This Way UP Feature Fridays: February
On Fridays, the Vermont Women's Fund profiles Vermont women entrepreneurs who are the foundation of our economy and communities. Follow the Women's Fund social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see these profiles posted each week.
Julie Lineberger, WheelPad L3C & LineSync Architecture, Wilmington
“We love proving that excellent design aesthetics and socially responsible business practices, both, do not cost more in the long run, in fact both save money and are the future.”
TEDx speaker Julie Lineberger of Wilmington is the founder of WheelPad L3C and LineSync Architecture LTD. Inspired by her love for sustainability, architectural design, and her godson Riley Poor, she has built a business which creates accessible additions, and tiny houses for people with mobility issues.
WheelPad’s mission is to make home more accessible. Their genius (our adjective for them) design of bedroom suites can be attached to any home for ADA living.
Akshata Nayak, Little Patakha, Jericho
Akshata Nayak started Little Patakha (meaning "Little Firecracker") after her work as a scientist lead her to some shocking data on the representation gap in children's media:
- There are 20% more books that have animals as main characters than all of the books with visible minorities combined
- Boys are twice as likely to be protagonist as girls are in children’s stories
When Akshata found this research, she realized that creating books, games, puzzles, and other media that shatter these stereotypes was a calling she couldn't ignore. She shares more of her founder’s story and journey from scientist to serial entrepreneur in this video for This Way UP.
Akshata also speaks about the importance of supporting women in business and what This Way UP brings to Vermonter in this video.
Becca Gurney, Design Choice, Stowe
Becca Gurney shares an important lesson for entrepreneurs: no can be just as important as yes. She runs Design Choice, a mission-driven graphic design studio using design to save oceans, fight for gender and reproductive rights, empower trans and nonbinary youth, amplify calls for racial justice, and support access for sustainable energy.
When we asked Becca what her favorite part of running her own business she answered, "The best part is that I choose clients and causes to support in order to help create the world I want to live in. This means sometimes I say no. And being able to say no to people, actions, and projects that don’t align with my values allows me to devote time and energy to the projects and people I think are creating important change in our community.
Saying no is never easy, but it’s essential to remember what it makes room for in your business! Follow Becca and Design Choice to learn more about her journey on Instagram @designchoicestudio.
Sarah Krinsky & Bri Magnifico, W. Collective, Bennington
Sarah Krinsky and Bri Magnifico brought their friendship, experience in fashion, and individual businesses into the W. Collective that opened on Main Street in Bennington in July 2021.
The retail space and cafe promote women+ designers, makers, and entrepreneurs. “Our hope is to unify and grow as a collective, making space to support and uplift each other and our community. Our favorite part of being business owners is having the opportunity to curate the store of our dreams with product that is unique to us while creating a space that is open and creative.”
W. Collective acts as a gathering space that hosts workshops, student art exhibitions and private events. In order to make their store an everyday reality Sarah and Bri both work full time along with running their own design and vintage clothing businesses within W. Collective. “Despite the challenge of working 24/7, at the end of the day getting to work together and alongside all of our artists makes it completely worth it.”
Explore their unique collection in person Thursday through Sunday in Bennington and online anytime.
There are stories like this all across the state. As more and more people take the This Way UP survey we're learning about the determination and power that fuels these businesses.
Take the Survey & Share
If you own your own business—no matter the size and no matter full time, part time, or side hustle—we want to hear from you! Please take the This Way UP survey to get counted for the hard work that you are doing in Vermont.
If you know women-owned businesses, please encourage them to take the survey or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.