9 woman-owned businesses making San Diego life-changing

Aug 26, 2020 - Heather Dewis

Fighting for – and winning – the right to vote in 1920 was just the beginning of our path toward equality for women. Five decades later, women of color finally won the right to vote. And century later, here in San Diego, women continue to build on the legacy created by those before them – by doing meaningful work, building impactful businesses, and continuing the fight for change for future generations.

Today, we’d like to recognize just a few of the many woman-owned businesses – and their strong, smart, and life-changing founders – making San Diego a better place to work, live, and build.

1. Puzzle Pieces Marketing

Co-founded by wives Angel Mason Broadus and Kristine Mason Broadus, Puzzle Pieces Marketing has long been dedicated to amplifying the voice and reach of mission-driven, caused-based, and nonprofit organizations that contribute tangible positive change to the community. In addition to providing excellent digital marketing, creative design, and public relations work with a family feel, the team’s special mission is to be an ally to minority-owned businesses and inspire prosperity in underrepresented communities.

How it’s changing lives: Puzzle Pieces Marketing amplifies the voices of mission driven organizations…while making its clients feel like family.

Learn more: puzzlepiecesmarketing.com

2. LunaPBC

Co-founded by Dawn Berry, former vice president of applied genomics at Illumina, LunaPBC runs LunaDNA – the world’s first health and DNA research platform owned by its community of individual contributors. By empowering individuals to securely and privately share their health and DNA data, LunaDNA is helping improve the quality of genomic data to accelerate health discoveries and drive medical scientific breakthroughs.

How it’s changing lives: LunaDNA empowers individuals to take control of their DNA data.

Learn more: lunadna.com

3. Dirt Don’t Hurt

Three San Diego sisters – Martiza, Sativa, and Kaya – founded Dirt Don’t Hurt in 2017. When they became pregnant, they began to re-evaluate and dissect the personal care products and cleaning products they were using on a daily basis…and Dirt Don’t Hurt was born. The team develops the natural, safe personal care and beauty products they weren’t able to find for themselves, and now helps spread awareness of natural non-toxic alternatives.

How it’s changing lives: Dirt Don’t Hurt develops natural, safe personal care products and spreads awareness of natural beauty products.

Learn more: dirtdonthurtme.com

4. Taylor & Pond

What started as a web development firm in 1995 by Cindy Pond has since expanded into a full service digital marketing agency trusted by some of the biggest names in beauty, health, and lifestyle. Now, the Taylor & Pond team of designers, programmers, social media experts, and project managers works on cutting-edge web design and development, content marketing, and corporate branding.

How it’s changing lives: Taylor & Pond helps some of the biggest beauty brands design and create beautiful promotional content.

Learn more: taylorpond.com

5. Second Chance Beer Company

Popular ideas and images of the craft beer industry are typically male-dominated. In fact, there are many standout women in San Diego’s craft beer community, like Virginia Morrison – co-founder, CEO, and Chief Legal Officer for Second Chance Beer Company in North Park and Carmel Mountain. Here, Virginia combines her employment law and business experience with her love of beer, and spearheads the brewery’s “Giving Second Chances” philanthropic program, human resources, and community and political outreach.

How it’s changing lives: Second Chance Beer Company focused on philanthropy, environmental activism…and brewing really great beer.

Learn more: secondchancebeer.com

6. Access Trax

Occupational therapist and CEO Kelly Twichel co-founded Access Trax with the vision of bringing communities together to help all gain access to any outdoor activity. Through its cost-effective portable outdoor mats, Access Trax helps adaptive surfers and wheelchair users cross sand and other natural terrain with dignity and independence. Access Trax’s mats have gained a significant following, with USA Paralympian Channing Cash and five-time Adaptive Surfing World Champion Bruno Hansen among its users.

How it’s changing lives: Access Trax helps adaptive athletes and wheelchair users enjoy outdoor activities with dignity and independence.

Learn more: accesstraxsd.com

7. Aquacycl

Founded by Orianna Bretschger and Sofia Babanova, Aquacycl brings cost-effective wastewater treatment to the market. Aquacycl’s BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology (BETT®) selects and controls natural bacteria to accelerate wastewater treatment rates, eliminate primary sludge, minimize secondary sludge, product electricity, and make new molecular water in a wide variety of industries.

How it’s changing lives: Aquacycl helps businesses effectively and inexpensively treat wastewater to help the environment and human health.

Learn more: aquacycl.com

8. Micro Q

Founded by Ha Tran, Kearny Mesa‘s Micro Q provides innovative manufacturing solutions to optimize the performance of electronic systems. With more than 75 years of combined experience in the microelectronics industry specializing in manufacturing and assembly, Micro Q supports its customers from the developmental prototype stages to production.

How it’s changing lives: Micro Q’s innovative manufacturing solutions helps customers optimize the performance of electronic systems.

Learn more: microqsd.com

9. Lotus Sustainables

Lotus Sustainables started with a vision to co-create something meaningful – a business with impact. When California proposed a plastic bag ban in 2016, Jen Dehmoubed launched Lotus Sustainables in Carlsbad with husband Farzan to help clean up the planet and eliminate single-use plastics from shopping with its reusable cart bags. So far, Lotus has eliminated the need for more than 200 million plastic bags and remains committed to ethically designed solutions to make a big impact.

How it’s changing lives: Thanks to its innovative reusable cart bags, the Lotus Sustainables team has already eliminated the need for more than 200 million plastic bags.

Learn more: lotus-sustainables.com

10. Honorable mention: Mujeres Brew Club

It’s not technically a company, but this group is truly life changing. Mujeres Brew Club meets every month at Barrio Logan’s Border X to discuss craft brewing topics from history to ingredients to styles. Founded by Border X Co-owner Carmen Favela and hosted by The Indie Beer Show Co-host Esthela Davila, Mujeres Brew Club focuses on building community among Latinas and other women interested in beer. Expect big things from this group – the club recently landed a taproom space in Barrio Logan where it will incorporate work experience and brewing programs in addition to its educational meetups.

How it’s changing lives: Mujeres Brew Club builds community among Latinas and other women interested in beer.

Learn more: eventbrite.com/o/border-x-brewing-12122970900


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2 thoughts on “9 woman-owned businesses making San Diego life-changing

  1. Thank you for the Taylor & Pond mention. I am so proud of my team and the amazing work we produce every day. Our pivot years ago to a full 360 agency really allowed us to grow and now we are thrilled to be working with many of the biggest beauty brands in the world. Cheers! –Cindy Pond, CEO/Founder, Taylor & Pond

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