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7 Gainesville Area Women Owned Businesses to Support for International Women's Day!

I had the opportunity to host a celebration for International Women's Day with local photographer Andrea Shea, celebrating unity, empowerment, diversity, and community a few weeks ago. What began as a fun idea to pour love into our local business community, quickly grew into a long term plan to continue to connect and support women in business in Gainesville through local quarterly Women in Business Meets that allow other women owned businesses to connect, network and support one another. You can join my local women empowerment group on Facebook to learn more about our next meetup in April!


In this article I will share a highlight of our campaign and the process that went into creating it. At the end of the highlight you'll find a directory style listing of the brands and women involved, why you should know each of these incredible women, and how you can support their local business.


Hosting a International Women's Day Campaign


The day started with the help of one of my best friends here, Denise, and local owner of Luxe Picnics GNV, who met me at Veterans Memorial Park to prepare a beautiful set up for us to connect with each other between photos. This setting helped set the stage for an uplifting evening of celebrating fierce female energy in our local community, and gave us yummy treats to snack on at the end of our time together.


A beautiful event setting created by Luxe Picnics GNV

We kicked off our campaign party by sharing a little bit about ourselves, as individuals and our businesses/brands and then gathered for our group photos. Andrea, generously agreed to take headshots of each of the women after the group shots, to utilize for their own brand purposes. This is a practice we intend to continue at future women in business meets. Headshots are a great way to grow your image and create a portfolio for future networking opportunities.


What's the theme for this years International Women's Day?


The goal of this particular campaign was to create an vision of unity, power, and force. This years theme for international women’s day celebrates Women’s In Leadership, achieving a equal future in a covid-19 world.


The pandemic has put pressure on many businesses; to change the way we work, and connect. Each of these women are the face of a women owned business in my local community & have adapted their business models, to achieve success, in our current state, or even overcome an obstacle that led to opening their business during this pandemic. I myself having moved to a new city a year ago, have been blessed to have connected with each of these women to collaborate, or work together in some fashion or another since relocating here.


You can check out the gallery of images below that Andrea took for us to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay 2021 !



‘THE SUCCESS OF EVERY WOMAN SHOULD BE THE INSPIRATION TO ANOTHER. WE SHOULD RAISE EACH OTHER UP. MAKE SURE YOU’RE VERY COURAGEOUS: BE STRONG, BE EXTREMELY KIND, AND ABOVE ALL, BE HUMBLE’ – SERENA WILLIAMS



Rounding out our group shots, in true "Aby" form, we had a mid session dance party so Andrea could capture an beautiful hype shot that shows the true energy of what it means to hype each other up, as we all should. If there's one piece of advice I would press upon other women interested in growing a brand, business, or even just looking to better themselves in their community, it's to help your fellow ladies out, hype each other up, and recognize that together, we are better, we can achieve more, and we can ALL win. No matter what line of work, industry or role you are in, at the end of the day, women can do more for one another, when we work together.


Most of these women had never met before this event, Can you tell?


#EmpoweredWomenEmpowerWomen



About The Brands Featured In This Campaign


Oh Hunni Skincare

Revolutionizing the skincare industry to provide high-quality handcrafted products,

Oh Hunni's health-first ingredients and effective formulas make skincare simple. Developed by Oh Hunni founder Shanna Gillard, skincare was a factor that used to be problematic for her and her family. When her son showed signs of excessive dryness, she searched for healthy solutions that wouldn't further irritate his skin. With no luck and only poorly formulated alternatives, Gillard reverted to her roots of relying on home-grown natural remedies. With local honey as the foundation for their products, Oh Hunni aims to nourish and feed the skin's natural barrier with nature's own organic medicine and is committed to producing skincare that directly benefit your skin's health and prosperity. With buzz-worthy combinations of essential oils, butters, and most importantly, local raw honey, you'll be sure to make room in your skincare routine for these incredibly rich products. Shop now www.ohhunniskincare.com


Luxe Picnics GNV


Hi! My name is Denise, I'm your local charcuterie expert, luxury picnic designer and

owner of Luxe Picnics GNV. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, I've been in Gainesville for 9 years and have loved being apart of this community. It's been my absolute pleasure to deliver luxury picnic experiences to Gainesville, Florida residents, and beyond since launching in Late January. At LPG we create custom experiences that allow you to enjoy time with your love ones, with adds on like an painting experience for two, charcuterie boards, games, photo shoot and local specialty treats. This business was born out of my passion for aesthetics, hosting events, creating lasting memories, and with the support of my friends. I’ve had an incredible response of support despite launching this business during a global pandemic, and am excited to continuing to grow my business and build my community of luxury picnic lovers in #gainesvilleflorida. I look forward to creating a luxury picnic experience for you and your loved ones! You can book LPG for your next luxury picnic or inquire about custom events or charcuterie needs at www.luxepicnicsgnv.com



Dash Designs, LLC

Desireé Santana, Owner and Operator

DASH Designs, LLC – Founded in 2017

Dash Designs can be found directly on Facebook. Every order is made-to-order and because of this, there is not a catalogue to choose or order from; however, that also means your wildest dreams are attainable here at DASH Designs. We specialize in both sublimation and vinyl for personalized and custom creations. This extends to, but is not limited to - photo blankets, Diaper cakes and designs, drinkware, clothing (shirts, socks, etc.,) coasters, cutting boards, and MORE! We truly offer a wide range for all needs.


