Annual Stacy's Rise Project® winners announced in conjunction with the release of Rise, a short film produced in collaboration with Reese Witherspoon's media company Hello Sunshine and Ventureland Studios
PLANO, Texas, Jan. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Stacy's Pita Chips continues its longstanding commitment of championing women-owned businesses with the announcement of its next Stacy's Rise Project class, a grant and mentoring program for female entrepreneurs. And, new this year, Stacy's Pita Chips is honoring the resilience of women entrepreneurs who have faced adversity and persevered through the release of Rise – a short film, produced in collaboration with Hello Sunshine, that will be celebrated as part of Stacy's Pita Chips sponsorship during the Sundance Film Festival.
Created by PRETTYBIRD filmmaker Nisha Ganatra and featuring original poetry by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and performer Rupi Kaur, Rise illustrates the resilience of women today and those who came before them, bringing to light the dedication and behind-the-scenes struggles people often don't see. The film spotlights the stories of Sajani Amarasiri of Kola Goodies, Jocelyn Ramirez of Todo Verde and Maria Jose Palacio of Progeny Coffee, three previous winners of the Stacy's Rise Project.
"Hello Sunshine's mission is to amplify women's stories and experiences, and that's why it was so important for us to team up with Stacy's Pita Chips for the Stacy's Rise Project," said Witherspoon, Oscar-winning actress, producer and founder of Hello Sunshine. "I'm so proud of what we created together and am excited for everyone to see Rise and be inspired by these incredible women."
Rise: A Story of Resilience
Artistically accompanied by statistics and news headlines that frame the additional societal context on the struggles women face today, Rise illuminates how women's roots – the histories, voices and fortitude of those who came before – are a rich reserve of resilience that inspires their rise and continued fight for progress. The film was led by award-winning filmmaker, Ganatra, and nearly all (92 percent) of the primary roles in the making of the film were comprised of women. Viewers can learn more about the making of Rise here.
As an official sponsor of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival1, Stacy's Pita Chips will screen the short film at Stacy's Roots to Rise Market in Park City. Those not at the Sundance Film Festival are invited to watch the Rise short film here and on Prime Video2.
Roots to Rise Market
Stacy's chose to support the 2023 Sundance Film Festival as an extension of its commitment to supporting creative, innovative and visionary women. As the premiere independent film festival, Sundance provides a mission-aligned platform to further champion women's voices in all areas of entrepreneurship and through the power of storytelling.
At this year's Sundance Film Festival, Stacy's Pita Chips is hosting Stacy's Roots to Rise Market. The market will showcase products from past and present Stacy's Rise Project winners. In addition, visitors can view the film at daily screenings and sample a variety of snacks featuring Stacy's Pita Chips products. Stacy's Pita Chips will also host several panels featuring Stacy's Rise Project winners, the creators of the Rise film, women in film and entertainment, and Stacy's Pita Chips founder Stacy Madison.
The Stacy's Roots to Rise Market will be open to those visiting the Sundance Film Festival from Friday, January 20, until Monday, January 23, at 660 Main Street in Park City, Utah.
Introducing the Stacy's Rise Project Class of 2023
Stacy's Pita Chips has connected thousands of female founders and provided more than $1 million in funding since 2017. To kick off 2023, Stacy's is recognizing 14 female founders across the United States and Canada, enabling them to join the extensive community of Stacy's Rise Project winners.
- Dorielle Price, Hallandale Beach, Fla., co-founded EasyPeasie, dried, ground vegetable blends that are convenient and nutritious "veggie-palate primers" to introduce vegetables to kids and build lasting healthy habits.
- Michelle Razavi, Los Angeles, Calif., founded ELAVI, a line of gut-friendly, fitness-trainer approved snacks designed to be enjoyed anywhere and help boost cognitive focus, balanced mood, athletic recovery, and overall vitality.
- Essilfua Bartels, Englewood, N.J., founded EssieSpice, flavorful, small-batch sauces, dry rubs and condiments made with indigenous spices from Ghana and flavors from around the world.
- Jane Barden, Durango, Colo., founded Farm to Summit, a dehydrated food company on a mission to reduce food waste and introduce more flavorful and sustainable food options to the backcountry.
- Shelley Elkovich, Portland, Ore., founded For Bitter For Worse, a line of sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktails made with herbs and botanicals from the Pacific Northwest, aimed to create a more inclusive drinking culture.
- Diana Rios Jasso, Washington, D.C., founded Jarabe Gourmet Pops, which specializes in serving fresh, handcrafted Mexican-style ice pops, an inspiration from her childhood upbringing of seeing her father sell paletas in the street corners of Los Angeles.
- Jacqueline Grady Smith, Somerville, Mass., founded Not Just Co., modern, multipurpose sauces and dressings, created by two former cooking instructor moms to help take the struggle out of dinner.
- Rhonda Cammon, Nashville, Tenn., founded Perfectly Cordial, a line of versatile cocktail and mocktail mixers that are flavorful and simple to use, bringing mixology to homes without the mess, fuss or expense.
- Patrice Cunningham, Washington, D.C., founded Tae-Gu-Kimchi, a delicious-handcrafted Napa Cabbage Kimchi that uses her mother's authentic recipe and captures the beautiful tradition of making this food in every bite.
