Meta Mesdag is a mom of three in Juneau, Alaska. Wanting to be available to her kids, Meta has opened two successful small businesses out of her home. Although both ventures have kept super busy, Meta decided earlier this year to start a family “mariculture” business -- an ocean farm where she, her husband and kids will grow (and then sell) oysters, clams, mussels and kelp.
Photo by Bill DayCaptain Megan Corazza grew up commercial fishing with her parents out of their home port of Homer, Alaska. From a young age she learned firsthand about the high stakes and unpredictability of the fishing business, and she swore she’d never go down that path herself. In fact, she was on track to be a doctor when the fishing business beckoned her, and she decided to follow in her family’s footsteps.
Today, Megan has owned her own commercial fishing operation for nearly 20 years. Each summer in the Land of the Midnight Sun Megan, along with her crew and her sons, catch millions of salmon to sell to canneries. The days are long and sleep is short, but this seasonal business allows Megan to pursue her other passions -- motherhood, writing and skiing -- during other eight months of the year.
We caught up with Megan just before she headed out for a summer at sea to learn how she balances fish, family and finances from one unpredictable season to the next.
Seattle-based Kimberly Leeper and Aaron Armstrong were each doing their own natural-landscaping thing when they met and decided to merge their solo endeavors into a partnership. Today, about a year and a half into planting the seed of Oasis Edible Naturescapes, they are busy making gardens beautiful while learning on the go about what it takes to run and grow a company.
We spoke with Kimberly about why eating your garden is good for the environment and how seasonal work like theirs requires a special balancing act.
Seattle-based entrepreneur Erin Williamson believes in supporting women workers, and she absolutely puts her money where her mouth is. As the owner of Pier Coffee, a cold-brew coffee company, she sources her beans from woman-owned or operated farms. And as the co-founder of a nonprofit called Engender International, Erin works to protect and promote women at every stage of the supply chain.
We spoke with Erin about both her businesses, operating a mission-driven company and why economic stability is so very important for single moms and women in developing countries.