March is Women’s History Month in the United States. It’s a time to highlight and celebrate women’s role in society, culture, and history though, realistically, it’s a conversation that should be taking place all year! Here at Dutch & Deckle, we are a women-owned business, but we are hardly alone. According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express, women owned about 42 percent of small businesses in the United States, which translates to almost 13 million businesses. This means women-owned businesses generated approximately $1.9 trillion that year–a significant contribution to the economy.
Of course, Covid has impacted us all, but women have started even more businesses during this time. Why? Well, we suddenly needed flexibility for childcare, we lost income, and many experienced the realization that our current jobs did not offer us the fulfillment or work-life balance we deserved. Another interesting finding from the American Express report was that women, more so than others, tend to find gaps in the marketplace and start new businesses to fill them.
Here at Dutch & Deckle, we are committed to craftsmanship, sustainability, and customization. Offering a new product in the marketplace that aligns with our core values has been a labor of love. The past year has indeed been fascinating, exhausting, challenging, yet wonderful at the same time. Pursuing our passion for planning and creating a product that is exactly what we envisioned–beautiful, tactile, sustainable, and most importantly MADE IN THE USA – has been so fulfilling.
This past week we had the opportunity to attend a conference designed for the planning community called “Go Wild” in Anaheim, CA. It was awe-inspiring for many reasons, but the one thing that stood out was the sheer number of female entrepreneurs in the planner space. Women from so many different ethnicities and backgrounds came to offer their products and services and it was a truly moving to experience to collaborate with other women who love the planner community as much as we do, share best practices and be inspired by each other.
Starting a new business might be daunting but women shouldn’t be surprised that we are so successful as business owners. Since the early days of the American republic, women have been central to the economy. Most early Americans were farmers whose extra produce was used for bartering or selling for items families couldn’t make themselves. Women were the ones most often creating finished, marketable goods like quilts or baked goods to help their family’s finances. In fact, most women contributed economically until after the second world war. Realistically the post-war stay-at-home mom might be more an aberration than a cultural norm!
So, today and every day let’s honor and celebrate each other. Our mothers, grandmothers, and sisters who each in their own way have contributed to our lives both in and out of the home. Together we’ll continue our march toward equality and liberty through innovation and motivation, one new adventure at a time.