Throughout the year, the 3rd Hour of TODAY highlights incredible women who defeated all odds to achieve their dreams.
Some of them built businesses, while others brought about notable change to their communities. Though their stories are all different, each woman pushed past struggles both big and small.
This Valentine's Day, TODAY hosted three amazing women from across the United States. You'll hear stories from Neighborly Paper founder Carmelle Kendall, SkinnyDipped founder Breezy Griffith and Parachute founder Ariel Kaye.
Learn more about their story and shop their products below!
Carmelle Kendall and Robin Beck have known each other since the fifth grade. After living in Georgia for 18 years, they moved to Harlem in New York City and became neighbors.
Kendall, an illustrator, had a dream of creating a greeting card line and knew that her passions would help fuel her ambition. In 2016, she acted on the plan with help from her friend Beck who was a full-time copywriter.
The two immediately got to work — Kendall began drawing and Beck started writing. Thanks to their hard work, personal investment and passionate drive, Neighborly Paper was born.
Four years have passed and the two are still going strong with their company. They've created 95 designs for multiple occasions including birthdays, baby showers, graduation events and more.
This year, Kendall and Beck participated in the National Stationery Show and were picked up by eight new stores — bringing their total retailers to 20.
"They always say don't go into business with friends," said Kendall. "But knock on wood, it's been the opposite for us!"
Neighborly Paper Cards
Neighborly Paper Cards, $4.50, Shop now
Neighborly has tons of fun cards for every occasion. Each card is only $4.50 and they all include a fun and unique illustration.
This healthy and indulgent company didn't pop up overnight. Though the snack is sweet, the story behind these tasty nuts is even sweeter.
Breezy Griffith was living in New York when her close friend, Josh, passed away from cancer. She quickly realized that family was what mattered most to her, so she packed up her car and moved back to her home in Seattle, Washington.
She took the drive with her mom, and the two of them snacked quite a lot during their trek. They came to the conclusion that snacking should be both healthy and delicious at the same time. That's when their idea to create a chocolate-dipped almond company came to life.
Griffith and her friends spent two years testing and perfecting different recipes. With a gracious loan from her parents, she launched SkinnyDipped Almonds in 2015.
The company started off small but quickly grew over the years. The original recipe has expanded to include seven delicious flavors that are now sold in retailers like Target, Whole Foods and Kroger.
Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Cocoa Almonds
Skinny Dipped Dark Chocolate Cocoa Almonds, $5.49, Shop now
These delicious almonds are a company bestseller. They are dipped in a thin layer of artisan dark chocolate and dusted with a hint of cocoa.
Skinny Dipped Almonds in Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
Skinny Dipped Almonds in Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, $5.49, Shop now
Peanut butter and chocolate are practically meant to go together. This snack is dipped in chocolate and finished with a hint of peanut flour and maple sugar.
Skinny Dipped Super Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds
Skinny Dipped Super Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds, $5.49, Shop now
This pack of almonds is rich in fiber and protein. According to the brand, all the chocolate is ethically sourced and the snack is made with simple ingredients.
"I've always had a love for home and interior design," said Parachute founder Ariel Kaye, a design enthusiast with a knack for brand development.
A few years back, Kaye started digging into the industry and discovered that every product she found was either low quality or high priced. She saw companies like Warby Parker — a brand offering affordable and stylish glasses — skyrocket in the eyewear space. She knew there was room for the same type of growth in the bedding area.
Knowing that millennials wanted nice bedding without breaking the bank, she set out on a mission to find a solution.
Months of research and visitations to manufacturers in Europe inspired her to pursue her passion full-time. She quit her advertising job, moved to Los Angeles and launched Parachute — a direct to consumer home essentials brand.
The brand has expanded to nine stores across the country and currently sells everything from mattresses to bath essentials.
The Parachute Mattress
The Parachute Mattress, $1899, Shop now
This mattress is thoughtfully designed to be supportive and comfortable. It's constructed with 100% organic cotton and has optimal support for spinal alignment.
Parachute Waffle Duvet Cover Set
Parachute Waffle Duvet Cover Set, $259.00, Shop now
Experience ultimate comfort with this duvet cover set. The cover and shams have a mini honeycomb texture made with cotton and linen.
Parachute Tassel Starter Bathroom Bundle
Parachute Tassel Starter Bathroom Bundle, $250.00, Shop now
Upgrade your bathroom with this towel and rug bundle. It includes four washcloths, four hand towels, four bath towels and one hand-knit rug.
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