International Women’s Day is held annually on March 8 to celebrate women’s rights and gender equality across the world. Bushwick boasts of many strong ladies running businesses and creating events for local women. Here are some of them:

HotBox Mobile Sauna

Sauna goers. Cover photo courtesy of HotBox.

Jackie Aude M and Paula Wegman are a local queer couple who run a lovely sauna on wheels, HotBox Mobile Sauna. It’s currently parked at Roberta’s and offers a safe haven for women, non-binary, trans and queer people in need of a relaxing experience.


ANJL is a Bushwick-based graffiti artist, taking the streets with large-scale murals with bright, neon colors. Her art focuses on tropical animals, fantasy worlds, and all things breathtaking. 

A number of her paintings feature strong women, like the character Yu Shu Lien from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”; many others depict fierce wild animals, like lions and tigers.

Oko Farms

Yemi Amu is a Nigerian native, who co-founded New York City’s first aquaponics farm, Oko Farms

“Bushwick is an ethnically diverse neighborhood with people who have memories of growing their own food and eating fresh from the land. We often have visitors from the community that tell stories about raising their own fish and growing their own food before moving to U.S,” Amu says. 

Dank Banana Bread

Caitlin Makary was never much of a baker. She was too busy with measuring tape and swatches to really be bothered with whisks and measuring spoons.

When she started rock climbing as a hobby, her creative vision changed. Makary started baking a nutritious vegan banana bread to help her fellow climbers sustain their energy. The climbers couldn’t get enough of it.

Climbing proved to be more than exercise. It not only inspired the idea for her food business, Dank Banana Bread, but gave her the confidence to conquer it by breaking it down into steps

Ginger Zine

Markee Speyer and Jacqueline Cantu launched Ginger, a collaborative feminist art zine that featured the works of their close friends. That circle has grown into a web of creative self-identified women, queer, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals, aiming to suppress the dominance of patriarchal networking systems.

Anti-Trump Party and Show, march 8 at the footlight bar

The party is set to be a positive celebration of womxn, people of color, and the LGBTQ community—all whom have been threatened by discriminatory policies that have come out of the White House since January 2017. Party guests can expect a heart-pumping variety of music performances, burlesque acts, comedy, drag, and art exhibition at The Footlight Bar in Ridgewood.

Local queer Filipino musician and activist, Sarah Soller-Mihlek, who co-organized the event, said the gathering was inspired by the community’s collective outrage.

The Wally Shop

Tamara Lim (on the right in photo) is the founder of the first sustainable grocery delivery service in the U.S. 

The Wally Shop opened four months ago, with their main warehouse in Bushwick and is making the zero-waste lifestyle even more attainable for Brooklyn residents.

In the photo she is participating in #WallyWarriors with other community members, where people were encouraged to pick up neighborhood trash for future store credit at The Wally Shop. 

Do you know a female-owned business in the greater area of Bushwick? Let us know the details at [email protected].

Cover photo courtesy of Oko Farms.

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