ABOUT WOMXN ON THE MOON
My name is Shannen Garza Hakim, and I’m the Owner and Artist at Womxn on the Moon (WOTM), an online jewelry boutique where diverse humans can buy gifts that honor their experiences. WOTM is an LGBTQ+ Afro-Latina owned business that focuses on handmade resin jewelry designs. Each product features resin art with natural stones or crystals and metal flakes. Womxn on the Moon stands out among other businesses because of its commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion, values that are woven throughout business practices and structures. This focus on identity and culture has allowed our story to be shared on Good Morning America, in the Houston Chronicle, in Culture Map Houston, and in Hip Latina.
I provide a unique way for individuals to create customized adornments that are a source of meaningful empowerment. My commitment to creating representation is evident in the way I show up in the world as a business owner. It begins with the company name, which is a reference to the fact that we have not yet had a woman on the moon. It trickles into my designs, which allow individuals to customize their pieces and create jewelry that is a direct representation of who they are. I intend to create a new business structure that is driven by my ethics and desire to close gaps for marginalized individuals.
I have also created solutions for some of the biggest challenges I’ve experienced in wearing crystal jewelry. I’ve introduced a low-cost and unique method for women to create adornments that have significant meanings and are a source of empowerment. Most crystal jewelry is wire-wrapped, heavy, and chunky, which makes it uncomfortable for the wearer. Using crushed crystals in resin prevents women’s clothing and hair from being snagged; it also lowers the risk of the wearer being scratched. It’s an inventive and stylish way for my customers to be reminded of their present goals, intentions, and energies. To create something so impactful with such simple ingredients is truly an experience that is unmatched.
A COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
54% of consumers don’t feel culturally represented in advertising, but 71% expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion. Many large brands preach diversity and inclusion, but don’t carry out the tangible steps to make marginalized communities feel welcome shopping with their brand. Womxn on the Moon is disrupting how ecommerce is diversified.
Womxn on the Moon seeks to empower women by creating adornments that spark confidence and positive energy for the wearer. I also focus on other aspects of female empowerment, including emphasizing intersectional experiences in my storytelling and highlighting minority female experiences through my branding. In addition, I continuously work to be active advocates in my community for persons of color and LGBTQ+ persons.
I have fundraising built directly into my sales model and contribute to non-profit organizations on a monthly basis that uplift these communities. I also donate items for charity fundraising throughout the year. On a larger scale, I actively work to be present in diverse communities and to use equity models in my business structures. This includes, but is not limited to, accessibility in my pricing. I demonstrate this through my retail partnerships, a portion of which have instituted price caps that create access for female BIPOC shoppers.
At Womxn on the Moon, I use handmade resin and crystal jewelry designs and intersectional storytelling to create a safe space for individuals to celebrate their identities. Womxn on the Moon has shown through action, and not just words, that our collective liberation comes from uplifting one another. I’ve designed pride collections celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, sensory necklaces for the neurodivergent community, as well as collections celebrating the history of black and brown communities. In addition, I’ve used these collection launches to educate my audience about the experiences, history, and culture of these communities through scavenger hunts, trivia, and short history segments.
My ideal customer wants their product to give back to the community. I am looking for individuals that are impacted by social structures, as well as their allies. The challenges I faced as a woman, a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an individual that struggles with mental health issues had pushed me to make a pathway when I couldn’t find one. I want my customers to find validation in Womxn on the Moon’s branding without having to make an intentional effort to create that representation.
EXPANDING COLLECTIONS CURATED FOR WOMEN, POC, AND LGBTQ+ PERSONS
I am fundraising for the expansion of my product line into 12 collection releases in 2023 that coincide with one year of diversity and inclusion content. I plan to expand Womxn on the Moon’s inclusive branding by highlighting holidays related to women, persons of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals with disabilities. I am increasing awareness about these celebrations in my HERstory | THEIRstory series on Instagram and TikTok, which highlight the stories of marginalized individuals. My audience looks forward to hearing these stories and re-learning history in a meaningful way.
I have consistently used my jewelry to get my audience involved in conversations around marginalized communities. For Pride Month, I released a collection of jewelry with rainbow colors. For Juneteenth, I released a malachite collection, which is such a wonderful stone for protection and mental well-being that is perfect for uplifting the Black community. I hid jewelry in historically Black spaces across Houston, and those who correctly guessed trivia questions and found the destination where jewelry was hidden received that jewelry at no cost. During Disability Pride Month, I released sensory necklaces for neurodivergent individuals. I gave my audience the opportunity to win a free necklace by answering trivia questions about the Disability Rights Movement. WOTM is an interactive space that is centered around more than jewelry, it's a collective conversation that allows individuals to connect, learn, and feel seen.
Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, Juneteenth, Disability Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month are just a few of the holidays that will inspire new products and collections. Growing the ecommerce component of my business requires expanding production, acquiring additional inventory, hiring specialized staff, executing strategic social media advertising campaigns, as well as new machinery and technology to streamline production for campaigns.
In order to have successful launches, I need to pour into my production process and increase the amount of product that I am able to manufacture. This will require an updated office space and warehouse that have the capacity for hosting large amounts of inventory. I will need additional staff to assist in managing this inventory, as well as devices that can be used to simplify product organization. Organization will also require new furniture (including workspace furniture and displays), not only for my headquarters, but also for retail locations in which my jewelry is displayed and sold. And finally, it will require a vehicle that can be used to transport goods to retail locations and events across Texas
I have been so proud that Womxn on the Moon has been a platform for change and a space to explore new business structures. I’m excited and thankful to have your support in this process and look forward to increasing the reach and impact of Womxn on the Moon with you.