We know how to throw a party with purpose! Lets recap our 17th Anniversary Party lifting up our community of women entrepreneurs…


It’s the one event we look forward to the most, each year.

And we’re all just beside ourselves with how swell this 17th Catalyst #Ranch Anniversary was.

For each of our Anniversaries, we include an element of giving back. Past years have included collections for food pantries and toiletry drives for Chicago’s homeless. This year, we did a little something different, and went a little bigger. This year we opened our doors to additional guests of honor

Instead of celebrating just Catalyst Ranch, we were intent on #sharingthespotlight and lifting up our Chicagoland community of women entrepreneurs in a focused and direct way.

That’s why we selected five inspiring and exciting women from our community of entrepreneurs to showcase.

We wanted our circle of supporters to get to know these women and their business journeys, and to throw their support behind these promising small businesses. And you know what happened?

We did just that.

Catalyst Ranch was full of our nearest and dearest: Friends and supporters, some who’ve known us for as long as we’ve been around, and some who’ve known our founder Eva for longer than that! And they all helped us in toasting to the accomplishments and future successes of some amazing women.

With a mission embodying our single event’s intent, Sam Letscher started Bossy Chicago two years ago to shift more buying dollars to women. The online platform serves as a network for woman-owned and non-binary-owned businesses to herald themselves and each other, thereby lifting up this wide community of entrepreneurs in Chicago!

 

Early on in our planning, we invited Purvi Sonia Dave because we were inspired by the purpose behind FamTyme, the app she’s been developing since early 2018. Spurred by realizing her younger self would have benefited from this service, she conceived of FamTyme as an interactive resource for all members of a family to promote emotional intelligence, communication and ultimately, stronger bonding.

 

Dr. Sara K. Schneider also seeks to augment human wellbeing, but by way of The Human Journey, her original Professional Development training for psychotherapists, nurses and others. The program trains those who teach, serve and heal to address real needs of families is crisis. The special thing about The Human Journey is it integrates the use of writing, interviewing and folklore to unlock pathways to healing.

 

Our very own Kim Jean continues to wow Chicago markets with MOSSUM, her food brand heralding the health benefits and versatility of sea moss. We know there’s so much potential for Kim’s business because she has a singular product line—headlined by her flagship prepared-food treat, the Sweetie—the endorsement of Chicago food industry incubators, and more sea moss fanatics on her side with each passing day!

 

And Amy Schwartzbach-Kang has revitalized youth camp and classes by integrating math and sciences with the more ubiquitous art and creativity activities. She and her husband created The Laboratory Collective with the mission of disrupting how youth engage with STEM subjects, and they’ve succeeded in stimulating the whole brain for an ever-growing number of Chicago youth.

 

Our mission was to turn moral support into monetary support with a fun round of micro-fundraising, with Eva leading the charge. Each of the first fifty people to arrive received one ticket worth $5 from Eva. Each person could decide which business to grant the money. And just as we hoped, our guests were fully inspired to donate of themselves, buying $5 tickets to grant to as many—and often all—of our guest entrepreneurs.

By the end of the night, we had collected over $1,200 for these small businesses.

We pulled off an interactive method of crowdfunding without any online fees and surcharges. All the money went directly to the five women!


 

Towards the end of the night, Eva gave a heartfelt Thank You to everyone in attendance and to the other integral Communities she’s indebted to. She recognized Heidi Moorman Coudal, owner of Big Delicious Planet, a business nearing 25 full years of thriving, and which has been our catering partner for almost our entire existence. Heidi and BDP generously provided all of our evening’s food and dessert, further underlining her support for what we do here.

And Eva made sure to start a round of applause for all of her team—our Catalyst Ranch staff and Ranch Hands—who continuously show up, collaborate and work hard to help make this business succeed. Indeed, no one can run a business on their own.

We had a great time at our party, if we do say so ourselves. Glasses were raised. Money was raised. Spirits were raised. We broadcasted and amplified our gratitude for our many communities, and we can’t wait for all that lies ahead!