About Us

Smart Women items express the wit, intelligence, and smarts applied to the everyday experiences of extraordinary women.  Smart is about making choices and making do; making amends and mending your socks.  We know smart when we see it and when we feel it.

Smart Women products are fun, practical household gift items with a meaningful message. Informed by a do-it-yourself spirit, creative vision, and commitment to community, the collection puts a contemporary spin on the domestic arts learned from founder Julie Hellwich’s clever Midwestern grandmothers, Betty and Gert.

We want women to know that the things we do make a difference. By living and breathing our politics and convictions on a daily basis, (whether we’re running errands, running the office, or running FOR office) Smart Women make the world everyday.



In 1999, Julie Hellwich made a few gifts for friends. The style and wit of the products struck a nerve with her chums and local store owners, and quickly captured the attention of smart women everywhere.

A stay-at-home Mom at the time (Julie has two daughters born 18 years apart), the business began as a way for Julie to work and spend time with her toddler. Soon the products found their way into specialty gift shops from New York to San Francisco; Austin to Chicago.

In 2004, Julie and Smart Women made the national scene when they announced a partnership with The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) for the Smart Women 2004 Elect to Make a Difference Tour in an effort to excite, educate, and engage women around the 2004 presidential elections, and inspire them to “elect to make a difference” in their communities every day.   

Smart Women Products have been featured on HGTVLadies Home JournalGLAMOUR,Washington PostBUST Magazine as well as many other local and national media venues.

Julie continues to promote civic engagement and community as well as to engage women of all ages in the political process + social activism. The Smart Women brand offers products via wholesale, retail, co-branding, + licensing.