Stacy’s uses Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine to share foundress stories


Dive brief:

  • Stacy’s Pita Chips is teaming up with Reese Witherspoon’s media company Hello Sunshine to support the Stacy’s Rise Project, a grant and mentorship program for founders, according to a press release.
  • Snack brand Frito-Lay has been leading Project Rise since 2019 but is now looking to better amplify the stories of its winners. Hello Sunshine will educate the media on the 10 grant recipients this year and “expand visibility” for the 2022 class, the statement said.
  • In addition, Stacy created an online business directory,, to give more visibility to businesses run by women who register through the site. The effort aims to help female entrepreneurs overcome barriers that their male counterparts are not facing during a boom time for startups and direct-to-consumer brands.

Dive overview:

Stacy’s is expanding the reach of its current Rise project with help from Hello Sunshine, a lively media brand founded by actor Reese Witherspoon that is “dedicated to female writing and storytelling across all platforms,” ​​according to her. website. The company, which is behind shows like HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and has previously worked with marketers including Procter & Gamble, has been sold to a new media company backed by the private equity firm Blackstone for around $ 900 million last month, the Wall Street Journal reported. .

Project Rise seeks to help women entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life, following in the footsteps of Stacy Madison, who started Stacy’s as a food cart in the mid-1990s. The annual initiative distributes grants of $ 10,000 and mentorship opportunities from executives at Frito-Lay and PepsiCo and saw an almost 300% increase in applications in 2021 over previous years, according to the announcement. It is being conducted with the help of Hello Alice, a Houston-based company focused on supporting small businesses.

Frito-Lay is stepping up its work focusing on women in business as many continue to face barriers to success. For the latest push, Stacy’s commissioned a survey from the Market Research Society that interviewed 500 women entrepreneurs in the United States.

The brand hopes the link with Hello Sunshine will provide a larger stage for sharing women’s long-term successes. Among the 10 winners of Project Rise this year are Marsha Stephanson, the founder of a postpartum care subscription service called Cater to Mom, and Alberta Liao, who created the first vegan alternative to the spread of tuna by the through his company Jinka. Many 2021 grant recipients are looking to packaged food and beverage areas that could be relevant to PepsiCo’s business.

“This is just the start of Stacy’s work with Hello Sunshine and Reese to spotlight remarkable founders and continue to build a community of empowered and supported women,” said Ciara Dilley, vice president of marketing at Frito- Lay, in a press release.

Last year, Stacy’s launched the “Female Founder Finder,” a geo-targeted directory of more than 13,000 women-owned businesses that consumers can search using QR codes built into its packaging. Along with the new online directory, where consumers can search for nearby businesses by searching zip codes and categories, Stacy’s will be following the stories of its Project Rise recipients on social media through the hashtag #StacysRiseProject. For Women’s Entrepreneurship Day on November 19, the marketer will also be creating gift boxes inspired by the women attending

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