Women-Owned Wednesday (#WOWDay) is the brainchild of Corielle Heath Laaspere, founder of the liftUPlift Makers Alliance, a Chicago-based e-commerce site for women makers and artisans from around the world.

Held the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, WOWDay is a chance for shoppers to support women-owned businesses, including those within the liftUPlift alliance.

For shoppers, participation is easy, according to liftUPlift:

  1. On November 23, go to www.liftUPlift.com to shop directly from women makers around the world, all in one marketplace!
  2. Browse #WomenOwnedWednesday on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, to find brilliant gift ideas and holiday deals from women-owned businesses all over the web.
  3. Know a woman making a great product? Share this page to make sure she knows about WOW!

Now you know where to shop, but if you’re struggling with what to buy, Rebellious Magazine & liftUPlift have partnered with GiftOn for some ideas. GiftOn is a Chicago-based, woman-led online community that inspires gift ideas through real-life gift stories. The site is launching his holiday season and wants shoppers to visit www.letsgifton.com to “join the happiest community on the web and get inspired at every gifting occasion throughout the year.” GiftOn is also on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Two of GiftOn’s real-life stories: 

“I’m part of a group of close female friends who are all busy professional women in different careers. We call ourselves the ‘JERCCS’ (pronounced ‘jerks’) – derived from the first initials of each of our first names. We get together several times per year, especially to exchange gifts for birthdays and holidays. Since it’s a group, you tend to get the same thing for every person.

Heshima Kenya has these beautiful, large, soft, hand-dyed scarves which I had seen my daughter wearing, and which she had given me as a Christmas gift. I knew my girlfriends would all love the scarves, because – I love my scarf! I can wear it many different ways because of its large size, and the beautiful multicolor look matches several outfits.

I was able to go online and find scarves that matched each woman’s look and personality to give on each of their birthdays throughout the year. For example, the redhead in the group loves olive greens and golds, so she got the olive green scarf. Another who loves purple got a purple and pink scarf.

The final thing that touched all of our hearts is that, when you get a scarf, you also get a note from a young woman – on colored construction paper that she wrote in her own handwriting and signed – that explains how this particular purchase, this scarf, was helping pay for her education and supporting her family in Africa. This adds a special touch for women helping other women all over the world, especially when compared to a store-bought scarf. I have three of these scarves myself now, and I saved the notes from each of them.

The scarves were very very popular with the ‘JERCCS’ and now that it’s getting colder in Chicago, I expect to see them all wearing these scarves in the near future.”

– Cindy Heath

My best friend got us Pocket Poppet jackets for being bridesmaids in her wedding. It was a very exciting gift to receive, honestly, it was perfect. Going over to Cinque Terre for the wedding and not knowing what the weather would be by the water, it was so great to have the Pocket Poppet because it takes up literally no space and all of us could wear it over our dresses at night to stay warm. Also, since all of the bridesmaid dresses were different (they were all blue but different blues), this gave us something to unite us all. It was such a perfect find.

Having it on the plane was perfect, too. I always get really cold on planes, and I wasn’t cold at all having this as my jacket. The Pocket Poppet itself all fits into this little wristlet-sized pocket (that you can use almost as a plane pillow). When you unfold it, the pocket it all fits into hides away in the back of the jacket, and it has just enough room to put your passport, ID, credit card, and anything else you need. It’s perfectly designed because it’s flat against your back and secure, so no one would ever notice that it’s all back there. It’s like having an extra little purse that folds out into a jacket.

You would think it would get wrinkly being folded up in this little pocket pouch, but I’ve never had a problem with it getting wrinkly. I stuff it in, then pull it out and it’s ready to go. I’ve worn it a lot since the wedding, and I know that all of the other bridesmaids loved it as well. One of the girls thought it was super convenient to wear for work, and would go well with high-waisted pants or a pencil skirt. I saw another girl recently wearing it, too. Personally, I like that I can wear it casually with jeans and a tank top or while dressed up. I was just at a wedding this past weekend, and I wore this as a jacket for that, too. It’ s nice to have that multi-feature.

This is one of my favorite accessories in my closet. It means so much to me that I can always think about the fact that this was my gift from my best friend from her wedding. It’s also fun to have something different. A lot of times when you’re in weddings, you tend to get jewelry from the bride that’s either too fancy to wear every day, or that doesn’t quite go with everything. Having something a little different that wasn’t your typical bridesmaids’ gift made it even better. I had never been to a destination wedding before, and having this all be part of my best friend’s wedding made this an experience I’ll never forget. – Rachel Jones

Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...

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