Brown & Crouppen Celebrates & Supports Women-Owned Businesses (2022)

4 women posing for the camera in different settings

Supporting women-owned businesses means investing in women-owned companies, buying from shops owned by women, and helping women-owned businesses grow.  At Brown & Crouppen, we encourage and prioritize work-life balance amongst our employees, so we are thrilled to feature a handful of female-owned businesses within our firm.

Here’s a list of women-lead businesses from our very own employees at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm.

1. Strut Couture

Owner: Erica Reed, Client Experience Coordinator at Brown & Crouppen 

Strut Couture, est. 2012, provides “Modern & Minimalist Fashion” for all. The clothing brand features creative all-inclusive handmade items. Erica’s business passion is to make customers of all ages feel beautiful, loved, and fashionable.

Follow Strut Couture on Instagram.

2. Mary Otto Photography

Owner: Mary Otto

Mary Otto’s camera technique is truly her own. Her eye to the tiniest of details is nothing less than outstanding and the creativity that comes out of such a pint size person is beyond words! She is truly one of a kind and can work alongside the finest in the entertainment industry.

Clients include: SLU Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The American Heart Association, The Studio Inc, Preston Salon, Wella, Brown Shoe, Koi, photoshoots with Zach Noe Towers from “The Elite Daily Show”, Oribe, Local Musicians, and was a guest on set The Vampire Diaries.

“Photography is the closest thing that we have to magic. We are able to freeze a moment in time. And to me that’s, that’s pretty magical.

Mary Otto

Follow Mary Otto Photography on Facebook

3. Legal Nurse Network

Owner: Shanna Robert

Founded in 2019, the Legal Nurse Network is a place where Legal Nurses can join together to train for a new career in Legal Nurse Consulting, develop their current skills, and connect with others in the field. We’ve created one space where Legal Nurses can combine their skills and communicate, even while working remotely, to preserve and enhance integrity and standards of the field.

“I started the Legal Nurse Network as an affordable alternative for nurses who desired to leave bedside nursing, while still working in the medical field. Information is vastly limited in this area, and working from home constantly can be lonely. By connecting with other nurses online, the Legal Nurse Network has given so many a place to go to feel surrounded by a community.

Shanna Robert


Just Enduring

Just Enduring was co-founded by Lara after she and her husband lost their 6-month-old son Jackson to an undiagnosed heart condition and quickly realized there’s a gap in grief support for parents who lose a child. Just Enduring is a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, MO that provides immediate grief resources and a peer support program called “A Parent Like You” to connect grieving parents together.


Follow Just Enduring on Facebook and Instagram

5.  Makeupology

Owner: Meghan Ellis, Paralegal at Brown & Crouppen

Makeupology is a boutique makeup + brow studio located in Downtown Alton, IL. My love for the beauty industry and passion for helping women feel confident inspired me to open Makeupology. My mission is to teach and educate women how to confidently apply their makeup and streamline their beauty routine. With many women finding it difficult to recover from the overplucked 90’s and 2000’s eyebrow trends, I also specialize in Brow Lamination – a service that makes the brows more manageable and appear fuller

(618) 300-3417

726 Belle St, Alton, IL 62002


Follow Makeupology on Instagram

6. Country Living Creations

Owner: Dianne Schmidt, Paralegal at Brown & Crouppen:

I started my business several years ago making all sorts of crafts ranging from ornaments to wreaths. However, my passion the last couple of years has been making memory bears and pillows for people that have lost someone they loved. These bears and pillows have brought so much comfort to people, that alone makes my business so enjoyable. In addition to the bears and pillows, I also make wedding flowers and I absolutely love doing this because I’m a part of creating beauty in flowers for someone’s special day. These are only a few of the things that I do, please checkout and like my Facebook page to see what I have to offer.


Follow Country Living Creations on Facebook

7. Tha Paw Print

Owner: Genn Bugg, Executive Assistant at Brown & Crouppen

Genn Bugg launched Tha Paw Print, a pet apparel and accessory store, with her 13-year-old son to teach him how to start a business. “It’s important for me to teach my son how to be a boss. I’m showing him how to launch a business from start to finish and encouraging him to learn how to create streams of income. If he can do it once, he can do it over and over again with whatever product or idea he believes in. Teaching him how to obtain a business license and build a website to sell products has been a fun and lucrative experience. We have also learned that people love dressing up their pets!”

Follow The Paw Print on Facebook and Instagram.


8. Having Grace

Written by Crissy Goodpaster, Medical Care Coordinator at Brown & Crouppen:

Crissy is the first female author in her family!

“My hope in writing this book was to help those who may be going through similar tragedy and loss that I and so many have endured. I wanted my readers to know that they are not alone and to show someone that hasn’t experienced this loss, how to sit in someone’s pain.”

Find Having Grace on Amazon

9. Hoefel Haus B&B and Bike Hostel

Owner: Peggy Hoefel, Medical Paralegal at Brown & Crouppen:

“With an empty nest and an inclination toward hospitality, my husband and I bought a 1910 Queen Anne house in Washington, MO. One and a half years, countless hours of renovation, and some optimistic visioning was all it took to give birth to Hoefel Haus B&B and Bike Hostel. I served as the project manager for the renovation and now head up the ‘Rooms Division.’ My husband is the ‘Food and Beverage Director.’ We make a perfect team covering all the bases. Nothing makes me happier than imparting that feeling of absolute decadence to my guests.”

504 W 5th St, Washington, MO 63090

(314) 753-1302


Follow Hoefel Haus B&B on Facebook and Instagram

Cups by Kelsy

Owner: Kelsey Polacek

I make customized glitter and non-glitter tumblers. I’ve been making tumblers since 2018. I had to take a break in 2020 and 2021 when I had my son, but I am back in business now and have a relatively quick turnaround time.

Follow Cups by Kelsy on Facebook

11. SNL Crafting

Owner: Sarah Lunn, Payroll Clerk at Brown & Crouppen:

SNL Crafting is a compilation of various crafts, all made by Sarah.

I made crafts for previous friends or events that I now sell to others. My inspiration was when I looked online at personalized goods or crafts, I could never seem to find exactly what I wanted. That is when I decided to start making them myself! My best sellers are my Friends themed can coolers and glitter dipped wine tumblers.

Visit SNL crafting on Etsy

12. CC’s Vegan Spot

Cherrelle Hardy’s Family Owned and Operated Business, Intake Specialist at Brown & Crouppen: 

We started CC’s Icees Galore now known as CC’s Vegan Spot in 2019 in Alton Illinois. We are a 100% all vegan restaurant meaning no meat, no dairy, no animal products or byproducts what so ever! We started this business due to my mother and I being vegan since 2015 and not having anywhere to eat out in our town. In 2021 we will be opening our second location on TBA  in St. Louis, MO.


13. Once Upon a Child 

Owner: Jennifer Heilwagner, Director of Human Resources & Operations:

Established in 2018. I chose to open this franchise because I wanted to find a way to help parents on a budget. My store buys gently used children’s items from the public and sells them at a fraction of retail prices, thus making clothing for children affordable. We also reduce waste by offering goods second-hand. Saving pocketbooks and the Earth is a life-long passion of mine, and it has been very exciting to be a part of my customer’s lives and watch their children grow.

1231 Water Tower Place

Arnold, MO 63010


Follow Once Upon A Child on Instagram

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