5 Pittsburgh Women-Owned Businesses We Love
Although we often say we’re committed to giving D+ women everywhere the support they deserve, at Trusst we’re passionate about so much more than just physical comfort. Our mission is to empower women to feel beautiful and confident in their own skin. We believe you deserve a bra that actually supports you, and while that may start with creating high-tech lingerie, it doesn’t stop there. We want Trusst products to empower you to reach your goals and highest aspirations, whether they be centered around career, family, health, activism, or personal achievement.
A big part of living out this mission at our company is continuing to support other like-minded businesses. Trusst began as a small, female-led startup in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (read more about that from our amazing CEO here). Although we’ve since expanded, we’re immensely proud to still be a women-owned and -operated business, and we’re dedicated to promoting other female-owned businesses in Pittsburgh. It’s our way of giving back to the women who inspire us every day, and it’s also our way of sharing that inspiration with our Trusst community!
Today, we’re writing about five of the local, female-owned businesses we’re inspired by at Trusst. Read on to discover more:
1. love, Pittsburgh
love, Pittsburgh was founded by artists Kelly Sanders and Monica Yope in 2017. Describing themselves as “makers, small business owners, and proud Pittsburgh natives”, Kelly and Monica created love, Pittsburgh as a way of collating and selling crafts and artwork by local Pittsburgh creators.
We wanted to feature love, Pittsburgh on our blog because of Kelly and Monica’s commitment to supporting and growing their community. As they state on their website, they want their store “to connect our city’s makers to shoppers, and in turn, feed our local economy and strengthen the workforce.” They began love, Pittsburgh as a way of encouraging the growth of the burgeoning maker economy in Pittsburgh and cultivating a thriving community that connects local makers and artists to customers.
And their hard work is paying off: In just one year, love, Pittsburgh has expanded to an astounding three locations across the city and has plans to keep growing. For all things Pittsburgh-related, visit one of their three stores or shop their online store today!
The second Pittsburgh female-owned business we can’t get enough of is Moop. Founded in 2007 by CEO Wendy Downs, Moop is known for its unique, handcrafted bags. Like Trusst, Moop also operates out of a retail manufacturing space in downtown Pittsburgh. One visit to their store, which is part-warehouse, part-retail space, will have you falling in love with their carefully-crafted products and their process of creation.
According to Wendy, Moop began serendipitously: In order to save money, Wendy purchased a sewing machine to make, rather than purchase, clothing for her daughter. A botched attempt at a dress led to the creation of one of Moop’s most popular and enduring items, the Market bag. The rest is history: Over the next few years, Moop grew in size and notoriety, and when it was time to expand, Wendy chose Pittsburgh as its headquarters.
Our favorite thing about Moop is its dedication to and passion for supporting other small independent businesses. Wendy writes, “a small business that makes and sells products - working within the system that exists - affects not only herself but, everyone who supports it and wants to be changed by it.” She is passionate about sourcing high-quality raw materials -- from the canvas she uses to the lining fabric in her bags -- from other small businesses, and this passion is what drives her sales and customer loyalty. Shop her online store here or visit Moop’s Pittsburgh headquarters to purchase your own handcrafted Moop bag!
3. OATMEAL Shop
The next female-owned business we’re inspired by here in Pittsburgh is OATMEAL, a store selling handmade wares crafted by its founder Elise Birnbaum. Birnbaum states that the idea for OATMEAL came from chatting with friends over a bowl of oatmeal about the process of making things. Combining her background in studio art with her unique sense of design, Birnbaum then went on to create a series of unique, minimalist pieces out of ceramic and metal.
OATMEAL sells a variety of handmade wares, including jewelry, wall hangings, sculptural objects, and key chains. Birnbaum’s signature inspiration is a handmade ceramic knot, and many of her pieces are based around this staple shape. Our favorite things about OATMEAL are its one-of-a-kind simplicity and the traceable origins of its products: All of the materials used are selected, molded, and sold by Birnbaum herself. To shop OATMEAL, visit Birnbaum’s online store here or one of the brand’s many stockists!
4. Sister Friend
No list of Pittsburgh women-owned businesses would be complete without Sister Friend, a non-profit organization committed to fulfilling the menstrual hygiene management needs of vulnerable girls and women in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Founded in 2015 by CEO Tamara Whiting, Sister Friend distributes over 5,000 feminine hygiene products to the local community each year, in addition to partnering with other local organizations to raise awareness about feminine hygiene and provide leadership opportunities to young women in the community.
Whiting founded Sister Friend after working as an independent contractor at Bethlehem Haven, a local shelter and medical clinic for women in need. She noticed many young women lacked the ability to purchase sanitary products for themselves, leading to many of them missing school or shredding old pieces of fabric to use. Moreover, Whiting realized that most people, including educators, had little to no awareness of this issue. She stepped in to fill that gap, and Sister Friend was born.
It’s pretty evident why Sister Friend is an amazing organization. We’re so inspired by Whiting’s dedication to supporting young women across Pennsylvania, and we’re thrilled to be able to share more about her organization with you today. To donate, learn more here, and to get involved, visit their website here!
5. Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design
The final women-owned organization we’ve chosen to include on our list today is Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design. Founded by designer and artist Samantha Skelton, this store sells sculptural jewelry designed to be both delicate and industrial. Skelton uses her background in metalsmithing and sculpture to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces manipulated from metal.
Our favorite thing about Samantha is her personal approach to her business. Samantha Skelton Jewelry Design creates customized jewelry that’s crafted based entirely off of her conversations with her clients. She states, “Everything about jewelry is personal and romantic,” and she strives to bring that sense of individuality to every item she creates. If you’d like to learn more, visit her store in Lawrenceville or shop online here today!
At Trusst, we’re so excited to support and be supported by, the women around us. We wouldn’t be able to create our revolutionary bras without the help of our Pittsburgh community, and like the other organizations on this list, we’re devoted to growing and contributing to this community every day. If you know of a Pittsburgh women-owned business you’d like to see shared on our blog, send us a note and let us know today! And visit our Pittsburgh headquarters to see our female-owned business in action -- and pick up your own Trusst bra!