Happy International Women’s Day! Today we celebrate women. All women of all ages and backgrounds. Achievements, wins, and successes. Today, especially, we’re reminded to uplift women.
There are several ways you can honor and celebrate International Women’s Day, which is an achievement in and of itself. One way we’re celebrating is by highlighting 10 courageous, driven, intrinsically-motivated-to-make-a-difference women who own and operate their own businesses out of their homes in Alexandria, Virginia.
I like to call them ladypreneurs. You’ll notice every woman on this list has ‘founder’ and ‘owner’ in their title. They’ve each taken something they love, something they are passionate about and exceptional at, and turned it into a business.
When you’re a one-person business, you’re not “just” the owner or “just” the creator. In a one-person business, you wear multiple hats. Or really, all of the hats. Yes founder, owner, and creator. Also marketer, customer service representative, accountant, social media manager, project manager, administrative assistant, website manager, email marketer, designer…the list goes on.
In short, these women do it all. They hustle and innovate and educate so that they can fulfill the needs of those around them. Kudos, ladies. And thank you for all you do.
Bianca Del Cid, White Lily Shoppe
Vegan + cruelty-free high quality skincare
Ladypreneur: Bianca Del Cid, founder, owner, + clean product creator
About her business: White Lily Shoppe’s mission is, “to help you send easy, thoughtful gifts with our all-natural skincare gift boxes that give back to our communities.” The Shoppe features effective and clean high-quality skin care products — soaps, scrubs, body polish, and more. Bianca has created a business that combines soap making, gifting, and giving back to her community.
About her: Bianca is the daughter of hard-working Central American immigrants who taught her dedication and grit. She’s a single mom. She is passionate about making the world a better place, contributing to her local community, and gifting with a purpose.
Where to find: Visit the White Lily Shoppe online at whitelilyshoppe.com. Products ship nationwide.
Other ways to support: Share self-care gift boxes with your family and friends.
Fun fact: White Lily Shoppe donates 10% of all gift box proceeds to organizations in our community.
Catherine Soltes, Lily’s Flower Truck
Mobile flower truck
Ladypreneur: Catherine Soltes, founder, owner, + flower expert
About her business: Lily’s Flower Truck, named after Catherine’s dog, has grown into a fleet of two flower trucks that travel around the Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland area. Catherine offers build-your-own bouquets, workshops, and floral delivery.
About her: Catherine has a passion for spreading happiness. Her dog Lily (who the trucks are named after) can often be found at the floral pop-ups greeting guests.
Where to find: Visit lilysflowertruck.com to order flowers and to see the latest truck schedule.
Other ways to support: Lily’s Flower Truck is available for classes and private events.
Fun fact: A portion of Lily’s Flower Truck profits support local animal shelters.
Erin Bell, ISO Candles
Hand crafted soy wax candles
Ladypreneur: Erin Bell, founder, owner, + expert candle creator
About her business: ISO candles are hand poured scented soy wax candles. Erin creates dozens of scents, organized in collections, including ISO Adventure, Floral Market, Sweet Tooth, For Him, and many more. When you buy a candle, a portion of all sales are donated to different organizations, including ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, Dartmouth Hitchcock Health, and many others.
About her: Erin gets indescribable joy from making and giving candles. She is a College of Charleston alum, and soon-to-be mama.
Where to find: Visit isocandles.com to browse the variety of scents. Products are available for local pickup and delivery, as well as nationwide shipping.
Other ways to support: You can also find Erin’s candles in local shops, including Salon deZEN, Pawsh Dog Wash, Shop Made in VA, and Made in ALX.
Fun fact: Erin’s business name, ISO, has two meanings. The first is that ISO is a camera setting, a nod to her love of photography. The second is that it stands for “in search of” — a dedication to her continual drive to search for new adventures in life.
Igda Warner, Igda Warner Photography
High-quality, beautiful photography
Ladypreneur: Igda Warner, founder, owner, + photographer
About her business: Igda Warner Photography captures high-quality, beautiful photographs that create a lasting impression. With extensive experience in portrait, lifestyle, family, branding, promotion, and more, she has the ability to deliver exceptional photographs while also making her clients feel comfortable and have fun throughout the shoot.
