporting Amazing Women-Led Small Businesses in the North East on International Women's Day 2024

What better day to celebrate our local women-led small businesses and organisations than International Women's Day 2024?

Of course, we all have to do more to share the love with these small businesses all year round and not just on one day if we want them to stick around. The best way of doing this is buying directly from your favourite local women-led small business, but as we will explore in this article, there are other ways you can help if you're strapped for cash.

How To Support Women-Led Small Businesses on International Women's Day

Why do women-led small businesses matter?

Up until June 2023, there were more male CEOs named John than all the women CEOs put together (in leading S&P 500 companies).

In the UK, there is a similar picture: "Women hold 42% of board seats at big UK firms, but just 10 are FTSE 100 bosses".

Now, we are talking about small businesses rather than the big corporations.

But regardless of size, there are still more male-led businesses in the UK. In 2022, female-led companies represented 20% of all businesses in the UK

If we want to live in a more equal world, then we need more female-led businesses. So every female-led small business counts.

What it means in reality to run a small business...

Small businesses need your cash more than ever. Costs are rising across the board, including wages, materials, bills and overheads.

You might be taken aback at some of the prices in a hand-crafted indie shop. Especially if you make the mistake of comparing it to fast fashion, to give an example. But when you start to break it down, you realise the true value of locally made goods.

We love how transparent The Fruit Moth is on pricing. It shows just how much work goes into every lovingly made item of Nicole's. And of course, that work needs to be duly paid for.

There are so many great reasons to support small businesses and as Nicole points out, many small businesses are closing. While the press continue to peddle the news story of high streets not being what they used to be, small businesses are bucking that trend as the lifeblood that keeps our local towns and cities vibrant and interesting places to visit. 

Why Shop Small Businesses?

  1.  Support local jobs.
  2.  Help bring the colour to our high streets.
  3. Buy quality locally made or sourced products.
  4. They are part of and sustain the local community.
  5. Find unique, original items rather than mass produced "tat".
  6. Small businesses often work with and support local charities.
  7. Reduce carbon emissions by travelling locally to small businesses near you.
  8. Browse quirky and interesting concept stores rather than cookie-cutter shiny floored shops.
  9. Amazing customer service from local people who care and who you can speak to in person.
  10. Your custom means so much more compared to 'big' companies. The profits aren't being taken home as a big bonus for the CEO.

How To Support Small Businesses 

The best way to support small businesses, female-led or otherwise is to vote with your wallet. We have to keep spending money at our favourite local small and indie shops to keep their doors open.

But there are many other ways to support small businesses even if you're struggling for money.

If you have the time, you could consider volunteering. At Green Heart Collective we have a super team of volunteers who spend a few hours a week helping us in our shop. Whether that's putting together the shop window, checking and listing clothes or helping pick and pack the online orders when they come in, we would really struggle without the help of volunteers. 

Volunteering can be a great way to support small businesses in their daily operations. At the same time, you get to meet new people and learn new skills. 

Ask if your local small business needs anything. It's in our ethos to reuse everything we can. So we often put callouts to our supporters for packaging and other donations to help save as much as we can from landfill. 

Last but not least, take to social media to support your local women-led small businesses. While likes and shares do not pay the bills, posts by small businesses often get lost in the algorithm which prioritises the ad spend of much bigger companies.

Engaging meaningfully with posts and taking time to leave a comment sparks a signal that the small business you love is making relevant, interesting content. In return, more people are likely to see their posts, which may directly or indirectly lead to more sales.

That's the simplified version. But every interaction counts. That said, do make sure to leave reviews on Google and Facebook too. If you loved visiting somewhere, tell everyone about it.

15 Amazing Women-Led Small Businesses in the North East

Since starting up Green Heart Collective, we have loved connecting with local makers, crafters, sewists, visionaries, yoga teachers and many other great women-led organisations in the North East.

You can learn more about these North East based businesses below...

