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After leaving job due to pandemic, Portland woman creates online boutique to empower other women

"Super Hero Mamas" offers unique gift boxes from women-run small businesses across the United States and Canada.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Lisa Virtue was at an executive level in her career before the pandemic forced her to make a difficult choice. 

“Do I stick with my daytime job and try and cover the home care for both my mom, who moved in with us in the past year, and my daughter, who was going to virtual kindergarten," said Virtue, "or do I need to give up that career path and figure out something new for my life?"

She ultimately left her job, becoming one the millions of American women who left the workforce because of the pandemic. 

She saw friends who’d made similar choices that started crafting from home as way to make some income. 

“And I noticed that a lot of the boutiques that would normally be consigning these female artists also were having struggles and going out of business or closing their doors temporarily," Virtue said. 

She made it her mission to empower others on a similar path. She wanted create jobs for women and give them opportunities to make some revenue. 

That's when she started the online boutique Superhero Mamas as a platform to showcase unique creations by female makers and artists. 

"We are able to create gift boxes and a gift boutique that features not only the artist, but also creates great gifts for moms," she said. 

The gift box items vary from jewelry to journals to candles. 

Superhero Mamas launched in November and now features more than 60 makers from all over the United States and Canada. The platform is inspiring a chain reaction of female empowerment. 

"Women empowering women really begins at home," said Virtue. "The women that are inspiring the next generation of superheroes is who we are trying help motivate and keep them going.”

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