About her: When she was a child, Igda and her family fled the former Yugoslavia for Germany during the Balkan war. Then in 1999, they immigrated to the United States. Many of Igda’s childhood memories are preserved through the photographs that survived her journey. She is passionate about the power of photographs to capture a moment and create memories.
Where to find: Igda schedules photo sessions through her website at igdawarner.com.
Other ways to support: Know a friend, restaurant, or family member who may be interested in professional photos? Refer them to Igda.
Fun fact: Igda can often be spotted capturing moments around Old Town, Alexandria. Say hello if you see her!
Katie Burke, Port City Flowers
Micro flower farm
Ladypreneur: Kathryn (Katie) Santerre Burke, founder, owner, + lead farmer
About her business: Katie maintains flowers at her home in Del Ray, Virginia both indoors and outdoors, depending on what’s best for each variety, and manages the schedules to maximize the space and produce a variety of flowers from spring through fall. She has the magic touch to create beautiful blooms while completely brightening your day. She grows tulips, ranunculus, anemones, dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers, and so much more. “We feel strongly about our mission to provide locally sourced and sustainably grown flowers throughout the growing season and spread the joy,” says Katie on her website.
About her: Katie has been gardening since she was a kid. She comes from a long line of skilled gardeners. Her grandfather “Poppy” had an iconic garden, and her father continued to manage that garden. Now, Katie and her husband Danny maintain several small flower gardens.
Where to find: Find Katie weekly on Saturdays at the Del Ray Farmers’ Market and on Sundays at the Old Town North Farmers’ Market. You can also order flowers for pickup or local Alexandria delivery at portcityflowers.com.
Other ways to support: Port City Flowers offers CSA flower subscriptions. Katie’s flower cart is also available to rent for private events.
Fun fact: Katie has a Masters of Science degree in Marketing from Boston University and has been employed in corporate law firm marketing for more than a decade.
Lainie King, OhhSoyGoodness
Hand-poured natural soy candles
Ladypreneur: Lainie King, founder, owner, + expert candle creator
About her business: Lainie + OhhSoyGoodness’s mission is to “bring comfort, love, and aromatic goodness to as many homes as possible.” Each hand-poured, eco-friendly and natural candle has a clean minimalist aesthetic. Candle scents include Signature scents available year-round, like Coffee House and Capri, as well as seasonal scents like Cherry Blossom (spring) and Tree Farm (winter).
About her: Lainie loves candles. She loves gifting candles and making candles for others. Plus, she’s a mom of two, loves traveling, and sunshine.
Where to find: Visit ohhsoygoodness.com to browse the candle scents, reed diffusers, and more. Products ship nationwide.
Other ways to support: Lainie does popup events. Keep an eye on her events page and Instagram for the latest.
Fun fact: All candles are made from natural soy wax, phthalate free fragrance oils + lead and zinc-free cotton wick. They are vegan-friendly.
Lisa Reeves, Scuttlebutt BakeShop
Unique treats crafted with creativity
Ladypreneur: Lisa Reeves, founder, owner, + baker
About her business: Scuttlebutt BakeShop bakes unique treats utilizing high-quality ingredients infused with creativity. Lisa’s menu has fun cookie flavors like The Dandyfunk, Jumbo S’mores Cookie Pie, Pride Cookie, and more. Plus vegan cinbuns, granola, and dog treats.
About her: When she’s not baking, Lisa is the Running Race Director at Pacers. “As an LGBTQIA+ Race Director I do everything in my power to create a safe environment, and a community to connect with others who are like-minded with similar life experiences.” Lisa said in an interview with Pacers.
Where to find: Visit scuttlebuttbakeshop.com to browse the menu and place an order. Treats are available for delivery and shipping.
Other ways to support: Find Scuttlebutt weekly on Saturdays at the Del Ray Farmers’ Market.
Fun fact: Lisa donates 20% of all sales of her Pride Cookies to Casa Ruby.
Melanie Idler, Watermelan Designs
Hand crafted fun, beautiful jewelry
Ladypreneur: Melanie Idler, founder, owner, + designer
About her business: Melanie creates beautiful jewelry that is fun and colorful using colors like pink, orange, and turquoise, as well as natural gemstones. She creates a variety of types of jewelry, including different styles of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more.
About her: Melanie is a mom of two girls, a defense contractor by day, an avid marathon runner, and of course a brilliant jewelry designer who loves color. “I think that jewelry should be fun and colorful and make you happy when you put it on” says Melanie on her website.