ForgetMeNotArt - Lynne

ForgetMeNotArtx provides eco-friendly craft workshops/parties for all ages. Also, available for bespoke commissions, including these amazing sculptures made using upcycled driftwood.

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The Phoenix Green Store - Kate

Kate Stuart, Founder of The Phoenix Green, works with reclaimed, recycled or repurposed materials to produce brilliant designs that are also long-lasting and could be passed down.

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Red Mutha

Red Mutha trawls through mountains of used clothing to find brilliant textiles and clothes to upcycle into these striking creations.

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Celebrating our Female Yoga Teachers In The North East

Kaleidoscope Yoga - Kate Cowen

Kaleidoscope Yoga - Kate Cowen

Kate is the creator of Kaleidoscope Yoga has been a full-time yoga teacher since 2009. Finding that yoga changed her life on so many levels, Kate decided to train as a teacher to share the "wisdom and beauty of the practice".

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Hot Yoga Newcastle - Victoria Liles

Victoria is the owner of Hot Yoga Newcastle, having fallen in love with Bikram yoga in 2010.

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Blue Skies Yoga North East - Donna Ward

 Donna first came across yoga when she tried out a local Iyengar yoga class over 10 years ago. She found that yoga gave her a boost that other activities and exercise simply did not offer.

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Yoga Embrace Studio Swalwell - Victoria


Victoria is a 200-hour yoga teacher (ongoing training for 500 hours) dedicated to making yoga accessible to most people regardless of age, fitness level and ability.

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Happy Yoga Newcastle - Jo Hutton

Jo is the founder of Happy Yoga Newcastle which offers online and in-person classes including beginners yoga and pregnancy yoga. 

Did you know, Jo is our very first Green Heart Collective ambassador and volunteers to spread the word about our yoga items that we have rescued from landfill. 

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DizzyWix - Jen

DizzyWix creates some fantastic upcycled creations - turning used cans, bottles and tins into bespoke candles.

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Hayley Mills-Styles - Textile Artist

It was great to explore visible mending and the world of textile art Yorkshire-based textile artist Hayley Mills-Styles, whose brilliant work has been displayed in museums and heritage sites throughout the north including Whitby Museum, Sunny Bank Mills and the Thackray Museum of Medicine.

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ReMade by Sally J

Sunderland-based upcycler ReMadeBySallyJ has a fantastic, imaginative range of items. Whether it's for children, adults or even dogs, Sally has something special for everyone.

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Delightfully Denim - Sarah

Delightfully Denim is based in Penshaw. It came about when maker and designer Sarah was looking for a new venture, but wanted to use upcycled clothing. Her store has a super range of items including bags and keyrings, cushion covers and coasters. 

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Dorothy Nelson

Ever wondered where offcuts from making sofas go? Sadly, lots of end pieces just go straight to landfill. But this doesn’t have to be the case. 

So we were delighted to find some amazing handbags made by Dorothy Nelson, which had been created using these very offcuts. 

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Penny Pieces

Tired furniture doesn't have to be destined to the skip. With a lick of paint or some more radical reworking you can soon spruce up a well-loved chest of drawers. We got in touch with Rachel who runs Penny Pieces in Ponteland, Newcastle to learn all about her family-run shop.

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Spanky Spangler Design - Denise

Spanky Spangler Design has been creating wearable Neo Victorian/Steampunk Art art using broken watches and bulbs since 2009. 

Each piece is carefully hand-made, inspired by science fiction. With over 4,700 orders on Etsy, these fantastic pieces of jewellery and sculptures are very popular. They've even featured in a BBC documentary.

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Let's Support Small Businesses on International Women's Day

Our list of amazing women-led businesses in the North East is obviously just a drop in the ocean. And that's without even thinking about the UK as a whole. 

So if you've been walking past that window, or scrolling through that store, go ahead and spend with your money at local female-led businesses and let's help small businesses to keep our high streets thriving.

Why not leave a comment with your favourite female-owned or led business below? 

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