Shop With Purpose: Women-Led Wednesday Breaks Into Holiday Melee

Women-Led Wednesday is a new initiative not unlike Small Business Saturday. The shopping holiday, which kicks off tomorrow, is aggregating businesses to help buyers align their holiday budgets with their consciences.

The inaugural purpose-driven shopping holiday is a passion project for Cassie Abel, who owns White Cloud Communication. Her company markets several women-owned product brands in the outdoor industry. Abel also co-founded women’s ski and mountain bike clothier Wild Rye.

Women-Led Wednesday founder Cassie Abel celebrates the outdoor life

Abel’s team created the Women-Led Wednesday online platform. It grew to over 100 brands in a few weeks. And according to Abel, new businesses continue to register each day,

“I’m blown away with how these women leaders have come together without hesitation to shine the spotlight on and lift up fellow female leaders. I never expected this to be so big so fast.”

Dovetail Workwear
The leaders at Dovetail, an emerging women’s workwear brand

Her intention is to make Women-Led Wednesday an annual event to encourage shoppers to use their purchasing power to vie for a more gender-balanced economy.

The impetus is black and white: Women currently make up more than half the population and professional-level workforce. But only a quarter hold executive and senior management roles, and a measly 6 percent S&P 500 company CEOs are women.

Outdoor and Active Brands Just the Start

A variety of women-founded or -led businesses in the outdoor and active industries have already signed up. And it’s largely because of Abel’s connections. But the word is getting out. Other national brands in style and accessories, beauty and wellness, kids, pets, and home goods are also coming on board.

“We’re excited that like-minded consumers can reach us all in one place,” said Corinne Prevot, founder of Vermont-based winter headwear and accessories brand Skida. Her company promotes its paid maternity leave, flexible work hours for working moms, and diverse support system for female employees.

Skida female founder
Skida founder Corinne Prevot was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2018

“Although it might be impossible to recognize every business that’s under this umbrella [women-led], this initiative creates a sense of solidarity,” she said.

“It’s a calming comfort that we are in this together, eager to grow, and to become the best versions of ourselves.”

Shop Women-Led Wednesday Tomorrow and All Year

Consumers can learn more about Women-Led Wednesday and browse the complete directory to make purchases from women-led brands and retailers.

But Women-Led Wednesday may be more than a one-day shopping holiday.

Women-Led Wednesday

“Due to the incredible feedback, I’m determined to keep this platform open year-round, adding more brands as they discover us,” Abel said.

“I have big goals for making improvements to the site, adding more ‘color’ to brands and founders, improving search-ability, and adding new categories.”

Julie Kailus

Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.