Where to find: Visit watermelandesigns.com to shop the full collection. Products ship nationwide, often with free shipping.
Other ways to support: You can also find some of Melanie’s jewelry at The Old Town Shop in Alexandria, VA. Additionally, you can schedule a private truck show.
Fun fact: Melanie regularly donates 10% of sales to different causes that are important to her, including the International Rescue Committee, Ukraine Red Cross, Feed the Fight, The Carpenters Shelter and Planned Parenthood.
Rachel Mastandrea, Fetching Goodies
Undetectably vegan + gluten-free baked goods
Ladypreneur: Rachel Mastandrea, founder, owner, + baker
About her business: Fetching Goodies specializes in undetectably vegan and gluten-free treats including cookie bars, cupcakes, scones, and more. Rachel strives to provide you with delicious, unique baked goods so that you can treat yourself and surprise and delight those around you. Plus, Rachel offers cookie bars with custom labels for weddings, baby/bridal showers, birthdays and more.
About her: Rachel has been baking for others for over 20 years and gets pure joy from the smiles that a sweet treat or surprise can create. In addition to baking, she is a lover of running, finding hidden gem food + beverage spots, the beach, red wine, and dairy-free brownie sundaes.
Where to find: Visit FetchingGoodies.com to browse Rachel’s menu of flavors. She also does monthly variety boxes that offer four different Goodies flavors in 4-packs and 12-packs, which are a fun way to try multiple flavors. All orders are for pickup in Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia.
Other ways to support: Rachel also does monthly pop-up events at the Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market, and more. Check her Instagram for the latest.
Fun fact: Fetching Goodies originally started as a food blog in 2010 called thefetchingfoodie.com that focused on recipes and local food + beverage media coverage. Though that website is no longer updated, it is still active as a source of inspiration.
Rebecca Underly, The Del Ray Cookie Company
Custom decorated cookies
Ladypreneur: Rebecca Underly, founder, owner, + pastry chef
About her business: The Del Ray Cookie Company is a boutique cookie bakery that bakes and decorates custom cookies for clients. Rebecca also offers cake pops, cocktail pops, cakesicles, fancy pretzels, rice krispy treats, and hand-rolled truffles.
About her: Rebecca is a professionally trained chef with both a pastry arts degree and culinary degree from L’Academie de Cuisine. In addition to creating cookies, Rebecca has extensive experience baking cakes and all sorts of pastry, and even worked as a Pastry Chef at The Blaire House, the President’s guest house.
Where to find: Visit delraycookie.com to browse all of Rebecca’s offerings and place a pre-order. All orders are for pickup in Del Ray, Alexandria, Virginia.
Other ways to support: Rebecca’s cookies are each a work of art. When you order, make sure to show off your beautiful creation.
Fun fact: Prior to specializing in cookies, Rebecca made cakes and cake pops as part of her previous business, The Del Ray Cakery.
Sloane Hill, Rolling Sloanes Bakery
Rock ‘n’ roll bakery
Ladypreneur: Sloane Hill, founder, owner, + baker
About her business: Rolling Sloanes is a rock ‘n’ roll bakery inspired by music, love, and creativity. Sloane creates fun + innovative treats like pop tarts, breads, cakes, pies, cookies, scones, and more.
About her: Sloane is a lover of baking and believes “we all deserve to treat ourselves” as she says on her website. She’s a classically trained pastry chef who infuses creativity in all that she creates. Plus, she’s a mama (with another little one on the way.)
Where to find: Find Rolling Sloanes weekly on Saturdays at the Del Ray Farmers’ Market, and most Sunday mornings at her home bakery on Leslie Avenue.
Other ways to support: Sloane often posts available bakes on Instagram, and takes special orders too at rollingsloanesbakery.com.
Fun fact: Sloane has a beautiful, unique cart to display her creations. You can find it at the Farmers’ Market and her home pop-ups.
In addition to this incredible group of women, there are many more not on this list. Do you know another woman-owned home-based business in Alexandria, VA? Email me at email@example.com— I’d love to add them to give as many women as possible the spotlight they deserve! Let’s create the ultimate list, shall we?
Happy International Women’s Day. May this be the reminder to celebrate women, today + all days.