You can visit our Facebook page for reviews, past work and inspiration, or send over your thoughts, ideas, and visions via email, messenger, or text, and our team will make it a reality. You can place an order by emailing us at DASHDesignsFL@gmail.com, via Facebook messenger or Instagram, or by text: 386-334-7182.



Pasta By Pollio


"After losing my successful 5 year career in New York City as an Event Manager for the

largest Event Technology/production company in the world due to COVID, it felt as though my world turned upside down. Little did I know, a far brighter door was waiting for me. I re-routed my life & moved down to Florida to live with my other half. That’s when Pasta by Pollio was born. I bring joy, love, heart & heritage throughout North Central Florida with my hands on, love filled, pasta making courses. Being a first generation Italian American, using my families 100+ year old recipes and simplistic methods is what feels right at home to me. Though my courses are centered around teaching others how to make pasta & authentic ravioli, my courses always turn out to be so so much more & deeper than what meets the eye. It is about letting go, getting small groups of loved ones, family, friends, children together to remove all of the outside “noise”, have an amazing time of laughs & love all around , the true Italian way.


Each amazing human I have had the immense pleasure of meeting in opening this business has truly opened my eyes & realm to new lessons and worlds. I am beyond grateful that Pasta by Pollio has become my new full time path, and I so look forward to what is on the horizon. Prior to my career in New York City, I attended the Zeigler College of Business at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and received my BSBA in a dual major of Business Management & Marketing.


When one door closes, a bigger, brighter door awaits.” - Owner, Elena


You can book your next in home date night, family cooking night or pasta workshop for a group with Elena at www.pasta by polio.com


PXSSY Powers


Andrea Powers, Owner of Pxssy Powers llc. Esthetician (since 2019) and birthing doula (since 2016), specializing in full body waxing and vaginal steaming. I strive to help people accomplish their goals when it comes to their most intimate places. The taboo parts of the human body that nobody really talks about, we talk about at Pxssy Powers. I have helped families achieve their goals of conceiving naturally through herbal steaming and I’ve assisted as a doula to help comfort mothers in their most difficult parts of labor. For inquiries regarding full body waxing, facials, vaginal steaming, or doula services. Contact me at: Pxssypowerllc@yahoo.com




Andrea Shea Photography


"My passion lies in using images + an adventurous photoshoot experience to capture tender moments of self-love & overlooked love. I believe all women & mothers, of every age & shape, deserve to feel empowered, beautiful & confident.

I create safe spaces and powerful experiences for people to express themselves or tell their stories through a lens. “


Andrea is a PHENOMENAL photographer, human, and collaborator. I’ve only known her a short time but she truly finds the root of your story to tell, and allows it to shine through and she hasn’t told me my ideas are crazy yet or that it can’t be done. She also just celebrated a birthday yesterday so happy birthday beautiful! Thank you for connecting with me and believing in my vision and helping bringing it to life. So excited to continue to partner with you for women empowerment in Gainesville!



Love Of Beauty Bar


Affectionately known as ​“The Purpose Pusher” ​ShawanaV (@itsmeshawanav) is a motivational firebrand that helps women successfully navigate the crossroads in the beauty, complexity, and awesomeness of speaking their truth.

With an expertise in female motivation and over 10 years of freelance beauty experience, her mission has evolved, as she encourages, motivates, and challenges others through her blog & brand, “Hello Purpose” at ShawanaV.com and seamlessly integrates the relationship between art and life through the intricate, transformative stories that she shares on her live broadcasts “Makeup & Ministry”.


ShawanaV shows the power of affirming what you want in life and walking on purpose, on purpose. Recently celebrating her one year anniversary as a full time entrepreneur as the CEO of Love of Beauty Bar (@loveofbeautybar). As a Celebrity and Pro Makeup Artist and Licensed Esthetician, her services include that of facials and skin corrective services, full body waxing, and makeup services. She enjoys inspiring , empowering and motivating women through her services. It’s more than just providing services but changing lives. “


A Special Thank You to Andrea Shea, Friend, Co-Collaborater, Photographer, for generously donating her time to make this campaign possible.


If you enjoyed this article please share it to your Facebook page and tag @abyinreallife or comment below letting me know what business you're excited to check out!

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