BRIGADE was recently certified as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
We’ve always been women-owned, but we finally made it official by joining WBENC’s network of more than 15,000 certified women-owned businesses.
WBENC is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S., and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs. To be eligible for WOSB certification, a company must be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by one or more women, and have women managing day-to-day operations and making long-term decisions.
Joining the WBENC isn’t Kirsten’s first move to support women-owned businesses. In 2018, she became an active member of the Women Presidents Organization (WPO), a nonprofit membership organization for a diverse group of women presidents from diverse industries. The WPO believes that women presidents encounter unique challenges in business and deserve a creative and supportive resource that provides them with the knowledge and skills to excel as business leaders.
“It’s wonderful to be involved in a professional group of powerful women. I find that we share a lot of the same challenges, we struggle with balance, and we all hold ourselves to an unreasonable standard,” Kirsten said.
In an effort to support women outside of BRIGADE, we proudly partner with other women-owned businesses, such as 21 SEEDS —a tequila brand founded by sisters Kat Hantas and Nicole Hantas-Emanuel, and their close friend Sarika Singh. BRIGADE worked with 21 SEEDS to develop a light and fun brand which empowers young women to connect across borders, share ideas, and make every moment special.
We believe that women-owned businesses, in particular, can benefit from BRIGADE’s approach to problem-solving.
“We nurture brands. We care about the little stuff that frequently goes overlooked, and we understand that details and thoughtfulness can impact work in ways that are unexpected,” Kirsten said.
When BRIGADE was just getting started, Kirsten ran the show from her kitchen table with two small children as her only collaborators. Where some women leaders shy away from qualities associated with women and mothers, Kirsten doubles down. She fosters collaboration and creative breakthroughs by using everything that makes her a good mother—strength with softness, leadership with kindness, and expectations with understanding. She’s a boss, and she’s a mom, and she steers both ships with the same tools and techniques. She cares about people, and you can feel it. Clients can feel it. And it’s the reason talented people have moved to the middle of nowhere to work at BRIGADE.
Kirsten’s leadership at BRIGADE has set an example for how to adapt and excel in a changing industry. As we look forward to a new year, we aim to partner with even more women-owned businesses to provide them with the branding tools they need to conquer competitive industries and inspire wider audiences.