January 13, 2022
IMC invests in women-owned businesses
International Market Centers (IMC) has acquired Dough, an e-commerce platform focused on empowering women-owned businesses. This strategic investment will be the first in a series of initiatives designed to emphasize and support values-based commerce and bring new voices and perspectives to the IMC community of brands. Vanessa Bruce, co-founder and CEO, joins IMC in the newly created role of vice president of social impact reporting to Eric Dean, president of Juniper by IMC.
“Values-based suppliers are increasingly sought after in the gift, home and apparel industries,” said Bob Maricich. “And IMC is committed to developing merchandising and marketing strategies to connect these suppliers with our extensive community of buyers through IMC’s physical and digital platforms. Vanessa brings thought leadership and expertise in creating commerce as a force for good.”
In her new role, Bruce will focus on bringing Dough’s sellers into the B2B business arena through both JuniperMarket.com, IMC’s newly launched B2B e-commerce marketplace, and IMC’s physical markets in Atlanta, High Point and Las Vegas.
Since its launch in 2018, Dough has identified, vetted and supported more than a thousand women-owned businesses, 50% of which are led by women of color. Notably, 70% of products are made in the USA, 75% are not on Amazon, 60% are handmade and 65% are eco-friendly. Key categories of merchandise offered on Dough – health & wellness, apparel, accessories, skincare, home décor and food & beverage – have broad and growing appeal within the industries served by IMC. Notable among Dough’s sellers are: Becalia Botanicals (skincare), Modern Theory (candles), Ora Ana (accessories), Salut (cocktail mixers) and Zuahaza (home décor).
“Dough proved that there is an expansive market for women-owned products and joining IMC will connect the incredible brand collection curated at Dough with IMC’s extensive buyer network. It’s gratifying to enable buyers worldwide to stock shelves with products from women-owned businesses,” said Bruce. “Companies will have an unparalleled opportunity to grow their businesses and profitability while making a positive impact. I can’t wait to see Dough’s brands and mission flourish with IMC.”
Prior to founding Dough, Bruce founded an award-winning branding agency and worked in product and design for several investor backed technology startups. She is an award-winning, patent-holding, founder and operator. She’s passionate about commerce as a force for good, access to entrepreneurship and building a more inclusive, compassionate and equitable community.
For more information, visit www.imcenters.com.