Happy International Women's Day! We are still on cloud nine from our #AdvocateLikeAMother panel at Vox Media this week, and today want to thank all of the entrepreneurs and women-owned companies that fueled our event. We sat down with three of them to learn more about the rewards and challenges of running these businesses as a family, and what these female entrepreneurs wish for all women this International Women's Day.

2 Betties is a mother-daughter duo that makes grain free treats from all natural ingredients. Based in Baltimore, Nancy and Bridget turned their frustration with the snack food industry into a new business selling high quality and tasty products. (PS: Nancy and Bridget are offering all members of the Mindr community 15% off their treats with the code MINDR190.)

Bantam Bagels started with a couple, Elyse and Nick, who had the dream to call something their own when they came up with the idea of mini stuffed bagels. Bantam Bagels has now been featured on Shark Tank and in Starbucks and grocery stores, and Elyse and Nick run the business while raising two young kids.

Fatty Sundays was started by two sisters, Ali and Lauren, who were inspired by their mom's famous sprinkle chocolate covered pretzels. Based in Brooklyn, the two sisters have turned this delicious family recipe into a business.

Bridget and Nancy making their 2 Betties healthy donuts in their kitchen.

Bridget and Nancy making their 2 Betties healthy donuts in their kitchen.

Mindr: What inspired you to start your venture?

2 Betties - Bridget and Nancy: We felt that truly nutritious and delicious snacks were few and far between. There was a missing space – somewhere between a bar and a cookie – where we felt we could connect with consumers in the middle with a product that has good nutrition but also tastes delicious. Our current product lineup has a distinct shape, a small donut or Round as we call them, and is a play on the healthy-yet-delicious theme.  Many of our fans call them the “healthy donut” or “healthy cookie”.

Bantam Bagels - Elyse: We wanted an idea to call our own, and so we'd constantly be thinking of crazy ideas, like a tater tot truck. One night Nick had a dream about mini stuffed bagels with cream cheese, and the idea took off. We made hundreds and hundreds of batches, and were in disbelief that the idea did not exist yet.

Fatty Sundays - Ali and Lauren: Our Mom's famous sprinkle chocolate covered pretzels were the inspiration behind Fatty Sundays! She used to make them for us all of the time and always put them in care packages. They were her "thing." They inspired us to think about how we could re-invent and modernize everyone's favorite sweet and salty treat. We set out to create unique flavors, eye-catching packaging and the rest is history.

Mindr: What are the unique challenges and strengths of working together as a family?

Elyse and Nick outside of their shop on Bleecker Street in New York City.

Elyse and Nick outside of their shop on Bleecker Street in New York City.

2 Betties - Bridget and Nancy: Our mother-daughter relationship brought a foundation of trust, openness and candidness that we’ve been able to carry into our business. However, it goes without saying that being a mother-daughter team requires us to be mindful of keeping “business” discussions out of our family dynamic and carving out time for “mother-daughter” talks and fun. It can be hard to maintain the mother daughter dynamic and not turn every conversation into a business meeting or conversely hard to not take critical feedback – from your Mom – too personally. 

Bantam Bagels - Elyse: It's so helpful that our priorities are the same, and that we are able to be a team both with Bantam bagels and as parents. In some ways Bantam and our kids are all our babies. While growing Bantam I did not take maternity leave while nursing our baby, and in some ways we have grown up while starting this company and raising our kids. We keep our social media as personal as possible, and show that this work really is a 24/7 commitment.

Fatty Sundays - Ali and Lauren: Two strengths are that we each bring something completely different to the table in terms of our skills, and, that there an unbreakable trust in every sense of the word when you work with family. A challenge is that we're always talking about work and it's sometimes hard to leave it behind when we're all together as a family. We love what we do, and talking about it all the time, but it's hard to shut off!

Ali and Lauren with their delicious chocolate covered pretzels.

Ali and Lauren with their delicious chocolate covered pretzels.

Mindr: What do you wish for all women this International Women's Day?

2 Betties - Bridget and Nancy:  We both hope that women find and listen to their inner voice and, more importantly, find the confidence to be comfortable with this voice in order to fully realize they have the power to do whatever it is they seek to in this life.

Bantam Bagels - Elyse: That the fight for gender equality is not an isolated fight. Nick and I are equal partners, and I bring some things to the table that he does not and he brings some things that I do not. More than a "power" woman I am a power person in a partnership that is powerful. I hope women can find equal partnerships in every realm of their lives.

Fatty Sundays - Ali and Lauren: That on IWD (and every day) women will take a moment to reflect on how awesome they are, and to remind themselves that they can do anything they want if they put their heart into it!

Thank you to these incredible women and to all the vendors who partnered with Mindr in celebration of International Women's Day. We're excited to see your continued growth as entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses!