As a women-owned and run business, Tayybeh is committed to showcasing and celebrating the incredible contributions that women make to all industries and societies–throughout history. Since February is Women’s History Month in Canada, U.S., Australia, and the UK, it is time to celebrate the amazing contributions that diverse women make to society. Wondering what Women’s History Month in Canada is, and why we celebrate it? Read below to learn more about this landmark occasion and to find out about 10 incredible women-owned businesses in BC that you should support!
Women’s History Month in Canada
In 1992, the Government of Canada decided that October would be Women’s History Month in Canada. You may wonder, why is Women’s History Month in October in Canada when other countries celebrate it in March. It was in October of 1929 that women were first eligible to join the Senate after being declared to be ‘persons’ under the law (yes, that was as recent as the 1900s!). October was chosen to commemorate this big leap forward for women.
Why Do We Celebrate Women’s History Month?
Women’s History Month in Canada was a result of a campaign initiated by a group of women from Victoria, BC. They wanted to encourage learning and appreciation of the contributions that women have made throughout Canadian history.
It’s important to highlight the trailblazers who had valuable influences on science, politics, culture, and the arts throughout the years. But it’s also a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about women who are making our society a better place today. There are many brilliant, creative, and talented women doing things that deserve to be recognized and celebrated.
10 Women-Owned Businesses in BC
In solidarity with our fellow women-owned businesses, we’d like to use this Women’s History Month 2023 to highlight some of our favourite women’s businesses, just as we did forWomen’s History Month 2021.When one of us succeeds, we all succeed! Here are ten women-led businesses you need to know and support whenever you can. Not only are they stellar what they do, think of the odds they had to overcome to become so incredible and successful.
1. Good to Grow
As any food entrepreneur knows, it’s incredibly helpful to have the support of experienced mentors when you’re first starting out. Good to Grow is a business incubator that supports food businesses across British Columbia. Their mentorship, support, and advocacy for small businesses have helped many businesses thrive, including Tayybeh.
Founder Andrea Gray-Grant has been a mentor to Tayybeh from the very beginning, supporting and championing our start-up from day one. As a woman-led business that supports other up-and-coming women entrepreneurs in the food industry, Good to Grow embodies what Women’s History Month in Canada is all about! Thank you Andrea for everything you do! <3
2. Massy Books
This 100% Indigenous-owned and operated bookstore is in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. A funky, cool, and inviting space, it offers a variety of titles to choose from, from new releases to rare, out-of-print books. They offer a large selection of books about Indigenous culture written by Indigenous authors. This incredible bookstore doubles as a community event space and has an art gallery upstairs that features the work of emerging community artists. At a time when bookstores have become giant mainstream operations, Massy Books goes against the grain by uplifting the works of alternative writers.
3. Soumak Boutique
This unique business promotes Middle Eastern culture through the medium of handmade, sustainable products that are as beautiful as they are practical. Established by Rasha and Elvira in 2021, this new business is making waves by showcasing the rich culture and handicrafts of the Middle East and North Africa as well as reviving traditional heritage of handicraft. As another business born from the desire to support refugee women and girls from Syria, Tayybeh is a big fan of Soumak Boutique!
This innovative afro-vegan business reimagines African cuisine in a way that allows the diaspora to connect back to their roots through delicious plant-based nourishment. Kula Kitchen is close to our hearts, as founder Asha is a good friend of Tayybeh. Kula is not only a woman-owned business but is also one of the very few Black and African-owned food businesses in British Columbia. Asha and her team are changing the culinary map of BC by promoting vegan African food, and we support her and other black entrepreneurs as they continue to make an undeniable impact on the local food scene and the larger community.
5. To Live For
This fully vegan business was founded by our dear friend and vegan influencer Erin Ireland. Erin is at the forefront of the vegan movement and is known for offering cruelty-free, delicious alternatives to factory-farm-laden baked goods found on most shelves. We’d like to congratulate To Live For on their newly opened storefront and encourage you to pay them a visit for some scrumptious baked goods!
6. Sḵwálwen Botanicals
You’ve seen some plant-based dietary options on this list of women-owned businesses, and now you have an Indigenous woman-led plant-based beauty option too! Sḵwálwen is a skincare line crafted from respectfully harvested botanicals and made in small batches in accordance with Skwxwú7mesh cultural teachings.
If you’ve ever wondered where to get ethically produced, locally sourced tofu that’s both delicious and good for the planet, your search ends here! Oome creates simple yet delicious tofu in different flavours ready for incorporation into diverse types of cuisine, thanks to the efforts of founder Miki Talebi.
8. Quantum Care
This wellness business supports mental health and well-being through neuroscience-based coaching, educational workshops, therapeutic classes, speaking engagements, and more. Led by two phenomenally inspiring women–Eda (from Turkey) and Masa (from Syria)--we are thrilled about the incredible work they are doing to support and uplift everyone in their workplaces and their day-to-day lives by helping them find their equilibrium. Quantum Care’s work is especially meaningful and impactful for our communities during these challenging times.
9. Three Sisters by Emma
This Indigenous woman-led jewellery business blends traditional Métis crafting techniques with modern designs and colours to produce unique and beautiful heirlooms. The founder, Emma, created her business out of a love for beading, fashion, and sisterhood. Women’s History Month in Canada is all about sisterhood and uplifting other women, so check this business out!
This zero-waste store in Vancouver offers a range of products that you would find in any grocery store, except without plastic or other packaging! They make it easy for you to reduce your environmental footprint by bringing your own containers, renting jars, or using free upcycled containers to take home your goods, whether it is fresh produce, baked goods, dairy products, cleaning supplies, personal care items, and more! We may be a bit biased since they carry some of Tayybeh’s best-selling dips, but we would be big supporters of this women-led business regardless thanks to their mission to make shopping more sustainable.
FAQs About Women’s History Month in Canada
Is March Women’s History Month in Canada?
Technically, Women’s History Month in Canada is in October. But, given that it’s Women’s History Month in the U.S., Australia, and the UK in March and since we recently celebrated International Women’s Day, we figured it’s a good a time as any to highlight some great women-led businesses!
Why is Women’s History Month in October?
The Canadian government designated October as Women’s History Month in Canada to commemorate women officially being recognized as “persons” under the law on October 18, 1929.
Final Thoughts on Women’s History Month in Canada
As a business that has a mission to empower newcomer women and offers opportunities for employment, income generation, and social integration through the creation of delicious food, Tayybeh is thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month in Canada by shining a spotlight on all the incredible women making history through their own unique ways. May we continue to grow and support one another while uplifting those of us in need.
Happy Women’s History Month to all the incredible women out there! You make the world go round!