VOTE for the Winner of the St. Louis Mom-Owned Business Grant


Thank you to those who nominated your favorite local businesses or applied yourself! We were OVERWHELMED with applications and found it impossible to choose! Here are the finalists for the mom-owned business grant … let’s get to know them, and then it’s time to vote! Voting is included at the bottom of the post. 

Birth Order | Courtney Klein

“In addition to running Birth Order’s day-to-day operations and in-person popup schedule, Courtney works a part-time job and a couple of side hustles, all while caring for a 3-year-old, to grow her vision of Birth Order and bring education and support to moms. She rarely takes a day off and having a little more flexibility in the budget would immediately enhance the quality and reach of her vision.

Birth Order is a marketplace for pregnancy and postpartum self-care that educates and guides expecting parents to products that will comfort their symptoms and prepare them for recovery.
Most expecting parents have very little knowledge about taking care of a baby, let alone the real physical symptoms mom will experience during this time, and with only nine months to learn everything, mom’s comfort and recovery are often overlooked. Our mission is to ensure moms feel supported and are not left feeling alone and unprepared, especially in the first few months of postpartum.”

Brixx and Stones | Amanda Frenchmann

“Amanda Frechmann, owner and designer of Brixx & Stones, is a mom of 4 (stepmom of 3), former teacher and pharmaceutical sales rep. She treats every single one of her customers like they are the only customer on the planet! Her jewlery and products reflect her personality- happy and bright! She donates tons of items to local charities and events, always willing to help with nothing expected in return. Originally, she started this business with her stepdaughters as a way to bond with them, during Covid, and during a time when she really wanted to connect with them in a deeper, more meaningful way.”

Cara Harjes Art | Cara Harjes

“Cara Harjes is a single, widowed mom of two. Cara Harjes Art exists to empower people to explore and embrace that point where the beauty and mess of life intersect. Through making and selling wild artwork infused with bright colors and playful movement, but also lots of drips, smudges, and happy accidents, I engage the viewer to explore that sweet spot of beauty and pain. I also love helping make art fun and accessible to new collectors who may not have bought original artwork before by building a relationship with each buyer and making the process of owning fine art fun and easy. I also offer painting workshops, retreats, and painting kits to give people the chance to get their hands messy and allow themselves to play! Using an intuitive painting approach, these painting experiences are about enjoying the process and not worrying about the outcome. My curated painting kits are all about making it as simple as possible to immediately start creating instead of nervously pacing the aisles at the art store, not knowing what to get. I especially love empowering moms who rarely do things like this for themselves and cheering them on as they remember that their interests and pleasure and joy are also worth investing in!”

Disco! | Brittany Dwyer

Brittany Dwyer, founder of Disco!, is a mom of a 2-year-old girl with a second baby on the way! She left her full-time job to chase her dream and has poured her heart and soul into her company.

Time to Disco! is a website where you can view and book group experiences at local St. Louis businesses. The goal is to create an easy and quick way for busy people to create experiences and bring people together.


Patty's Cheesecakes | Pat Upchurch

“Pat Upchurch, the founder and head-baker behind Patty’s Cheesecakes, has a deep love for making food and sharing it with others.

She learned to cook from her chef Dad. Her love and passion started at his side on a small step ladder.

Pat’s grandmother, a great cook, always made the best cheesecakes. When she decided to not make them anymore, she gave Pat her recipe and mixer — how cool is that!

With the urging and prompting of loved ones, Pat ventured out to begin a food business. Hence, the fun and great adventure in the cheesecake world began.

Pat is passionate about spreading happiness and joy through her baking.

She created Patty’s Cheesecakes to continue and honor her grandma’s and dad’s legacies — to spread happiness and joy.”

Picnic House STL | Estefania de Regil

“Estefania is a Latina, first-generation American, from Mexican parents, and single mom to a toddler girl.

The pandemic prompted many people to become innovative in how they approached the small business world during a global crisis. But it has been inspiring to see so many small business owners coming together to support one another to do what is best for St. Louis by bringing revenue to local vendors.

I started Picnic House because I saw a need to help curate the perfect party experience in a unique way. Most people want to throw an Instagram-worthy party but don’t know how to go about it. That is where I come in. Picnic House will make your vision come to life with an easy, hassle-free setup. My goal is to create memorable experiences with our luxury picnic.”

The Refilll Effect | Sarah Kim

“The Refill Effect is owned by Sarah Kim, a mother of three delightful children, who is dedicated to creating a better world and community. Her efforts to reduce waste while bringing high-quality alternatives that make changing your habits easier are hugely beneficial to those around her. In addition to providing products, she also provides education about waste reduction in a kind, accessible way. Her shopfront recently opened after outgrowing the demand at the local Farmer’s Market, and this grant would be put to excellent use as she expands the footprint and broadens her outreach.

To date, they have saved over 40,000 pieces of plastic from landfills and waterways by offering household refills (making new disposable containers completely unnecessary) and sustainable household products. At The Refill Effect, they truly believe every choice matters, and all our decisions add up to change. Just think what we can accomplish together in the future!”


The winner will be announced at 7:30pm on Sunday, May 8!



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