- Monica Sunny, Marietta, Ga., founded The Chai Box, sustainably and ethically sourced Chai concentrates and loose-leaf tea blends rooted in bringing the traditional craft of Chai making to mainstream consumers.
- Carolyn Simon, Toronto, Ont., founded Choose Life Foods, plant-based Caribbean goodness with a mission to create nutritious alternatives to the Caribbean's most beloved dishes so that everyone can enjoy them.
- Elaine Tan Comeau, Coquitlam, B.C., founded Easy Daysies, an award-winning line of daily visual schedules with the goal to help children, adults and families have happier and easier days.
- Jolene Johnson, Tobique First Nation, N.B., founded Wabanaki Maple, unique maple syrup created with a twist on the traditional method and 100% Indigenous women owned.
- Kristyn Carriere, Edmonton, Alta., founded 7 Summits Snacks tasty and purposeful superfood chocolate products that are designed to 'fuel your next adventure.'
The winners were selected from a pool of more than 9,000 applicants and will each receive a $15,000 grant, in partnership with longtime grant partner Hello Alice, as well as incomparable mentorship and community-building opportunities. For the first time, the Stacy's Rise Project opened its applications to women founders based in Canada, expanding the impact of the program beyond the U.S. with the help of new Canadian partner, Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC).
"Stacy's Pita Chips is a brand that believes that when one woman rises, we all rise," said Rhasheda Boyd, vice president of marketing at Frito-Lay. "Women-owned businesses only receive 2 percent of venture capital fundingi, yet businesses founded by women have an average return on investment of two times per dollar investedii. Stacy's is investing in the futures of women-led businesses through the Stacy's Rise Project. We are excited to bring awareness to these remarkable women at a major platform, the Sundance Film Festival. This will give even more people the opportunity to rally around them and be inspired by their resilience."
People can visit stacysrise.com, where they can learn more about this year's winners of the Stacy's Rise Project and find other resources to help support woman-owned businesses in their local area. To see updates from Stacy's Roots to Rise Market at the Sundance Film Festival and future announcements from Stacy's, tune into the brand's social media channels.
About Stacy's® Snacks
Stacy's Snacks is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $19 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, http://www.fritolay.com/ and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/fritolay.
About Frito-Lay North America
Frito-Lay North America is the $19 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos tortilla chips, Cheetos snacks, Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, SunChips multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30+ manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, www.fritolay.com, on Twitter (@fritolay), on Instagram (@fritolay) and on Facebook (Frito-Lay).
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About Hello Sunshine
Founded by Reese Witherspoon, Hello Sunshine is a media company that puts women at the center of every story it creates, celebrates and discovers. Hello Sunshine tells stories across all platforms – from scripted and unscripted television, feature films, animated series, podcasts, audio storytelling, and digital series – all shining a light on where women are now and helping them chart a new path forward. Hello Sunshine is also home to Reese's Book Club and the newly launched RBC App. Fast growing in reach and influence, this community is propelled by meaningful connections with stories, authors and fellow members.
Hello Sunshine is part of Candle Media, an independent, creator-friendly home for cutting-edge, high-quality, category-defining brands and franchises. By bringing together elite talent operating at the intersection of content, community, and commerce, it helps to position leading entertainment businesses for accelerated, sustainable growth in the current market and beyond.
Ventureland is an independent creative studio that specializes in developing original entertainment properties that spans traditional and emerging media platforms, including theatrical, streaming, podcasts, and more. Founded by Academy Award-winning producer John Battsek (One Day in September, Searching for Sugar Man) and PRETTYBIRD partners Kerstin Emhoff, Ali Brown and Paul Hunter, Ventureland collaborates with acclaimed filmmakers and the world's top studios to deliver award-winning film and TV.
About Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, poet, and performer. A breakout literary phenomenon, Kaur wrote, illustrated, and self-published her No. 1 New York Times bestseller book, 'milk and honey' at 21-years-old. Since then, she has published another three bestsellers that have sold over 11 million copies in 42+ languages. She was regarded 'Writer of the Decade' by The New Republic and recognized on Forbes' 30 under 30 list. Beyond the page, Kaur self-produced Rupi Kaur Live, the first poetry special of its kind, on Amazon Prime. She also served as executive producer on the feature film 'This Place', which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022.
About Nisha Ganatra
Nisha Ganatra is a Golden Globe winner and an Emmy-nominated director and producer seamlessly working in commercials, television, and film. Nisha's previous feature film credits include The High Note for Working Title and Focus Features starring Tracee Ellis Ross, and Late Night, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling. On the TV side, in addition to her award-winning work as a Director/Producer on Amazon's 'Transparent,' Nisha has also directed episodes of Girls, Dear White People, Mr. Robot, Brooklyn 9-9, Black Monday and Welcome to Chippendales. Nisha's award-winning campaign, 'Womb Stories,' earned her many accolades, including the Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Film Craft: Directing. Nisha was also listed in the Cannes Lions' Creativity Report as the #1 Director globally - a distinguished accomplishment that only one other female director has been awarded with.
1 Rise is not an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.
2 Amazon, Prime Video and all related marks are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
SOURCE Frito-Lay North America