July 11, 2020

The Women’s Creative promotes local businesses

As the leaves change color and the breeze gets cooler, The Women’s Creative plans an event to warm the Webster community. The Women’s Creative is a movement of women-owned businesses that utilizes spaces where they can network and sell their products and goods. Co-creator Megan Rohall helped plan the upcoming event, Cozy, which is free public in Downtown Webster on October, 24.

People shop and network with vendors at Harvest, another pop-up event by The Women’s Creative. Photo contributed by The Women’s Creative.

“We wanted to bring this smaller themed market to Webster Groves and show the community what The Women’s Creative is about,” Rohall said.

Three years ago, The Women’s Creative began as a series of pop-up shops. The movement has grown into a resource space for female brands, hosting quarterly marketplaces at the Palladium Saint Louis and smaller marketplace events, like Cozy, in different parts of St. Louis. 

Cozy is a seasonal themed market promoting fall goods and the idea of spending time with loved ones. 

Cristin Rae Knits crochets blankets and knitted home decor. Argaman&Defiance creates hand-dyed clothing and wraps. Practice Designs makes paper goods catered to the autumn theme. Paisley Boutique is in Webster Groves, near the site of the upcoming Cozy event.

“It was like a spark that really took off and went full frame from this pop up series because there were so many women coming out and showing interest in being a part of it.” Rohall said.

Rohall said the movement grew from smaller pop-ups of 10 to 15 vendors and later grew to 35 vendors. At a point, there were over 150 business applicants per pop-up. 

Now, the network includes over 600 female businesses in St. Louis alone. 

The Women’s Creative is run by three co-creators that split their roles into planning event productions, working with brands for the collective, and building their network. They select a mix of different vendors depending on their potential of the work, quality, and what the vendors create.

“The more we saw these female brands, the more that we saw an opportunity to grow and showcase these women and give them a place to sell their goods,” Rohall said.

Former Webster Student Jordain Green helps with promotion for the The Women’s Creative, but also has attended some events as shopper.

Green said that some brands are online only, meaning they do not have a place to vend their products and events like Cozy help give these brands more exposure.

Rohall said that she has heard many stories of women talking with other like-minded women and bounce ideas off each other at these events. Rohall said the movement emphasizes inclusivity and community togetherness.

Once people network, opportunities can arise. 

Green helps part time for The Women’s Creative. Green said she has seen how women business owners come together because of this movement. 

“It can get really lonely trying to run your business, or if you need help you can ask one of the ladies you connect with in The Women’s Creative.” said Green

Similar to Green, Webster student Carla Haines said she is an advocate for shopping locally and for women owned businesses. Haines has not attended the group’s events before, but Cozy popped up on her Facebook news feed and the event catered to her interests.

“It’s empowering that we get to experience events like these because we don’t get many events that are specifically for women,” said Haines. “And it’s cool that they’re all local in St. Louis. It’s bringing together a community that we didn’t know existed.”

According to Haines, an event like Cozy strays away from individualism. Haines said that attending a local market gives people the opportunity to interact with other members of the community, instead of running out of resources and separating ourselves.

“We focus too much on ourselves and the convenience of resources around us,” said Haines.

Haines said that she thinks it would be a great opportunity for fellow students to come to the event since it’s located in Old Webster.

“You just never know what can happen from a conversation because you could meet somebody who knows somebody that could be down the road of the field you’re wanting to pursue.” said Rohall.

Similarly, Rohall said that she encourages college students or younger crowds to come to the event because they are always welcome within the The Women’s Creative.

After her time at Webster, Green helped find sponsorships and took photos for The Women’s Creative. Later she took event photos, edited video and filmed vlogs for the local businesses that network with The Women’s Creative.

“You don’t have to be a seasoned, well-established business to come check us out. We get all walks of entrepreneurs and we really do push that we’re diverse and inclusive no matter how old you are, what stage you are at, come talk to us.”

Although based in St. Louis, The Women’s Creative plans to expand out of St. Louis. More events and meetups can be found on its website and social media. People who are interested in twinkly lights and festive decor can show up at Cozy at Rolling Ridge Nursery on 60 North Gore Avenue from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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