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  • Writer's pictureAshley Wenger

SCCF Celebrates International Women's Day

March is the month for celebrating women! Not only is it Women’s History Month, but March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to commemorating the cultural, political, and socioeconomic accomplishments of women. SCCF supports entrepreneurs from all different backgrounds, especially female-owned businesses because they are a crucial part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Shenandoah Valley. Our loan opportunities and entrepreneurial programs have supported incredible female entrepreneurs including Jessica Hall, Stephanie Duncan, Ruth Rau, and Kesha Harris.

Harmony Harvest Farms began as a flower farm in 2013, run by mother and daughter trio Chris Auville, Jessica Hall, and Stephanie Duncan. They started by doing weddings and sold to local florists. After they purchased Floral Genius, they were able to make metal flower frogs that allowed them to ship their flowers to wholesale florists across the United States. When the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic hit, it was a make-it-or-break-it time for the farm. They quickly pivoted their business model and launched a retail box called the “Happy Box,” and they immediately sold 100 boxes on the first day. Moving to a retail model saved their business and helped them thrive. In 2021 Jessica and Stephanie joined SCCF’s Startup Shenandoah Valley cohort 3 to push their business to the next level and capitalize on their growing success.

Jessica Hall Stephanie Dunan

Mouse Loves Pig was founded by Ruth Rau and is located in Winchester, VA. Mouse Loves Pig makes screen-free toys for kids, letting children get lost in their imagination for hours. The company’s award-winning, open-ended toys increase children’s independent thought and self-directed cognitive development. The product sits between the toy subsets of next-generation electronic toys, cheap but disposable mass-produced plastic toys, and expensive high-end “heirloom quality” toys. With a background in architecture, Rau knows the fundamentals of design. As a mom, she discovered how the toy industry lacks toys for developmentally appropriate open-ended play. She believes that children deserve safer, better toys. Mouse Loves Pig sought investment to hire initial staff and received a 50k loan from SCCF. Since closing on her loan, she was able to hire a marketing director and shift most of the production to a Turkey-based supplier that employs women refugees.

Ruth Rau

D.A.H. Cuisines®️ LLC dba: DAH-Lish Cuisines is a catering and meal delivery service company, whose style of cooking is described as elevated American Cuisine with a French Flair, utilizing French technique. Owned and operated by Kesha Harris, Kesha had a passion for cooking as a young girl, and in 2017 she opened her catering business. In 2018, she attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, where she obtained her degree in Culinary Arts. She completed her externship at a 3-Michelin Star restaurant and is now a Classically Trained, ServSafe, and Allergen-Certified Chef. D.A.H Cuisines specializes in catering weddings, small dinner parties, private, and corporate events. D.A.H Cusines also offers bi-weekly meal delivery services to various counties across the Virginia region. Kesha applied to Startup Shenandoah Valley Program (S2V) at SCCF and matched with a mentor who helped her to scale her business and expand her delivery services. Since going through S2V, she has been partnering with local businesses and even high schools in the Shenandoah Valley, providing catering services, and shadowing opportunities for students.

Kesha Harris

During the month of March remember to support your favorite female-owned businesses!


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