All the crafty ladies - a spotlight on Neighborly's female makers

All the crafty ladies - a spotlight on Neighborly's female makers

Being a woman-owned business, International Women's Day holds a special place in our hearts and on our shelves here at Neighborly - we're lucky to claim over 100 women-owned businesses as artists and makers in our shop. 

To show our appreciation for these talented ladies, here's a spotlight on a few of our long-time lady makers who help make our shop what it is. 

Julie Morelli 
Owner & artist of Nourishing Notes in Chicago, Illinois
photo credit: Lucy Hewett

Who are your female role models, both personally and professionally? How have they informed your work?
JM: I would be nowhere without a whole list of women that I look up to. Fellow business-running ladies who are also raising a family AND who are willing to share their stories (including the unsavory parts) mean a lot to me. I lean on them all the time. None of us have it all figured out (shocking!) but their openness and honesty keeps me going. All of the women I have met through Forth Chicago I would put on my list of female role models. They are incredible. I also look up to a whole host of female chefs : Julia Turshen, Kristen Kish, Vivian Howard, Leah Chase, and Gabrielle Hamilton just to name a few but there are so many more!

photo credit: Emily Alt

Your adorable daughter makes many an appearance at many a craft show (and instagram story!), what do you hope she learns from watching you create and run your own business?

JM: So many things! Within the next few years I really hope she learns how to fold a greeting card and put it in a clear sleeve so we can move our packaging along faster :) Ha ha! I want her to see what it means to really put her heart into something and to believe in it fully. To take a chance and to surround herself with people that will support her and lift her up, so that she may do the same for them. She is a constant reminder for me to do better.

What do you see as the most important responsibility in being a female, artist, maker, and business owner?
JM: I try really hard to make myself available for those coming up behind me - to answer questions or bring them into the studio to show them around. I wouldn’t be where I am without the generosity of others and I hope to spread that around. Everything I have learned along the way I am happy to share and I feel it’s my responsibility to do so so that we can all move forward together.
Tina Ersig 
Owner & maker of Change Soap in Oxford, Michigan

Who are your female role models, both personally and professionally? How have they informed your work?
My mom is my role model!  From the time I was young, I saw her hustle and work her tail off to support my brother and I.  She was a single mom and made sure my brother and I had everything we needed, which I realize more now that I'm older.  I saw her build her business and the time, commitment, and ups and downs that came with it, but the best part was watching her succeed.  When things get rough, I think of the persistence that my mom had and it encourages me.  There have been a couple of times that I've called her crying and discouraged because things were not going the way I had planned, or something that I had my hopes set on fell through. She empowers me and gives me the confidence and motivation to push through.  She always says, "Remember WHY you started"

What was the catalyst for starting Change Soap, and what words of advice do you have for other women striving to start their own business?
My son is the reason that Change Soap exists!  When he was little, he had really sensitive skin and I would buy ointments and treatments to try to help him, but they only made it worse. One day I was giving him a bath and realized that his "gentle" baby wash was full of chemicals.  I remember being so mad that I had unknowingly been using ingredients that I couldn't even pronounce on my little guy.  I was super into Pinterest at the time and told him that I was going to learn to make soap!  It helped him, and I was hooked!

What do you see as the most important responsibility in being a female, maker, and business owner?
For me, it's to show my nine year old daughter that she can accomplish absolutely anything that she puts her mind to and works hard for, no matter what anyone else says. But that's the key, you have to be willing to work like crazy and not get discouraged, and not take your eyes off the prize.  When I started my company, there were people who thought it wouldn't become anything.  Now we're in Anthropologie, which was my dream from day one!
Marcy Davy 
Owner & artist of All Things Grow in Ypsilanti, Michigan

Marcy's quotes are from a podcast appearance on Detroit Craft Academy, you can find the full podcast episode here

Marcy on being your own boss: 
MD: The general sense of anxiety about so many things, about like, the most obvious one is where your next dollar is coming from. Having to make it all happen for yourself is so nerve-wracking all the time, always, I don’t know if that ever goes away.

Marcy on embracing political expression in her artwork:
MD: As a creative business owner It’s really hard to separate your identity from what you make. There’s always nervousness about anything you put out into the world, and how it’s going to be received, how it’s going to work for you. After the election last year, I started doing these more political prints, it was right after the inauguration. There are three designs, two of the designs are taken from protest posters that I saw at the women’s march.

Shop All Things Grow's goods...
Back to blog