This June, we’re celebrating Pride Month by spotlighting LGBTQIA-owned brands on RangeMe. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. Supporting and shopping queer-owned brands and retailers is one way to counteract the disproportionate platform granted to non-minority-owned businesses. There are countless LGBTQ-owned businesses that you can support during and beyond Pride Month.
Ahead are four LGBTQ-owned brands with innovative products and inspiring stories! Read on to hear how being part of a diverse community has supported their business goals.
Apothecary by Dr Botanicals
Apothecary by Dr Botanicals is an indie beauty brand from London, formulating natural and vegan ingredients to create skincare products. Dr Botanicals was founded by Richard Walker, who was greatly inspired by his father, a chemist responsible for constructing a new treatment of plant botanicals in 1958. As a trusted natural botanicals brand, they insist on NO parabens, NO harmful preservations, and NO animal testing.
“Dr Botanicals Skincare is fabulously proud to be gay-owned and -operated,” emphasizes Walker. “We love the LGBTQ+ community, which embraces respect, community, and individuality.” Dr Botanicals has received tremendous support from the LGBTQ+ community and shows appreciation by giving back. During their Pride Edition Lemon Butter campaigns, they donate a portion of sales to LGBTQ+ charities including Stonewall and True Colors.
Walker advises fellow Queer entrepreneurs, “Don’t be afraid to embrace who you are and incorporate it into your brand or business.” Being LGBTQ+ today is meant to be easier, but for many people, the stigma and social pressures are more intense than ever but there is a large support system in the CPG industry that continues to grow.
“RangeMe is a great source for buyers to find brands and an amazing platform for brands to get more exposure. We have submitted products to various retail buyers that we couldn’t reach before.”Richard Walker, Founder, Apothecary by Dr Botanicals
Are you a buyer? Check out Apothecary by Dr Botanicals on RangeMe here.
Empower BodyCare Founder and CEO, Trista Okel, began making CBD-infused topical products in late 2004 for her mom, who suffers from severe arthritis. While doctors prescribed opiates, Okel wanted to aid her mom’s pain in a more safe and natural way. She got to work and created Empower BodyCare, a health and wellness brand focusing on hemp-derived CBD products. After many years of perfecting, Empower BodyCare now carries a wide range of CBD topical solutions such as lotions, soaking salts, oils, and CBD drops that come in original strength and extra strength
As a minority business owner, giving back is important to Okel, but receiving help in return was no easy feat. “I was told by an investment professional that people invest in people who look like them,” she explains. While doing further research, she discovered that “less than 1% of businesses with LGBTQ+ leadership receive venture capital funding.” While the investment would have given them an advantage, Empower BodyCare is still succeeding on their own.
Okel and her wife are “Out and proud at Empower” and are honored to be certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Empower BodyCare got the certification to help influence LGBTQ+ customers and allies to be proud to be themselves. “I now serve as a board member at my local LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce and do the site visits for NGLCC in my community,” Okel concludes.
“RangeMe is an excellent platform to communicate with retailers and grow our business within retail chains. We monitor RangeMe for new opportunities regularly. It’s a great way to build our B2B business all on one platform.”Trista Okel, Founder and CEO, Empower BodyCare
Are you a buyer looking to expand your LGBTQ supplier assortment? Discover Empower BodyCare on RangeMe here.
Punk Ass Vegan
Krista Martynes has spent her life as a world traveler and a classical musician gone rogue. After performing at a festival in Western Australia as a professional clarinet artist, she decided to make a pit stop in Bali. This short visit ended up lasting eight years and during this time Martynes learned that she had Thalassemia, a blood disorder that affects the way food is digested. After learning this, her interest in healthy foods, supplements, and oils became even more of a priority to try to heal her body which led her to Portugal where she started her own business to achieve a Visa.
After drinking a glass of Portuguese wine and eating a lovely meal on the beach, her brand name was born–Punk Ass Vegan, a collection of over 20 premium vegan cookbooks. “From there, it was just fun and magic,” Martynes says. Punk Ass Vegan cookbooks encourage the use of more sustainable dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan products along with guides to the health benefits of different ingredients.
As an entrepreneur in the LGBTQ+ community, Martynes has the goal to provide education around well-being to every person, race, culture, religion, and world-view without bias. “Normalizing respect for individual personal identity is a beautiful pattern unfolding in business,” she explains. “We are constantly making sure we are integrating and embracing a vast point of view.” For her, getting NGLCC certified was a very simple and easy application process. She describes that the NGLCC has “amazing benefits and helps me understand what it truly means to be a LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.”
“As part of my retail strategy, I love connecting with as many buyers as possible on RangeMe. It’s a fun place to be!”Krista Martynes, Owner, Punk Ass Vegan
Are you a buyer on RangeMe? Browse Punk Ass Vegan on RangeMe here.
Treecraft Distillery makes small batch craft spirits using fresh, natural, and locally sourced ingredients to create the perfect grain-to-glass gin, vodka, rum, and whiskey. They extend their efforts to their private label projects, ready-to-drink craft cocktails, house-made tonic water, mixers, and bitters. For Founders Gordon Rempel and Nate Byerly, “grain-to-glass” is an ethos, not a tagline, sourcing all their raw materials within a 100-mile radius of their distillery on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay.
Co-Founders, Nate Byerly and Gordon Rempel
Their story began in 2013 when Byerly discovered a mini-Alembic still (a historical apparatus used for distillation of liquids) on Amazon. Enamored, Rempel offered Byerly his 1932 treehouse in Sonoma to pursue his new passion. Eight years later, armed with a certificate from the Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky, and countless hours at the still, Byerly consistently crafts award-winning whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka from a 500-gallon custom copper pot still. Their methods of distilling are as unique and inspiring as their flavors.
As one of only two certified LGBTQ-owned and operated distilleries in the United States, Treecraft Distillery celebrates diversity and are a proud certified member of the NGLCC. As business owners, Rempel and Byerly understand the LGBTQ+ community is disproportionately under-represented. Thus, the two regularly take action to have a positive influence on their community. The process of becoming NGLCC certified was thorough. “We had to show examples of our commitment to the community along with endorsements from other members of the community and a myriad of other documents and verifications,” describes Rempel. By joining the NGLCC, Treecraft Distillery has gained access to thousands of resources that connect them to other Queer entrepreneurs, potential customers, and business partners.
“We are new to RangeMe but we have already used the platform to help us with creating a competitive pricing strategy. We have also used it to gain access to potential “big box” retailer customers that we previously did not have access to.”Gordon Remepel, Co-Founder, Treecraft Distillery
Looking to add craft spirits to your assortment? Browse Treecraft Distillery products on RangeMe here.
We’re honored to have the opportunity to promote these LGBTQ-owned brands and share their products and stories. In celebration of Pride Month and our ongoing commitment to diversity, RangeMe created an LGBTQ-Owned Businesses Collection showcasing all LGBTQ-owned brands and their products to retail buyers on RangeMe.