Founder & CEO
Donna Cazzuto Women's Empowerment Company
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Industry: Women's Apparel & Networking Events
Taneal Jordan grew up without a lot of support or guidance, was deemed a wild child, felt like a misfit most of her life and was homeless and on her own by age 15. That difficult path is in part what prompted her tenacious work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit as an adult.
Jordan joined the Navy when she was 18 as an airwoman fueling jets. She finished college and made it her mission to empower those around her through fitness, meditation and mindfulness practices. She found solace in her fitness regimen and spirituality and wanted to share that feeling with every woman she knew.
She taught beginner kickboxing and worked as a personal trainer for seven years, wearing out leggings regularly because they were poorly made. Jordan wanted to create something new and better. She attended every business and master class she could and started doing research in 2017 to start her apparel company, Donna Cazzuto Women’s Empowerment Co.
Jordan integrated athletic wear with comfy clothes that stood for something and wanted to separate herself from the novelty T-shirts and cheap leggings. The leggings she created use fine Italian fabric and have functional pockets.
The business uses positive affirmations, called Power Words, to teach self-love and promote confidence in women and girls. The company offers premium athleisure made for lounging, yoga, meditation and fitness. It also hosts events such as the monthly MKE Women’s Networking Brunch, quarterly Role Modeling Contests and annual Cheer Each Other On fashion shows.
“Taneal actually started it all by herself before bringing anyone else on board, during the pandemic,” her team said. “She did the research, made the contacts, found a fashion designer in Peru and Italy, developed the prototypes, tested them, created the website, funded the entire thing, did the modeling herself and all the marketing. All while working two other jobs.”
Donna Cazzuto Women’s Empowerment Co. donates annually to domestic violence shelters and highlights women with cancer or other serious illnesses so they feel beautiful, loved and supported. Jordan recently started to take public speaking roles at schools, talking to teens and young adults. Jordan is also involved in the local military veterans community and attends and speaks at their events.
“While our premium products are important, the mission is what really draws people in. We’ve got women fighting cancer and other serious illnesses, women fighting for equal rights, women surviving domestic violence … real issues many of us face,” said Jordan, herself a survivor of domestic violence. “So I’m creating a platform and a space to have meaningful discussions to find ways to cope, heal and overcome, together.”
She used to be a professional dancer and performed all over the U.S doing ariel art shows and competitions.